June 28, 2012
Gippsland and Latrobe Valley families have no reason to trust the assurances by the Prime Minister that they will be adequately compensated for the impacts of the carbon tax, according to Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.
Mr Chester will return from Canberra this evening and host a visit by Leader of the Nationals Warren Truss on Friday.
“It’s important to bring my party leader to the region to make sure he has a first hand understanding of the impacts the carbon tax will have on local people,” Mr Chester said.
“Warren Truss has met with industry leaders in the past and on the eve of the new tax being introduced, it will be an opportunity for him to hear how the carbon tax will cascade through the local economy.”
Speaking in Parliament this week, Mr Chester said there was still a lack of certainty for power station workers and their families in the Latrobe Valley.
“The blue collar workers in my region, who used to be the heart and soul of the Australian Labor Party, know they have been sold out,” Mr Chester told Parliament.
“These workers have been vilified. They have been described as ‘big polluters’ and told that their jobs will go as the government implements its policy of contract for closure.
“With just days to go until the carbon tax cascades through regional economies, there have been no guarantees whatsoever given by this government.
“Those opposite like to say that the Opposition is scaremongering on this topic. The hardworking people in the Latrobe Valley are scared. They are scared about the future of their jobs under this government and its policy to shut down power stations.
“The Labor Party of old stood up for blue collar workers; now it simply stands for staying in power at all costs.
“Why make it harder for regional communities by implementing the world’s biggest carbon tax during an already difficult time?”