The following comments can be attributed to the Member for Morwell, Russell Northe:
An announcement today by the State Government of a new $10 million Economic Facilitation Fund for the Latrobe Valley is overdue.
Having attended community forums both last week and today to discuss the economic future of the Latrobe Valley it was interesting to hear of a number of initiatives from Councils, businesses, industry and the community about ideas for the future.
Over the past 18 months, many business owners have expressed their disappointment at the abolishment of previous specific local economic development programs, such as the Coalitions $15 million Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund (LVIIF).
Much lobbying and advocacy has occurred both in Parliament and in the community for the reinstatement of LVIIF or a similar fund.
It’s disappointing that the Economic Facilitation Fund is $5 million less than the Coalition’s $15 million LVIIF, but at least the announcement has restored some of the previous government’s program.
However one can’t ignore the fact that despite today’s announcement, Daniel Andrews, in his latest State Budget, delivered a whopping $252 million bill to some of the Latrobe Valley’s largest employers through his “coal royalty” tax grab.
Decisions like that and all the new taxes Daniel Andrews has brought in don’t inspire business confidence.
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