Gippsland South The Nationals Hazelwood Danny O'Brien Latrobe valley Authority LVA transition

Time for answers on jobs and the LVA

The Nationals have called on the Andrews Labor Government to clearly outline whether the Latrobe Valley Authority has a future and how the region will be assisted to transition and grow new jobs.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has called on the government in State Parliament to make clear whether it will be supporting the Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA) going forward.

“The LVA’s funding was scheduled to run out in June but was extended as part of COVID-19 arrangements until the forthcoming State Budget.

“The transition and need for new jobs and industry in the Latrobe Valley hasn’t gone away and the Government needs to show how it’s going to continue to support Gippsland going into the future.”

Mr O’Brien said the LVA was established in the wake of the early closure of Hazelwood in 2017 and that, and other challenges, continue to loom over Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley.

“We last year had the disastrous announcement that the Government will shut down the native timber industry and its energy policies are clearly threatening to bring forward the closure of Yallourn Power Station before its scheduled closure in 2032.”

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath said now is not the time for Labor to turn its back on the Valley.

“There are serious questions about whether the LVA has provided value for money or whether it’s been more a vehicle for Labor Government photo opportunities.

“However it’s certain that there needs to be continuing support for the Valley and Gippsland industries going forward and it’s up to the Government to show it cares.”

The Nationals said $266 million had been allocated to the LVA and its programs and it claims to have helped create 2500 jobs – that’s $106,000 of taxpayers’ money per job.  Compare that to the highly successful Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund under the former Liberal Nationals Government, which for $15 million delivered by Regional Development Victoria, created 1200 jobs at just $12,500 per job.

 

29 October 2020

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