Member for Morwell Russell Northe and Leader of the Nationals Peter Walsh met with Andrew Graham of Traralgon Timber and Hardware today to discuss the downstream impacts that the closure of Carter Holt Harvey will have on local businesses.
Mr Northe said the closure of Carter Holt Harvey would have a real and damaging impact on many local small businesses, including Traralgon Timber and Hardware.
“Traralgon Timber and Hardware is one of many businesses that have suffered a downturn of business since Hazelwood closed and the situation will only worsen with Carter Holt Harvey closing,” Mr Northe said. “This announcement will hit the entire community incredibly hard and adds to growing uncertainty for local businesses and industries in the Latrobe Valley and the wider Gippsland region.”
Mr Walsh travelled to Traralgon after meeting with business owners in the Heyfield community.
He said job losses at Hazelwood Power Station and the Heyfield mill had left many local families reconsidering their future in the region.
“Unemployment in the Latrobe Valley was already up 50 per cent before the closure of Hazelwood – hundreds more have now joined the unemployment queue,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Andrews Government’s tripling of the coal tax and decision to put possums before people has left many people’s future in the region uncertain.
“The Nationals stand side-by-side with our country communities and we will continue to fight for the Andrews Labor Government to finally live up to its promise to create viable new job opportunities in the Latrobe Valley.” Mr Northe said the Latrobe Valley community was bewildered by Daniel Andrews’ and Harriet Shing’s lack of action to secure jobs at CHH and Hazelwood, while at the same time offering to buy the ASH timber mill and save jobs at Portland’ Alcoa smelter.
“Daniel Andrews’ actions are proof the Andrews Government is very willing to say they will fight for every Victorian job but when it comes to fulfilling this promise they are nowhere to be seen.”
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