Australian Labor Party National Conference 2009

From Thursday 30th July to Saturday 1st August the Australian Labor Party held its triennial National Conference in Sydney.

The Prime Minister made the opening address at the Conference on Thursday (read the full speech at

One of the key issues he addressed was the impact of the global recession on jobs. In particular, the Prime Minister highlighted the measures the Government has undertaken to protect and create employment, including the national Jobs and Training Compact which consists of:

A Compact with Local Communities where local employment coordinators are being appointed to twenty regions across the country where unemployment is rising most rapidly; and

A Compact with Australians who have been retrenched. Under this plan, the Government is guaranteeing training, supported by the productivity places program, so that during a period of extended unemployment, these retrenched Australians can pick up new skills to use as the economy recovers.

A Compact with Young Australians where Australians under the age of 25 will be required to be earning or learning – either in full time employment or in full time education or training.

Importantly, the Prime Minister also announced a further measure to assist young Australians during the global recession. The Government will create 50,000 new green jobs, traineeships and apprenticeships aimed at helping young Australians to obtain new skills during the downturn which will become highly applicable in the low carbon economy of the future.

Specifically, these fifty thousand positions will be made up of:

  • 4000 disadvantaged job seekers participating in the current insulation program;
  • 6000 local green jobs through the jobs fund;
  • 10,000 places in a new National Green Jobs Corps;
  • 30,000 trainees and apprentices in priority sectors of the building and construction sectors and other trades, where places will concentrate across the range of “green skills” competencies that will be needed in the future. These will be achieved through a new National Green Skills Agreement and will start building a new skill base in existing industries and cutting-edge industries, and also create jobs and opportunities in the future.

See the Prime Minister’s media statement at

One of the other features of the National Conference is the debate about and adoption of Labor’s National Platform and Constitution. The National Platform 2009 is now available at