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Russel Northe MLA:
Latrobe Valley Back to Work Scheme - Northe

Considerations to reinstate Latrobe Valley Back to Work Scheme.

By Portal Admin - 22nd September 2020 - Back to News

Member for Morwell, Russell Northe has today in State Parliament asked if the State Government was considering reinstating the recently terminated Latrobe Valley Back to Work Scheme.

The Latrobe Valley Back to Work Scheme was introduced in January 2017 following the closure of Hazelwood Power Station and essentially it financially incentivised local employers to employ local persons who were unemployed during this difficult period.

"The Scheme was utilised by many local employers and in turn was of great assistance in finding employment for local unemployed workers" Mr Northe began.

"I have recently received feedback from some local employers who noted the Latrobe Valley Back to Work Scheme had closed despite it being an important initiative over the past couple of years for a number of sectors" Mr Northe said.

"These organisations were provided funding under the Scheme to employ and train unemployed people in our community at a time when most needed, and this specific type of assistance is still required given impacts are still being felt from industry shutdowns and of course the economic and employment impacts of COVID-19" Mr Northe said.

According to a Latrobe Valley Authority Report as of November 2019 the Back to Work Scheme had provided;

"Up to $9000 funding per worker for businesses who employ and train unemployed people who live in the Latrobe Valley. (With) 1245 payments made (1017 full time, 228 part time roles)".

The State Revenue Office website explained that this scheme would be in place until 30 June 2020 or until the $6 million funding cap is exhausted.

"It is unclear how much of the $6 million has been expended under the program, however if there if this still excess monies that are unallocated then I believe the Government should continue the Latrobe Valley Back to Work Scheme or introduce a similar initiative" said Mr Northe.

"I appreciate the Government has some COVID-19 business support programs in place; however, the Government has also recognised the Latrobe Valley an Economic Growth Zone and therefore the necessity for specific support and assistance is recognised" Mr Northe continued.

"I have also recently written to the Treasurer and the Minister for Regional Development to seek their consideration in extending this Scheme or to contemplate introducing a similar initiative that will assist people getting back into the workforce whilst at the same time supporting local businesses in such a difficult climate", Mr Northe concluded.

Mr Northes speech is attached for your reference.

Members Statement - Latrobe Valley Back to Work Scheme


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