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Transition Support Needed for Major Industries

Media Release

Latrobe City Council is seeking to partner with the Federal and State Governments to support a collaborative transition for the region as a matter of priority as Council continues to stand by our community.

The decline of large industry in past years is 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.

Coupled with the announcement in September, that coal-fired power station AGL Loy Yang A will close by 2035 highlights the need for new employment sectors and job opportunities in the region.

Mayor of Latrobe City, Councillor Kellie O’Callaghan 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 including for impacted workers if they are stood down and urged that other levels of government need to work with Council on future programs to support economic growth.

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.

As the decline of large industry gains momentum in the coming decades, urgent calls have been made for support of local advocacy asks including Latrobe City’s New Energy Future and the Gippsland Material Waste Recovery Facility that support new jobs and career pathways in the region.

“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 Cr 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.”

Council will continue to communicate with management of the Maryvale Paper Mill to understand the impacts of any changes to operations.

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