Latrobe region has one of the highest unemployment rates of all Victorian municipalities, figures from the June 2016 quarter have revealed.
The unemployment rate in Latrobe has continued to rise and is now at 10.7 per cent – a 3.4 per cent jump since December 2014.
Member for Morwell Russell Northe said this increase was particularly distressing, given reports on the weekend the Hazelwood mine may shutdown as early as April 2017.
“Jobs in our region are already hard to come by,” Mr Northe said.
“If the Hazelwood mine were to close, 550 direct jobs and hundreds and hundreds of indirect jobs would disappear.
“The Andrews Labor Government must come clean on what their plan is to retain jobs in the region. After slating the mine for closure in 2010, Labor has no excuse to be unprepared.”
More than 10,000 full-time jobs and 3289 full-time youth jobs have been lost in the Latrobe-Gippsland region since December 2014.
Mr Northe said the Andrews Labor Government had sat on its hands for nearly two years while jobs evaporated.
“The former Coalition government’s $15 million Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund was scrapped by Labor along with many other local programs,” he said.
“Daniel Andrews left Latrobe out in the cold as our community faced a growing unemployment crisis. With reports the mine may close, he can’t neglect this region any longer.”
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