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Victoria pioneering climate #justtransition package for #Hazelwood coal workers

A special $20 million worker transfer Package was announced today for workers affected by the closure of Engie's Hazelwood Power Station. This will allow early retirement for workers at other LaTrobe Power stations creating places for Hazelwood workers that want to continue their careers.

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  1. This transfer package is an important component of a suite of support mechanism being put into place for the community, a part of a just transition being pioneered by the Victorian government driven by the necessity to move to zero carbon emissions by climate change.

    This particular scheme will cost $20 million to assist around 150 retrenched Hazelwood workers to remain in the power industry. In the first instance, employment transfer to AGL Energy’s Loy Yang A will be facilitated, but later transfers to Engie's Loy Yang B may be available.

    About 200 workers will be retained by Engie to work on Hazelwood decommissioning and mine rehabilitation.
  2. What was perhaps less well publicised, but equally important for just transition for the wider LaTrobe Valley community, was an $85 million package for new and upgraded sporting facilities in the towns across the valley. This will create 300 jobs during the construction phase and 275 ongoing jobs in sports and related areas.
  3. The scheme has been developed by former Federal Minister Simon Crean, who was appointed by the Victorian Government, to act as a facilitator between the unions and employers at all four coal generators and mines in the LaTrobe Valley.

    This $20 million worker transfer scheme is one part of the Labor Government’s $266 million package for the Latrobe Valley. This includes $50 million allocated for an Economic Growth Zone to support business growth, and the establishment of the Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA).

    A worker transition service will also be provided by the LVA to assist workers and families with developing skills, training, information and personal support they might need to make a fresh start.
  4. The Hazelwood brown coal power station was the most carbon intensive polluting power station in the industrialized world. The State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV) in 1992 projected its end of life and closure for 2005. It has well and truly surpassed it's use-by date.

    Some pretend that Hazelwood could have gone on, but we have known for 25 years closure was coming. Labor Premier John Brumby called for it's phased closure in 2010, but instead we elected Baillieu and Napthine that continued with low coal royalties, hindered large scale wind renewables, and gutted the state's Climate Change Act.

    The current Coalition parties opposed the new Victorian Climate Act and have declared opposition to a VRET scheme and war on renewables, despite overwhelming public support for climate action and renewables in Victoria.
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