Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has said today’s announcement by Engie that Hazelwood will close is a major blow to an already struggling Latrobe Valley and wider Gippsland community.
‘Hazelwood has been a core employer within Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley for generations and today’s announcement will fundamentally change the future of our region,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘My thoughts today are with the workers, their families and our local communities who will face the almost immediate effects of today’s announcement by Engie to end its involvement at Hazelwood.
‘Some families in the Gippsland region are generational power industry workers and supporting their transition to alternative industries is critical.
‘What we need now is a plan to move Gippsland forward, that will help generate jobs and encourage growth to help not only support those directly affected by the closure today but also future generations who will call Gippsland home.
Mr Blackwood said it was now critical that Local, State and Federal Governments focused on moving the region forward to help create new jobs, growth and employment opportunities.
‘Gippsland has enormous potential to grow its existing industries as well as expand into new frontiers.
‘We have some of the best farm land in the world, the best places to visit and are uniquely positioned to lay out a long term plan for restructuring our employment sectors with the closure of such a major industry.
‘Local, State and Federal Governments now need to work together to ensure we get not only the plan right for the future, but support that plan with the right investment and funding to ensure it can be delivered over the long term.
‘I will continue to work with my colleagues within the region to ensure Gippsland receives the support it needs through this transition,’ Mr Blackwood said.