Landmark scheme gives Hazelwood workers a fresh start

Landmark scheme gives Hazelwood workers a fresh start

Highly skilled Hazelwood workers will be able to transfer to other power generators thanks to a landmark worker transfer scheme signed off by the Victorian Government.

Victorian 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 Victorian 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 Victorian 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 Victorian 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.