Unions and business groups are urging the federal government to come up with industry plans to protect businesses before introducing its carbon emissions tax.
Australian Manufacturing Worker's Union (AMWU) national secretary Dave Oliver said while the introduction of the carbon tax could see net job growth, as displaced workers take up work in other sectors, the lack of a government plan for industry made reform much more difficult.
More liaison between business, unions and government was needed, Mr Oliver said.
"I've agreed with the Prime Minister (Julia Gillard) when she says putting a price on carbon is up there with the reforms that we saw (in) the 80s when we floated our dollar and opened our markets up," he said.
"But the thing that's missing, that's not here now, is those initiatives were backed up with a plan.
"We had plans for our car industry, we had plans for our steel industry, we had plans for our ship building industry and that's what we need going forward."
The Federal Government has faced heavy criticism over its planned carbon tax since Ms Gillard announced the proposal earlier this year.
Central to the criticism is a lack of detail about who and what will be directly affected by the tax.