September 26, 2023

Transitioning from Fossil Fuels to Green Jobs: Uncertainty and Opportunities in Central Queensland

Gladstone, a central Queensland city in Australia, has long thrived on its heavy industry, including coal mines, smelters, and gas plants. These sectors have provided a reliable source of income for generations of hardworking locals. However, with the changing landscape and the rise of renewable energy projects, the region’s traditionally fossil-fuel dependent economy is undergoing a transformation, sparking fear and uncertainty among those who rely on it for their livelihoods.

Industry experts are stepping in to reassure worried workers that their skills are in high demand as the transition to green jobs gains momentum in the industrial heartland. Amid the proliferation of renewable energy initiatives such as wind, solar, and green hydrogen production (hydrogen created using renewable energy), locals are being encouraged to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.

Amber Filewood, who grew up in Gladstone and comes from a family of heavy industry workers, spent 18 years in the aluminium industry, gradually rising to the position of industrial supervisor. As her hometown experiences a seismic shift towards renewable energy, Filewood has contemplated whether she should pursue a greener career path.

Recognizing the growth potential of the renewable energy sector, Filewood believes it is a direction that will continue to expand. She acknowledges that the transition to green jobs is an inevitable trend and one that should not be ignored.

The changing landscape in Gladstone reflects a broader global shift towards sustainable and clean energy sources. While the transition brings uncertainties, it also presents new opportunities for workers to apply their skills in emerging industries. With the guidance and support of industry experts, workers in Gladstone are encouraged to adapt and seize the possibilities that the green economy offers.

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