Media Releases | 30th Oct, 2018

Clean economy of the future delivering new jobs for Latrobe Valley

Today’s announcement of a new electric vehicle manufacturing plant in the Latrobe Valley will position the region as a big player as we shift our economy to clean industries of the future, says Environment Victoria.

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Victorian Labor has announced that it will support SEA Electric to build a new electric vehicle factory in the Latrobe Valley, which would produce thousands of electric delivery vans and minibuses every year.

“Today’s announcement shows that the real hope for the Latrobe Valley is in the clean economy of the future – not looking backwards to dirty coal,” said Mark Wakeham, CEO of Environment Victoria.

“The new SEA plant will create 500 new manufacturing jobs, making it one of the largest private employers in the region.

“The SEA plant will provide more than the 450 jobs that Hazelwood mine and power station directly employed, which highlights the scale of the new investment. The electric vehicle factory gives young people a real chance to stay in the local area and apply their skills.

“The demand for electric vehicles is only going to grow, meaning these jobs should be around for decades to come.

“As well as investing in electric vehicles, we need the next state government to have an ambitious, long-term plan to rapidly build more renewable energy to make sure that cars charged on the Victorian grid are as climate-friendly as possible,” said Mr Wakeham.

Today’s announcement coincides with the release of a new report from the University of NSW & the CFMMEU that shows the vital role that planning will play in ensuring that the transition from coal to clean energy goes smoothly.

“The key to a successful transition away from coal and towards clean industries of the future is actively planning for power station closure and economic diversification,” said Mr Wakeham.

“The Latrobe Valley Authority has played a vital role in supporting the Valley throughout the closure of Hazelwood. That’s why we’re calling on all parties at the state election to make it a permanent statutory authority that can continue to attract investment and support new businesses.

“Today’s commitment to creating jobs in industries of the future in the Valley stands in stark contrast to the false hope being pedalled by a range of candidates in the electorate of Morwell, who have spruiked vague plans to build a new coal-fired power station in the region.

“The simple truth is that the future of jobs and manufacturing is in clean energy – not dirty coal. We need to find opportunities to invest in real clean energy solutions, rather than desperately look for ways to prolong the transition from coal,” said Mr Wakeham.

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria CEO
Mobile: 0439 700 501
m.wakeham@environmentvictoria.org.au

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