496 Latrobe Valley jobs gone missing

There is a growing body of evidence to show that Labor’s electric vehicle manufacturing plant announced for Latrobe Valley in October 2018 is dead in the water.

The Premier, Daniel Andrews touted the SEA Electric project in October 2018 as a massive jobs boost for Latrobe Valley which would deliver 500 jobs for locals.

At the time the Premier said about, “this is 500 manufacturing jobs, 500 new jobs in this proud region, putting together electric vehicles.”

The project was supposed to be operational within 12 months of the Premier’s announcement.

Pressuring the Andrews Government for answers in state parliament, The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath called on Labor’s Minister for Regional Development in in June 2020 to explain the number of jobs the commercial arrangement with SEA Electric had created.

After 250 days, a written response was finally provided in February 2021 to Ms Bath, despite standing orders stating it must be answered within 14 days.

Ms Bath said the project had completely failed to create locally based jobs, establish a site, let alone manufacture one electric vehicle in Latrobe Valley despite a commercial deal being signed by the Andrews Government.

“This is quite a contrast from telling Latrobe Valley it would become the electric vehicle manufacturing capital of the nation,” said Ms Bath.

“We have a situation whereby there are only four locals employed by SEA Electric, all located in Dandenong and subsidised by the Latrobe Valley Authority – that’s 496 jobs that have gone missing.

“SEA Electric was supposed to be the anchor tenant of the Gippsland Logistics Precinct and this arrangement is no longer going ahead.”

Ms Bath said the Andrews Government must come clean on the project instead of trying to pull the wool over the eyes of Latrobe Valley community.

“Daniel Andrews owes the Latrobe Valley an honest and transparent explanation on SEA Electric and the jobs he promised to deliver, anything less is a betrayal of our community,” said Ms Bath.

“It’s time for Labor to admit Latrobe Valley’s electric vehicle manufacturing project is much more than delayed, it’s over.”