Melbourne vaccine hub a missed opportunity for Latrobe Valley jobs

The Melbourne Labor Government has missed another chance to revitalise the Latrobe Valley’s jobs market and to create new local opportunities for a highly-skilled workforce.

Today’s announcement that the State will invest $50 million to establish vaccine manufacturing in Melbourne is a disappointing loss for regional Victoria.

The Victorian Government claims the decision to locate the facility in Melbourne is supported by “partnerships with our world-class Victorian universities, leading researchers, and Australian and international manufacturing companies”.

Why were regions, like the Latrobe Valley which is home to leading Victorian universities and has a long history in manufacturing – all on Melbourne’s doorstep – overlooked?

Since Daniel Andrews was elected, Labor’s policy agenda has gutted key industries that have employed people in the Valley for generations and that built the region’s reputation as a world-class innovation hub.

Despite promising to stem the exodus of local jobs and business investment, the Andrews Government constantly overlooks obvious opportunities to stimulate the workforce with new, secure, long-term jobs and business investment.

The Liberal Nationals believe government must pave the way to restoring Victoria’s reputation as a manufacturing powerhouse, particularly in industries of national importance like PPE manufacture, medical research and pharmaceuticals.

It’s why we announced a plan for a billion-dollar Bringing Manufacturing Home Fund that’ll help create more jobs right across Victoria, including the Latrobe Valley.

The early closure of Yallourn Power Station – which employs about 500 people and supports thousands of indirect jobs in the Valley – will create further economic pain in a region still reeling from the closure of Hazelwood Power Station and Labor’s plan to close the native timber industry.

Daniel Andrews likes to talk about a “transition” for the Valley, but so far all he’s done is butcher local job-creating industries with no plan to stem the destruction Labor’s political agenda is causing.

Peter Walsh MP

Leader of the Nationals

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