Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has used debate in Parliament to raise concerns about the closure of Hazelwood and the influence the Victorian Greens are having on the policies of the Andrews Labor Government.
‘We have heard a lot over the past two weeks about the fallout from the impending closure of the Hazelwood power station (and) people in my electorate are asking why – why would Daniel Andrews allow this to happen,’ said Mr Blackwood.
‘Daniel Andrews and his Government are complicit in a decision that is going to devastate the Latrobe Valley and undermine energy security across the country.
‘They have refused to look at real alternatives, ignored genuine employment opportunities for Hazelwood workers and their families and chosen to ignore the massive hit that will be delivered to the economy of Gippsland.
‘As the old saying goes, ‘if you sleep with dogs you are bound to wake with fleas’, and this can be applied to the Andrews Government-Greens alliance that is currently governing Victoria.
Mr Blackwood said the Andrews Government could send a clear message to the Valley, that it is serious about protecting its remaining workforce, by winding up the Forest Industry Taskforce that is currently being used by the Greens to undermine and put at risk more Latrobe Valley jobs.
‘If the Andrews Government does not shut down the Forest Industry Taskforce, Australian Paper will be the next major Latrobe Valley employer to close.
‘Another 1,000 direct and 4,000 indirect Latrobe Valley jobs will be gone at the hands of Daniel Andrews.
‘During a recent sitting week the Greens Member for Prahran put a question to the Premier that was based on a total lie.
‘The premise of the question was that all of the Leadbeater’s possum habitat would be logged by 2018.
This is a blatant lie and deliberate deception of this Parliament aimed at influencing the outcomes of the Forest Industry Taskforce.
‘Given the actions of the Andrews Government, or the lack of action, with the closure of Hazelwood, their alliance with the Greens and their total dependence on Green preferences to remain in Government, the people of Gippsland are extremely nervous,’ Mr Blackwood said.