Advance Morwell has welcomed the announcement that the Premier will lead a Latrobe Valley Taskforce in response to the Hazelwood Power Station closure.
According to Advance Morwell spokesperson John Guy, the premier’s involvement in the Taskforce is a step in the right direction. The Latrobe Valley Taskforce is a great initiative and while the Premier’s involvement is good to see, the reality is that the transition away from brown coal generation is such a big issue that it will require input from all levels of government.” said Mr. Guy.
“We are calling on the Premier to invite representatives from the local community, Latrobe City, the Federal Government and Committee for Gippsland to participate to participate in a forum that will inform the Cabinet in a forum that will inform the Cabinet Taskforce.” he added.
Advance Morwell is taking a broader view of the anticipated closure of Hazelwood, seeing this is the first in a series of significant generation plant closures which will impact the region over many years to come. “Regions all over the world have experienced the scale of change the Latrobe Valley is about to endure and regardless of the industries involved, the impacts on their communities and economies have been significant – some well-managed, but unfortunately most not.” said Mr. Guy.
Advance Morwell believes there is a requirement for a long term, comprehensive and multi-faceted strategy, that will not only deal with the impact of Hazelwood’s closure, but also plan for the future closure of other generation assets in the region.
“While we are hearing about the immediate job losses in the power industry and our hearts go out to those individuals who will be losing their jobs as a result, there will be much broader impacts felt throughout the region as the economic repercussions of the closure flow on to our small business operators, their employees and families.” said Mr. Guy.
“The future of this region is now in the balance. Only with a comprehensive long term whole of government plan, can we capitalise on the region’s assets and turn a potential economic disaster into a successful example of economic transition.”
“The alternative, will be social and economic devastation that that the rest of the Victorian community will have to bear for many years to come” he added.
Further Information contact John Guy, telephone 5134 2371 or 0417 591 861