Lights on, but no one home at Solar Vic?

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath has raised questions about the establishment of Solar Victoria in Morwell and locally based jobs in state parliament this week.

Ms Bath called on the Andrews Government clarify its 2018 election promise to create 50 local jobs based in Morwell by locating Solar Victoria at the Morwell GovHub.

“Last state election, Daniel Andrews came to Latrobe Valley and said he “will put the Latrobe Valley at the centre of the booming solar industry with a new Morwell-based government agency, Solar Victoria.”

“But it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the job ads for Solar Victoria have been advertised with the job location as either Morwell or Melbourne CBD.

“Community members are rightly sceptical about Labor’s promise for 50 locally based jobs.

“If Solar Victoria is a state government agency located in Morwell, then the jobs should be sitting here in Morwell, not the Melbourne CBD.

“The Latrobe Valley community has a right to know if Solar Victoria lights are on, but nobody’s home.

“The Andrews Government said establishing Solar Victoria at the Morwell GovHub was part of the Latrobe Valley Authority’s $266 million transition package to support economic growth and create jobs and will see the decentralisation of roles to regional and rural Victoria.

“Labor needs to come clean about exactly how many Solar Victoria jobs have been created for Latrobe Valley locals and are based here in the Valley and how many are based in Melbourne.

“It’s important for locals to know if Solar Victoria exists in name only in Morwell.”

Ms Bath said the release of the latest Budget Papers and information provided by the Minister during the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) last week raised some serious questions around Solar Victoria operations.

“The budget shows Labor’s Solar Homes Program is failing to meet its performance targets and has run a whopping $44.9 million this financial year and not come close to its expected performance targets.

“The Andrews Government’s Solar Victoria is an exorbitant lemon, which is doing little to aid decentralisation.

“Labor’s track record in creating sustainable jobs and transitioning Latrobe Valley is extremely poor – you just need to look to its management and due diligence around Steelvision and SEA Electric, both announcements failed to create local jobs.

“Locals deserve transparency from the Andrews Government on the establishment of Latrobe Valley jobs with Solar Victoria,” Ms Bath said.