Our Region Our Future: Securing an Economic Future for Gippsland and Latrobe Valley

Anticipating that a power station closure in the Latrobe Valley was highly likely, the Committee for Gippsland undertook a six-month body of work that included the input of hundreds of Gippslanders contained in a final 100 page report. Our Region Our Future: Securing an Economic Future for Gippsland and Latrobe Valley was launched in July 2016 and adopted by the Victorian and Federal Governments as a blue-print for a future transition.

Mary Aldred

Only four months later Hazelwood power station announced it would close. Our Region Our Future includes economic and employment modelling on a closure scenario by GHD, the input of 200 small to medium businesses in the Latrobe Valley about their economic relationship with the four Gippsland power stations, and 20 business case studies. It also sets out key recommendations on a path through transition, from a staged closure, to higher education and re-skilling opportunities, investment attracting, and a low emissions future for coal.

Gippsland has a broad based economy, and the report focusses on developing its already strong base in agribusiness, manufacturing and exports. The report acknowledges highlights the link between the region’s large quantum of heavy industry and employment with the power stations, paper mill and others, and the economy of small businesses that are sustained from it. Those large industries also create and maintain a demand for highly skilled workers, and education providers in the region. The report clearly articulates a future for Gippsland’s 500 years’ worth of brown coal reserves.

While coal fired electricity generation may diminish, new technology including carbon capture and storage is necessary to help achieve deep emissions cuts necessary to help address carbon reduction targets. There is also a strong commercial and employment future for coal derivatives, including coal to hydrogen, coal to fertiliser, coal to magnesium and more.

Our Region Our Future remains the only up-to-date, locally informed, fact-based and comprehensive analysis of a power station closure in the Latrobe Valley, and a strategy to address it.

Mary Aldred
Chief Executive Officer
Committee for Gippsland Inc
See our website at: www.committeeforgippsland.com.au

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