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Opal workers undergoing timber transition get support of Latrobe City Council by urging Victorian government for more renewable jobs

Latrobe City Council supports Opal workers in timber transition, urges government action for renewable jobs amid power plant closures and supply uncertainty at Maryvale Mill.

By news@gippsland - 24th May 2023 - Back to News

Latrobe City Council continues to stand by Opal workers following the early transition announcement away from native timber logging by 1 January 2024. Council has been calling on the Federal and Victorian governments to support a considered transition for the region given pending coal-fired power generators closures and uncertainty linked to timber supply impacting production at the Maryvale Mill.

Region's traditional industries affected by power plant closures; Latrobe City develops transition plan for economic transformation

Region's traditional industries affected by power plant closures; Latrobe City develops transition plan for economic transformation

Immediate government action

Following yesterday's announcement, council is calling on the Victorian government to take immediate action and fast-track their commitment to establishing the State Electricity Commission and associated renewable energy projects to provide new jobs and industry in the region.

Mayor of Latrobe City, Councillor Kellie O'Callaghan acknowledged that the news would be difficult for many in the community. "In all discussions of transition, we have made it clear that knowing cease dates are vital for those concerned and for future planning and supporting these industries. The announcement to transition away from native timber logging in 2024 is earlier than predicted - making the adjustment more challenging."

Community support needed

Mayor O'Callaghan said, "Our support remains with Opal workers and the effect this will have on our community. We acknowledge the support packages outlined by the Victorian government, but more can be done to create security. The Mill has been a cornerstone of Latrobe City's economic landscape for over 85 years, with reduced operating capacity expected to be felt far and wide."

"We must not forget that for every job at Maryvale Mill there is a flow externally from another job in their supply chain and to our community more broadly. We will be actively working to learn more about the impacts the Victorian government's Supply Chain Resilience Fund and Community Development Fund will have."

"This is the time where we must work in conjunction with 'Our Transition' plan to ensure strategic investment is made for the liveability and prosperity of our City," Mayor O'Callaghan said. For those wanting more information, please visit Our Transition plan page.

Pictures from Darren Chester Facebook page.


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