Member for Morwell Russell Northe will next week table a petition containing thousands of signatures to the Victorian Parliament that calls upon the State Government to explore every opportunity to reopen Hazelwood Pondage for public use.
“Both the petitions addressed to the Parliament of Victoria, and an online petition that was operating totalled in excess of 4,800 signatures, and therefore demonstrates how important the retention of Hazelwood Pondage is to our community” said Mr Northe
Mr Northe will be joined in Parliament next Wednesday by a delegation of representatives from a number of local groups and organisations who have advocated strongly for the retention of Hazelwood Pondage.
“In addition to tabling the petition on Wednesday, we hope that the Minister for Regional Development will take the time to meet with a local delegation of concerned residents to discuss the issues at hand, and any potential solutions that would enable Hazelwood Pondage to be reopened” Mr Northe said.
Mr Northe said that he had previously written to the Minister requesting that she meet with local residents but a response had not been forthcoming at this point in time. (see letter attached)
“The Government and its Ministers have continually stated that they would consult with the local community about the future of Hazelwood Pondage, but this has not occurred at all; hence why the Minister should avail herself next week to meet with local residents” said Mr Northe.
Mr Northe has made several previous attempts to seek answers from the Minister, however the responses received thus far have been disappointing to say the least, and quite rightly the community are asking why the State Government won’t step in and at the very least discuss any potential solutions that can be explored to re-open Hazelwood Pondage.
“There are many examples of where the State Government has stepped in to save important assets and industries in local communities including the recent purchase of a sawmill in Heyfield, so it is difficult to fathom the lack of interest the Government is currently showing in relation to such an iconic and important attraction like Hazelwood Pondage” added Mr Northe