Member for Morwell Russell Northe has used question time in Parliament today to call for an update regarding the proposed Latrobe Valley SEA Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Facility.
“Like many in my community, I was thrilled to learn last year that our region would be the destination for an Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Facility. Since the initial announcement there seems to have been very little public information available about the progression of this project which was to provide a much needed injection of local jobs”, Mr Northe said, speaking from Spring Street today.
The Premier came to town nearly twelve months ago to announce that;
“This investment will see the Latrobe Valley rightly called the capital of electric vehicle manufacturing in Australia.” (ref) “Well, today and on behalf of my community I have asked as to how the State Government is progressing with this vision,” Mr Northe explained.
“I have had a number of locals who have contacted me about the status, location and potential job opportunities of this project yet any public detail has been difficult to ascertain.” This is an important proposal from a number of perspectives and its important our community is kept informed of its progression and of any opportunities that might arise through the construction and operations of the project”. Mr Northe said.
The Latrobe Valley Authority had noted earlier this year that the proponents were working with Council to identify a site by the end of 2019, and further noted that the facility would be established by 2021. (ref)
“Legitimate questions are being asked as to whether these timelines are still accurate, has a site been identified and secured, and will locals have employment opportunities in the construction phase and once the facility is operational”, Mr Northe continued.
“The Premier noted in his 2018 media release that workers being transitioned from other industries would have the chance to work on electric vehicles through this project. Given the Governments own statistics in relation to the current employment status of former workers and contractors at Hazelwood Power Station and Carter Holt Harvey, this proposal can’t be delivered quick enough”, Mr Northe lamented.
“That is why the State Government needs to inform our community of the status and associated timelines immediately”. “I’m asking the Government to mandate support for these workers, and be clear as to why the SEA Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Facility is not a top priority for our region”.