Mr NORTHE (Morwell) — This week in Parliament I was proud to host a Love Latrobe exhibition in Queens Hall. This was a great opportunity to showcase some of the unique and diverse businesses and organisations within Latrobe City to the Parliament and subsequently to the people of Victoria.
I want to personally thank Latrobe City for their assistance and all businesses and organisations that have taken considerable time and effort to display a snapshot of what the Latrobe Valley has to offer. Thank you to Gippsland Printers, the State Emergency Service, including the Morwell State Emergency Service unit, Safetech, Australian Paper, Narkoojee wines, Latrobe Valley Enterprises, Latrobe City Visitor Information Centre, Mahindra Aerospace and The View From Here.
It is a very challenging time in the Latrobe Valley, with the closure and the potential closure of a number of businesses, both large and small. At the same time we have some incredible businesses and organisations that are achieving some amazing results domestically, nationally and internationally. However, we need every bit of assistance possible and it is incumbent on government at all levels, and their departments and agencies, to support our local businesses and organisations at every opportunity. For the Latrobe Valley this is absolutely critical right now.
There are opportunities for government departments and agencies to better support our local businesses through the procurement of goods and services. However, this does not appear to be a focus of this government. While I appreciate there are incentives to attract new businesses and industries to the valley, more needs to be done to support and protect existing businesses and jobs. That is not negotiable. We just cannot afford to see more businesses close their doors and for this government to simply shrug its shoulders in response.