Friday, June 21, 2024

Latrobe eyes future industry opportunities as decline hits

Latrobe City Council is seeking to partner with the Federal and Victorian Governments to support a collaborative transition for the region as it looks to encourage economic growth.

Council says the decline of large industry in past years has been magnified with the warning by Opal, owners of the Maryvale Paper Mill, that worker stand-downs may become necessary following a supply issue with hardwood pulp used in the manufacturing of the plant’s paper and paper packaging lines.

The paper mill is one of the Latrobe Valley’s largest employers, with around 800 workers.

Coupled with an announcement in September, that coal-fired power station AGL Loy Yang A will close by 2035, new employment sectors and job opportunities in the region are very much needed, says Mayor of Latrobe City, Kellie O’Callaghan.

The Mayor said the community was aware of impending closures and changes to local industry and the continued work that supports economic diversification in Latrobe City including business support, the Gippsland Logistics Precinct, Advanced Air Mobility and Transition Plan.

However, she acknowledged the uncertainty over the future of the Mill and early power station closures would create a requirement for additional support for impacted workers.

She is urging other levels of government to work with Council on future programs to support economic growth.

“Our community is continuing to feel the insecurity that surrounds the future of our largest industries including power generation and now the uncertainty surrounding supply and operations of the Maryvale Mill,” said Mayor O’Callghan.

“We need support, as Latrobe City will be most directly impacted through the loss of direct and indirect jobs across our major industry sectors. The Mill has been a cornerstone of the region’s economic landscape for over 85 years, and like the proud history the region has with power generation, the impacts through closures or reduced operating capacity will be felt far and wide.

“Studies undertaken in recent years found that for every job at the Maryvale Mill there is a flow on externally of another job in their supply chain, this extends to a wider local economic impact in our business community.”

A careful and collaborative approach to early closures across Latrobe’s industry sector and additional support during this time will build on Council’s Strength Led Transition, the Mayor said.

Latest Articles