Gippsland Nationals MPs have called on the Andrews Labor Government to provide the community with clarity over the future of the Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA).
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath said with the LVA’s budget expiring on 30 June 2020 and uncertainty over state government spending programs, the community deserves an explanation as to what will be happening.
“The state government has put off its own budget until October due to COVID-19 and given that the LVA’s funding runs out on 30 June, there is considerable uncertainty as to the organisation’s future.”
The LVA was set up by the Labor Government to help the Valley deal with the economic fallout of the closure of Hazelwood Power Station.
“It’s questionable as to how much the LVA has delivered in terms of employment and a transition to a stronger future for the Valley, but either way, we need some clarity on what is going to happen in future,” Ms Bath said.
“The municipalities of Baw Baw, Latrobe and Wellington which have all received funding through the LVA need to have an idea whether it will be continuing.”
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said Labor had made big promises about working with the people of Latrobe Valley and needed to outline what the future plans are.
“We’ve had blow after blow in Gippsland with the closure of Hazelwood, the Carter Holt Harvey mill and now the Andrews Labor Government’s decision to shut down the native timber industry,” Mr O’Brien said.
“With the LVA’s CEO being diverted to working on the timber industry decision, there are serious question marks about the future of the organisation.
“Labor can’t just let this limp along until the 30 June and quietly close the doors on the LVA, it needs to explain to the community what it will do for the future and how it plans to help the Latrobe Valley and the wider Gippsland area to grow and prosper.”
Ms Bath and Mr O’Brien said the government needs to release a comprehensive report on the outcomes the LVA had achieved.