Highly skilled Hazelwood workers will be able to transfer to other power generators thanks to a landmark worker transfer scheme signed off today by the Andrews Labor Government.
Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan, Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing, and Hazelwood workers and their representatives in Morwell to sign an historic Latrobe Valley Worker Transfer Scheme Partnership Agreement with Loy Yang A operator AGL.
The Labor Government has also secured an in-principle agreement with Engie to allow their Hazelwood workers to move to Loy Yang B, which they also operate.
The scheme costing up to $20 million will help around 150 retrenched Hazelwood workers remain in the power industry by allowing them to transfer to other power generators – in the first instance AGL’s Loy Yang A.
Under the agreement, early retirement packages offered to AGL workers will help create vacancies for workers displaced by the closure of Hazelwood. The scheme will contribute funds to participating employers to support these packages and facilitate the re-deployment of Hazelwood workers.
The Labor Government has been working on the scheme since Engie announced last year that it would close Hazelwood power station because it is no longer commercially viable.
Former Federal Minister Simon Crean was appointed by the Government to act as a facilitator between the unions and employers at all four generators and mines. As a former Federal Minister for Regional Development, Mr Crean has a strong track-record in the Latrobe Valley and was instrumental in securing this agreement.
The worker transfer scheme is part of the Labor Government’s $266 million package for the Latrobe Valley, which includes the $50 million Economic Growth Zone to support business growth and the establishment of the Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA).
The LVA’s worker transition service is also providing tailored support to workers and families to give them the skills, training, information and personal support they need to make a fresh start.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We will always stand up for the Latrobe Valley and with the worker transfer scheme for Hazelwood workers, we are doing just that. This is great news for jobs and for Hazelwood workers and their families.”
“This scheme is about backing the Latrobe Valley’s highly skilled workforce and ensuring Hazelwood workers can continue to work in the region’s proud power generation industry.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Employment and Industry Wade Noonan
“Under this scheme, Hazelwood workers will have the chance for a fresh start in the power sector, meaning their skills and experience remain here in the Latrobe Valley.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“This landmark scheme is an unprecedented investment in support for workers in the Valley – it will ensure that highly-skilled workers from Hazelwood can continue to work in the power generation sector in the years ahead.”