Regionalisation: Saving the Valley – Jobs and lower Energy costs

Regional Development – addressing jobs in Gippsland

The public announcement of the decision to close the Hazelwood power station provides the Liberal Party with its first opportunity to implement its recently announced plan of a pragmatic stance to solving real issues that face Victorians.

As the State President has identified voters are not attracted to rhetoric but to practical solutions. People in the Latrobe Valley now need new jobs that are appropriate to their skills and social expectations. Men who worked with machinery, be that operating it or maintaining it, do not get satisfaction as ‘call centre’ operators or social workers. The Andrews approach to solving the Valley’s jobs issues is to create a new bureaucracy to look into the issues. Working families deserve a more pragmatic approach.

The Parliamentary party should immediately announce two actions it will take on being elected at the next State election:

  1. The immediate construction of the previously MMBW planned and designed Mitchell River dam including a Hydro-Electric generation component that will utilise the existing infra structure and provide suitable employment for the redundant skilled workforce.

  2. The abolition of payroll tax on salaries and wages of persons whose employment is based in Gippsland and 100 kilometres from the Parliament House to encourage business to locate and utilise the resources available in both human and social capital as well as lifestyle in Gippsland.

The benefits are both obvious and irrefutable. The dam would provide flood mitigation to protect

  • top soil, pasture land and both public and private property.

  • public infrastructure, pipelines, bridges and highways and power and water resources and

  • supplement Melbourne’s water supply (drought proof) and allow larger irrigation utility to our northern food bowl producers.

  • provide clean hydro electrical power to Victorian users, allowing lower unsubsidised pricing.

  • capitalise on the existing infrastructure maintained by the redundant workforce.

This is simple, and easily achieved. It is far more efficacious than the proposed Snowy Pumped Hydro Scheme, while critically it is cheaper and sustainable. But even more importantly it also provides the workers who have been displaced directly by government actions with meaningful employment and their region with a future.

This is the Liberal Party not being agile and adept but simply looking after Victorians

Fears that if announced now the ALP will steal these actions are an indication that a Liberal government would be comprised of inept people not capable of 100 ideas of similar strength and appeal to the Victorian people.

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