The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath is encouraging locals to provide submissions to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the future of Latrobe Valley.
Ms Bath said there is still time for local industries, businesses and the community to provide feedback on the successes or failures of the Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA) and provide direction for future industry and jobs in the region.
“The LVA was established to create sustainable replacement jobs and transition the region’s economic future, following the closure of Hazelwood Power Station, said Ms Bath.
“Since LVA’s inception there has been valid criticism on missed long term job creation and poor communication with stakeholders and community – this needs to be unpacked and analysed,” said Ms Bath.
“This Inquiry is an opportunity for locals to drive the process and be a catalyst for positive change, as submissions form the basis of the report.
“At the conclusion of the parliamentary inquiry a report will be presented to state government as a vision for our region’s economic future – it’s vital it accurately reflects local understanding and sentiment.”
The Parliamentary Inquiry into the future of Latrobe Valley was established in March 2021 after Ms Bath moved a motion in State Parliament calling for its establishment.
Ms Bath said the Latrobe Valley community was left reeling following the announcement the Yallourn Power Station was closing four years early – a move that will destroy a thousand more local jobs and have a detrimental impact on the regional economy.
“The Yallourn announcement created more uncertainty off the back of Hazelwood’s closure and the Andrews Government’s diabolical plan to close Victoria’s native timber industry,” said Ms Bath.
“Both the energy and timber industries are major employers in the Valley and the Andrews Government is wiping out thousands of highly skills local jobs by closing them.
“It is important for a wide range of stakeholders to provide a candid appraisal on the State Government’s economic management of the Latrobe Valley and discuss our future direction.”
Ms Bath said the Inquiry report recommendations will form a directive for future state government investment and policy, and I am calling for non-bureaucratic input.
“The Inquiry requires open and frank commentary on whether we have had value for money and the future direction of the Latrobe Valley region,” said Ms Bath.
“Latrobe Valley deserves a prosperous future – this Inquiry provides locals with a say and a path forward.”
Submissions to Inquiry into the closure of the Hazelwood and Yallourn Power Stations can be made online https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/eic-lc/article/4673 or via email email@example.com.