Victorian Trades Hall Council has declared today’s announcement that French owner ENGIE will close Hazelwood power station a “call to action”.
Quotes attributable to Luke Hilakari, Secretary Victorian Trades Hall Council
“Today's announcement will not be a shock to the La Trobe Valley community but it is a call to action.
“For generations, the workers in the La Trobe Valley have powered our nation. It's time for us to pay that support back and ensure that every single worker will get a job.”
“We do not want to see La Trobe Valley communities ending up like Detroit, ending up ghost towns, we’ve got to commit to a transition plan that supports these communities.”
“The State Government has committed $40million to the La Trobe Valley economic development program, now we need to see the Commonwealth come to the table. This shouldn’t be about party politics, ideology shouldn’t matter. The Federal Government has a responsibility to Victoria and to the La Trobe Valley to make sure this transition is successful.”
“The first thing we need is for current workers at Hazelwood to have certainty about future employment opportunities.
“We call on the State and Federal Governments to coordinate potential job opportunities with the other energy companies and local employers.
“We also seek the fast tracking of local infrastructure projects, which should only be awarded to companies who employ local workers.
“Works on mine rehabilitation and plant decommissioning should be part of the program to provide ongoing employment.
“We need an urgent response, but also a response that is credible. People in the La Trobe Valley need to know that they’re not being abandoned, they need a plan that will expand current industries and bring new industries to the region.
Edwina Byrne, 0409017140