Last night in State Parliament, Member for Morwell Russell Northe pleaded with the State Government to support stakeholders who have been impacted by the closure of Hazelwood Pondage.
Mr Northe highlighted in Parliament the current plight of the LV Game Fishing Club who have recently received notice that they are required to vacate from their long-standing clubrooms located at the Pondage by the 1st October, 2019 which is a bitter blow for the Club and its more than 100 members.
“Unfortunately, the casualty rate grows as another community or sporting and recreation group is about to lose access to their clubrooms within the Hazelwood Pondage precinct”, Mr Northe explained.
“This is in addition to so many stakeholders who have now been impacted or asked to leave their premises including; the LV Triathlon Club, the LV Yacht Club, Caravan Park residents and campers, local businesses, local CFA brigades and local scout and guide groups amongst others”.
A petition lodged in Parliament by Mr. Northe in June this year contained nearly 5,000 signatures from concerned community members, calling for the Pondage’s retention for recreational purposes. The Pondage has been an important asset for visitors and locals alike in Gippsland since the 1960’s.
“The Minister for Fishing and Boating has quite rightly articulated the importance of fishing in this State and encouraged an increase in fishing participation rates. By way of a Statement within the 2019 Recreational Fishing Guide (ref) the Minister said “We will continue to focus on getting more people fishing, more often”, however its imperative that existing fishing clubs and their members are also supported”, Mr Northe continued.
“Last night I’ve called upon the Government to step in and provide the LV Game Fishing Club with the help and assistance they need in their relocation and to ensure they remain a strong and vibrant local club”, continued Mr. Northe.
“This club urgently needs support for relocation costs and to secure alternative clubrooms for their members and its extensive range of memorabilia they have acquired over the past 38 years”.
“I’m regularly in contact with many clubs and community groups that have lost or who are losing access to their clubrooms and infrastructure, with little or no consultation or support from the State Government”, Mr Northe lamented.
“It simply beggars belief that many of our local sporting and recreation clubs in the Latrobe Valley are being left out in the cold and without a home due to a lack of interest from the State Government. I again plead with the Government to provide the necessary assistance and support that is desperately needed to help these groups and to whom through no fault of their own have been left in limbo”.