Latrobe Valley seeks an end to economic uncertainty

The Andrews Government must come clean on the future of the Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA), with funding set to run out in just five months’ time, The Nationals Member for Eastern Region Melina Bath says.

In State Parliament today Ms Bath pushed the government to provide certainty about the LVA’s role, after AGL announced it intends to close Loy Yang A earlier than planned.

“The Andrews Government has admitted the LVA has run out of money for grants. Labor must now tell the community what it plans to do with the LVA,” said Ms Bath.

“Our region has suffered significant economic and social strain from the closure of Hazelwood Power Station.

“The announced closure of Yallourn power station by 2028 and the Andrews Government’s appalling policy to end the native timber industry only further exacerbates the need for targeted government investment and good policy,” said Ms Bath.

Ms Bath said families need access to full time employment to stay in the region.

“While the LVA’s short-term construction projects might have created liveability infrastructure, locals are rightly questioning why the Andrews Government does not have a vision for jobs in the Valley that are long term and sustainable,” said Ms Bath.

“We need to expand current and emerging industries and develop new technologies, so the Latrobe Valley can thrive again.

“Stringing out the announcement on the LVA’s future shows a state government focused on itself rather than the needs of the local community.”

Ms Bath said the Latrobe Valley needs reliable and affordable energy and targeted investment to encourage local manufacturing.

“Over the past 20 years, more than 50,000 jobs have been lost in Victoria’s manufacturing sector.

“Labor continues to spruik the creation of jobs in the Valley, but few of these are ongoing, long term jobs.

“If we are elected to government, The Nationals will help rebuild the Valley’s manufacturing sector through the establishment of a $2.5 billion Bringing Manufacturing Home fund.

“Government has a key role to play in restoring business confidence and there are many established manufacturing businesses in Latrobe Valley that would thrive from investment.

“Rebuilding local and regional economies must be priority and form part of Latrobe Valley’s recovery and future,” Ms Bath said.