Speeches | March 28, 2017

Statement from Emma Kealy MP, Nationals Member for Lowan Re: Iluka Mineral Sands Separation Plant suspension

It is extremely disappointing for Iluka workers and their families, contractors and the Hamilton community to hear of the impending suspension of the Hamilton Mineral Sands Separation Plant.

The loss of 60 direct jobs and many more indirect jobs is devastating for the Hamilton community, and is a hit that we can ill afford.

I implore Daniel Andrews to come to Hamilton and speak with affected workers and their families to ensure that every option to retain these jobs or create suitable alternative local employment opportunities is investigated.

Under the Andrews Labor Government we have seen unemployment in rural Victoria continue to skyrocket, with recent major job losses in the Latrobe Valley, Heyfield, and now Hamilton.

The Andrews Labor Government must provide a support package for affected workers and the Hamilton region, similar to the $260m package provided for the Latrobe Valley.

Daniel Andrews must also make every effort to kick-start new employment opportunities, such as committing to investment to build the proposed Hamilton abattoir. This would create many new jobs for the region, something that must be a priority for the Government.

My thoughts are with Iluka workers and their families who will be significantly impacted by today's announcement. I will continue to work hard to ensure that Daniel Andrews and his Government does not forget the importance of these local jobs for country people.

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