The Nationals Melina Bath, Member for Eastern Victoria has successfully convened a round table forum that examined the Latrobe Valley’s future vision on the use of carbon as the region’s most abundant natural resource. The forum was also hosted by David South MP, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Energy and Resources; Innovation and Renewables and attended by Senator The Hon Matt Canavan, Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia.
Ms Bath said, “The Nationals recognise that the State of Victoria has vast and readily accessible carbon based resources located in the Latrobe Valley and are committed to examining future benefits and uses.
“The round table forum saw attendees discuss and develop a shared vision on the development of future technologies and pathways to commercialisation the use of carbon as a resource and provide economic benefit to both the Latrobe Valley and the state of Victoria.
“Carbon resources in Latrobe Valley present significant opportunity for the future economic development of the Latrobe Valley region. Advancement in carbon initiatives and support for new industries and technologies will play a vital role in the future economy of the Latrobe Valley as they have internationally.
Attendees at the round table included Brown Coal Innovation Australia, local, state and federal government representatives, industry and business representatives and national research organisations.
Sheridan Bond, The Nationals candidate for Morwell said there are opportunities for the use of coal outside the current power generation sector and the forum positively discussed how the Latrobe Valley could establish itself as a long-term base for high-end combined carbon product research and manufacturing.
“The Latrobe Valley workforce is highly skilled, capable and experienced. The groundwork for the region to become the ‘Hub’ or ‘Centre of Excellence’ for the future development of carbon based industries and technologies has now been established. With Federation University, industry and government support, it is possible for the region can become the nursery for new carbon based technologies through the establishment of a Carbon Cooperative Research Centre (CRC)”, said Ms Bond.
“I am excited at the prospect of high value low emission carbon manufactured products being created as they have the ability to create sustainable quality jobs for Latrobe Valley and will see our community continue to grow and develop into the future.”
“The Latrobe Valley community has an appetite to embrace new business opportunities for its natural resources and we utilised the forum to discuss how we will create the operational framework,” said Ms Bath.
“I called the carbon forum it’s important we act now to capture and establish new industries, create new jobs, maintain, and develop existing expertise within Latrobe Valley. Our region has the largest carbon resource which is a critical element in the economic development of the region.