The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath has highlighted the emerging threat of a potential Labor Greens coalition to the future of industries and jobs in the Latrobe Valley.
Ms Bath was speaking after the Greens reaction to the state budget where they again called on the Labor party to stop the coal industry, scrap funding for the recently announced coal to hydrogen project and create the Great Forest National Park, which would effectively kill Gippsland’s timber industry.
Ms Bath said she was alarmed that Greens had spoken openly about negotiating with the Labor party ahead of the budget.
“The Greens have been spruiking that they secured additional staff for Parks Victoria through their budget negotiations with Labor. Indeed the Greens Member for Melbourne Ellen Sandell referred to budget negotiations with Labor several times in her budget reply speech to Parliament this week.
“This is unprecedented that the Government of the day would be having budget negotiations with a minor party or indeed any other party in the Parliament ahead of delivering the budget.
“Daniel Andrews needs to come clean on what he has actually agreed to with the Greens and what the impacts of this will be on the Latrobe Valley”.
Nationals candidate for Morwell, Sheridan Bond said she was concerned that the Greens would be in an even stronger position after the next election.
“Labor currently only governs with a one seat majority in the Lower House and there are three Greens Members with the prospect of more victories for the minor party in the inner city in the upcoming election.
“The Greens have openly stated their desire to win the balance of power and force the Labor party to adopt their extreme policies.
“Getting out of coal and ending the timber industry would be disastrous for the Latrobe Valley’s major industries and jobs.
“We are already have one of the highest unemployment rates in the state and cannot afford another four years of Labor.
“The only way to ensure that the Labor Greens coalition does not destroy the Valley is to vote for the Nationals who will continue our support for the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland’s major industries”.