Latrobe Valley workers have vented their frustration at being overlooked for a number of local large scale construction projects currently underway.
Member for Morwell Russell Northe said he had been contacted by a number of Latrobe Valley workers who were angry that job opportunities on major local projects were being outsourced to personnel outside of the region.
“I’ve had some pretty disappointed guys contacting me about the fact that many of these local projects have been spruiked by the Andrews Labor Government as employment opportunities for locals but this has not eventuated,” Mr Northe said.
“The simple fact is that employing local people for local project means the money stays in our communities and at this stage Latrobe Valley workers have been left high and dry by the Andrews Labor Government.”
Mr Northe said whether it was private or State Government projects it was important that local workers were given every opportunity to win employment.
Most recently he said he had been contacted by many local businesses and job seekers who were interested in working on projects such as the Latrobe Regional Hospital redevelopment, the Morwell Primary School regeneration project and the Esso pipeline replacement project which was contracted to Nacap Australia.
“We had the Energy and Resources Minister Lily D’Ambrosio in Rosedale the other week during the start of construction on the Esso pipeline saying how it was ‘great news for local jobs’, but it appears the practicality is far different,” Mr Northe said.
“Local highly-qualified personnel have put to me that they found it extremely difficult to obtain information to participate in any of these projects and when they do source the information, workers are simply being told it is too late.
“We must find a better solution that informs our community of future major projects that will provide an opportunity for locals to participate in.
“I’ve been advised that many contractors are being brought in from other parts of the state and from other states and this is an enormous source of frustration from locals.”
Mr Northe said whilst I appreciate there does need to be external contractors engaged for some speciality works in our region, more needs to be done to ensure locals at least have a chance to compete for work where we have the appropriate skill sets. “Employment opportunities in the Latrobe Valley had been impacted following the Labor Government’s decision to axe the $15 million Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund,” Mr Northe said.
“We remember before the election the Premier promising 100,000 new full time jobs would be created in the first two years and we know this has not been the case, as latest job statistics show nearly 3,600 full time jobs in our region have been lost since Daniel Andrews came to office.
“Instead of ensuring local people won local employment Mr Northe said he had been told there had been a lack of information and transparency from the Andrews Government.
“Unemployment is one of the biggest concerns for the Latrobe Valley and the Andrews Government must do more to support our region’s workforce by providing more assistance to grow jobs in the Morwell electorate.”
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