I raise to the Chamber the Latrobe Valley Back to work scheme that originally commenced in January 2017 in response to early and prompt closure of Hazelwood Power Station. It was delivered as a component of the original $266 million support package to provide assistance for employers to train and employ eligible to job seekers as a result of the job losses that ensued. According the Latrobe Valley
Authority, the scheme has provided. Specifically the scheme provided:
“Up to $9000 funding per worker for businesses who employ and train unemployed people who live in the Latrobe Valley. 1245 payments made (1017 full time, 228 part time roles)”
The Back to Work Scheme was effectively terminated on 30 June, 2020 much to the disappointment of many of our local business community who believe this was an effective program for employers and employees alike. Given the economic conditions the Latrobe Valley has endured for some time now and in contending with the COVID-19 pandemic. I have recently written to the Treasurer and the Minister for Regional Development urging the Government to consider reinstating this program within the Latrobe Valley.