Crowley, CM, Environmental Employment Opportunities: How Green are Australia's Green Job Credentials?, Environmental Politics, 5, (4) pp. 607-631. ISSN 0964-4016 (1996) [Refereed Article]
This article defines the character of the green jobs agenda in Australia, identifying the nature of the policy response to environmental employment demands during the period of the recent federal Labor government.1 Drawing upon ecopolitical characterisations of the diverse 'shades of green', it argues that the acceptability of green job proposals in the Australian context has varied to the extent of their compatibility with economic growth objectives. Australia's environmental employment credentials have rested upon reactive and narrowly defined notions of 'green jobs'. Three 'waves' of official environmental employment initiatives are identified, (ecological restoration, green jobs in industry, and employment brokering), and are shown to be couched in rhetoric asserting resource dependency and economic growth. Ecological modernisation is considered to offer a way beyond the 'jobs versus environment' impasse that has prevented a bona fide greening of employment in Australia. It would see the economy-environment dichotomy reconceptualised so that environmental protection becomes 'a stepping stone, not an alternative, to economic growth' [Young, 1993: 89-90]. Rather than burdening future growth, sustainability, intergenerational equity and environmental amenity are considered by the ecological modernist to be superior goods [Weale, 1992: 76].2.
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