More spending on projects in ACTU plan

Matt Coughlan

Unions want huge government spending in public transport and renewable energy projects as part of a new wide-ranging jobs policy.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions is calling for targeted spending in public transit, renewable energy and utilities to move to a higher technology and lower-carbon economy.

That's alongside rewriting procurement rules to force governments to use local suppliers, workers and manufacturers.

ACTU secretary Sally McManus said the union plan mapped out a course to a more inclusive and prosperous country where wealth is more fairly shared.

"The Turnbull government can choose to spend public money to create good, secure jobs on publicly funded projects but so far they've chosen the cheapest option," Ms McManus said.

A push to have worker representatives on company boards is among more than 100 recommendations outlined in the plan.

The full text of trade agreements would be subject to mandatory parliamentary debates, with guarantees they benefited locals.

The ACTU also wants more education funding at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

The plan calls for an increase in the size of the public sector, with an end to labour hire and outsourcing being used by governments.

It also targets discrimination, with calls to be pro-active in ending the gender pay gap, as well as better programs for indigenous job-seekers and people with disabilities.

"The Turnbull government has the power to make choices that create those jobs but so far they have chosen insecure jobs for working people," Ms McManus said.