Mr NORTHE (Morwell) — In recent times we have had the Premier and a bevy of ministers ride into the Latrobe Valley and pretend to create jobs for locals. However, this is far from reality. The reality is that our community desperately need real jobs for real people with real families, yet the state government thinks that a shuffling of public service jobs across various government departments and agencies will suffice. One has to question what the state government is doing to retain jobs in the Latrobe Valley. Businesses such as BOC Gas and Alternate Dwellings have closed their doors, whilst Johnson Health Tech is soon to relocate out of the valley, with further job losses.
And now the Latrobe Valley Hotel in Morwell is closing, and it appears the state government has done nothing to save these important jobs across all those businesses. The Latrobe Valley Hotel’s operations manager, Melissa Cain, said the loss of business following the closure of Hazelwood power station is part of the reason they will not stay open. She said:
We lost a lot of accommodation as well. We had a lot of people that would come down from Melbourne and stay with us as well, and that came to an end as the power station did as well.
Yet despite this, apparently the state government’s policies and budget decisions around Hazelwood are not to blame. The Premier said he would fight for every Victorian job. However, if you live in the Latrobe Valley it simply does not apply.
In addition, approved developments like the Lake Narracan subdivision project, which would bring hundreds of jobs to the region, currently sit idle despite assurances from the Premier and the state government that these local developments would be fast-tracked as soon as possible to get our local economy moving — a fail for the Premier.