Last month Member for Morwell Russell Northe commenced a petition calling upon the State Government to explore every possible option to reopen Hazelwood Pondage for the benefit of local residents and tourists alike.
“On behalf of the Morwell Electorate and due to the overwhelming outcry from concerned residents, stakeholders and users of Hazelwood Pondage, over 3,000 signatures have now been captured both online and in hard copy petitions,” said Mr Northe
Originally, the petition was due to be close at the end of March but with such strong support coming through my office on a daily basis, I intend to keep the petition open until the end of April.
This is something the community feels very strongly and passionate about, in making sure the Pondage is reopened for public use. I had raised this issue in Parliament more than twelve months ago with the then Minister for Resources, who advised that the Government would be working with the community and stakeholders to try and find an outcome – however the complete opposite has occurred with the Government completely ignoring the issue at hand.
“With user groups such as Latrobe Valley Yacht Club and Sailablilty facing an uncertain future, not to mention the impact upon local businesses, recreational users, campers, and local residents, action needs to be taken address the current issues that have caused the Pondage to be closed” Mr Northe said.
“The issue was again raised in Parliament recently when I questioned the Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes on the same subject; however my call for the State Government to assist in finding an outcome was essentially rejected.” said Mr Northe
This is a valuable community asset, and our community has made it loud and clear they want the Pondage retained for current and future generations to enjoy. We want the State Government to work with the local community and all stakeholders in exploring every possible option to reopen the Pondage.
“More than 3,000 people have already voiced their support of this cause and I implore the Minister to listen and act in finding a solution so Hazelwood Pondage can once again be utilised by all user groups and the general public.” Mr Northe said.