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Question Status:  Answered


Session: 59 Parliament First Session Sitting: 2019 House: LA
QP Reference No: 0 Question Number: 465


Asked By: Northe Russell Party: Independent Addressed To: Regional Development
Asked Date: Apr 30, 2019


Question Preview:
465


QUESTION ON NOTICEMr Northe to ask the Minister for Transport Infrastructure for the Minister for Regional Development

With reference to the closure of Hazelwood Power Station which affected the jobs of 750 people (450 direct employees and 300 contractors) and their families and noting the Government subsequently initiated a $20 million Worker Transfer Scheme (WTS), which promised to support the transfer of 150 Hazelwood workers and workers to remain in the power industry:


(1) Since the announcement of the Hazelwood Worker Transfer Scheme, how much of the $20 million commitment has been spent.


(2) How many former Hazelwood workers and contractors have successfully transitioned to comparable jobs under the WTS and supporting arrangements.


(3) What were the reasons a Government WTS that was being negotiated between Carter Holt Harvey (CHH) and Australian Paper was never finalised.


(4) How many former Hazelwood workers and contractors, plus CHH workers and contractors, have retired.


(5) How many former Hazelwood workers and contractors, plus CHH workers and contractors, are working part-time.


(6) How many former Hazelwood workers and contractors, plus CHH workers and contractors, are working casually.


(7) How many former Hazelwood workers and contractors, plus CHH workers and contractors, are now unemployed.


(8) How many former Hazelwood workers and contractors, plus CHH workers and contractors, are working in other regions, interstate or overseas.

Answer:

The Andrews Labor Government's $266 million transition package for the Latrobe Valley is helping to stimulate economic growth, create jobs and grow local businesses.

 

The Worker Transition Service connects workers and their families to the right services; to give them the skills, training, information and personal support they need to take up new employment opportunities, start their own business, move into retirement or adjust to a significant change in life circumstances.

 

All employees of Hazelwood, including contractors, supply chain employees and their family members, and employees of the Carter Holt Harvey Mill in Morwell can access the Worker Transition Service through the Latrobe Valley Authority.

 

The Worker Transition Service has engaged with 729 clients affiliated to Hazelwood. An additional 135 workers from Carter Holt Harvey's Morwell mill are registered with the program.

 

Employment information is collected on a voluntary basis through the Worker Transition Service. I understand that of those Worker Transition Service clients that have found employment:

 

  • 306 are employed in full-time roles;
  • 35 are employed in part-time roles; and,
  • 307 are employed in casual roles.

 

Of those registered with Worker Transition Service, 185 former Hazelwood workers and 34 Carter Holt Harvey employees are identified as currently looking for work.

 

The Latrobe Valley Authority estimates that approximately 100 Hazelwood workers opted to retire when French company, Engie, closed the power station and mine.

 

Under the Worker Transfer Scheme, the Government funds the participating employers for each worker that they employ. This funding partly offsets the cost of the voluntary early retirement scheme. The participating employers fund the balance of the costs associated with the early retirement scheme. Therefore, any expansion of the Worker Transfer Scheme with additional participating employers will require that employer to agree to fund their existing employees' voluntary early retirement packages.

 

We remain committed to identifying and supporting business growth and new jobs in the Latrobe Valley. Already, the Andrews Labor Government has helped create more than 2,000 new jobs in the Latrobe Valley.

 

 

Jaclyn Symes MP
Minister for Regional Development

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Answer Published Date:
30/05/2019