Today’s announcement of the decision to close the Yallourn Power Station four years earlier than originally planned will be a blow to workers, their families, local suppliers and the broader Gippsland region.
I want to thank all Latrobe Valley power station workers for providing reliable and affordable energy to our state for decades.
As a local Member of Parliament, I will be working from now until the closure date in 2028 to ensure workers receive their full entitlements and our community manages the social and economic impacts better than the aftermath of the Hazelwood Power Station shutdown.
On a positive note we have seven years notice to undertake the necessary planning and reskilling of the workforce to ensure a successful transition in our region.
But that doesn’t change the fact that Yallourn’s current generation capacity of up to 1480 megawatts will need to be replaced and the Victorian Government has failed to plan for our state’s future energy needs.
I’m concerned that the Andrews Government doesn’t have a proper plan to replace the reduced capacity in Victoria, and the Labor Party has continued to fail the blue-collar workers it used to represent.
I have already held discussions with my Cabinet colleagues in Canberra, and I understand the Federal Government will model the impact of the planned closure to help ensure the supply of affordable and reliable power for consumers.
As an essential service, the Federal Government expects the market to set up to deliver enough dispatchable generation to keep the lights on and prices low once Yallourn closes.
Again this is a sad day for the Latrobe Valley community but we have overcome many challenges throughout our region’s history and I’m confident we have the time to support workers and families who will be displaced by this decision.