The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is supporting efforts for a worker transition program to be made available to Carter Holt Harvey employees in Morwell.
Mr Chester has asked his Ministerial colleagues to extend the same Federal Government Structural Adjustment Program announced for Hazelwood Power Station employees to Carter Holt Harvey timber mill workers who will be made redundant next month.
“Structural Adjustment Programs are a useful tool to help retrenched workers to find new employment as quickly as possible,” Mr Chester said.
“By extending the program to include Carter Holt Harvey employees, they will be eligible to receive financial assistance to help them with their job search.
“While the assistance is a modest amount, the money can make a real difference to the workers at a very difficult time for them and their families.”
Mr Chester said he believed Carter Holt Harvey workers should be eligible, because of the large-scale job losses that will be incurred when the Tramway Rd sawmill closes. About 160 positions are expected to be made redundant.
The support would be delivered through the Federal Government’s jobactive program.
Mr Chester said the Federal Government had announced record investment in the Latrobe Valley and broader Gippsland region to encourage investment and create job opportunities.
“One of the biggest announcements by the Coalition Government has been the $530 million investment in the Gippsland Line, as part of the $1.57 billion investment in Victorian regional rail,” Mr Chester said.
“It’s my expectation that the Victorian Government will make sure local retrenched workers are given every opportunity to upskill and be eligible for this work.”
Mr Chester said the Federal Government had made many resources available to retrenched workers in the Latrobe Valley.
Services for job seekers from jobactive providers include help to look for work, write a résumé, and prepare for interviews, use of self-help facilities as well as information about local employment opportunities, advice on a range of career options and employment programmes in the local area.
The Employment Services Information Line number is 13 62 68 or workers can visit http://www.jobactive.gov.au to find a local jobactive provider
The What’s Next website http://www.whatsnext.employment.gov.auis an online self-help resource for retrenched workers. It provides a range of information on careers, training opportunities, help with résumés and practical tips on finding a new job.
Any workers who are worried about their finances can also talk to Centrelink. Centrelink has Financial Information Services Officers who can talk to workers about managing their finances after redundancy.
Centrelink will also assess workers’ eligibility for income support which may depend on their individual circumstances, including income and assets.
Workers can call 132 300 and ask to speak to a Financial Information Services Officer or visit www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/financial-information-service for more information.
Redundant workers may also find it useful to contact the Commonwealth Financial Counselling programme which provides free financial counselling services to people who are experiencing personal financial difficulties.
More information on financial counselling services is available by calling the national financial counselling helpline on 1800 007 007 or by visiting www.moneysmart.gov.au.