Bath calls for Inquiry on Latrobe Valley’s future

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath will raise a motion in State Parliament this week calling for an Inquiry into the economic future of Latrobe Valley

The motion comes after it was announced Yallourn Power Station will be closing four years early last week, destroying thousands more jobs in the region.

Ms Bath says a real commitment and comprehensive plan is required to transition Latrobe Valley and ensure a vibrant future.

“Our jobs and local industries are continuing to be decimated.

“Yet in return, our community hasn’t seen any real planning for the future.  It’s been one economic shock after the other.

“Latrobe Valley boasts a highly skilled workforce; new industries and job creation must support the expertise of our people and complement the liveability of our region.

“The early closure of Yallourn Power Station must be treated as a catalyst for change.”

Ms Bath’s motion to be debated later this week calls on the Andrews Labor Government to work with all facets of the Latrobe Valley community and map out a comprehensive economic plan for the future.

It also seeks to evaluate the performance outcomes of past economic stimulus initiatives including the establishment of the Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA).

Ms Bath said all cross sections of the Latrobe Valley community deserve the opportunity to involved in decision making about its future, and an Inquiry would facilitate this.

“Recent stimulus projects have focused on liveability and short term infrastructure developments, instead of cultivating and supporting industries which engage our existing highly skilled workforce.

“A bipartisan approach is needed to ensure Latrobe Valley is a thriving place to live, work and raise a family.

“Any plan must capture the Latrobe Valley’s potential – it’s time to let the community decide what our future looks like.

“The Andrews Labor Government has done a lot of telling in Latrobe Valley.

“It’s time to come to ask our community what they want and need for a successful future and an Inquiry is the best way for this to progress.”