The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has thrown his support behind Latrobe City Council’s plan to create a green, vibrant space for shoppers, businesses and visitors in the heart of Morwell.
Mr Chester said governments at all levels needed to support existing retailers and service providers and help build up the small business sector to strengthen the local economy and create jobs.
“Morwell has suffered several blows recently, including the announcement two major retailers at Mid Valley Shopping Centre will close and 60 workers at the Hazelwood mine will be out of work earlier than expected,” Mr Chester said.
“But we must look to the future and work out how we can support the Morwell community to thrive. Part of the answer, I believe, lies in making the town’s central commercial area more attractive as a place to do business, shop and socialise.
“The Future Morwell Steering Group has completed detailed designs for the Morwell CBD Revitalisation Project and is now looking at funding avenues.
“I believe in the potential of this project to transform Morwell, so I am working with my Federal Government colleagues to find a way to get it started.”
Mr Chester said the Federal Government had made significant funding announcements in Morwell and surrounds, primarily for local sporting and community infrastructure, to improve liveability in the region.
Current projects under construction include the Morwell Recreation Reserve ($5 million Federal Government funding), Morwell-Traralgon Shared Pathway ($1.6 million) and Churchill hockey pavilion ($200,000). In addition, the Federal Government has provided $230,000 to install CCTV cameras in the Morwell central business district.
“I am proud to represent Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley and will continue working to make sure the region continues to receive the funding and support needed during these challenging times,” Mr Chester said.