Image related to  Hazelwood worker expresses appreciation for Worker Transfer Scheme
Created Thu 16/03/2017, Last Updated Thu 16/03/2017

Hazelwood worker expresses appreciation for Worker Transfer Scheme

Last Friday, Mark Richards, a Hazelwood unit controller and proud CFMEU member, made this speech to tell what the new Worker Transfer Scheme means to the Latrobe Valley workers and community:

Last November a thousand Latrobe Valley workers received the shocking news that our foreign owners had decided to close Hazelwood and we were all going to be without jobs.

Our community was devastated from the news of closure, and the horrible memories of Jeff Kennett's 1990's privatisation of the SECV, and the community heartache that followed. Everyone here remembers those days.

My work mates were crushed and were in total disbelief of the news. Moral was at an all time low, and all of our futures looked very bleak. Many would say non existent in this region.

In shock we asked Daniel Andrews for help, and his support for Latrobe Valley workers was immediate and it was substantial.

$266 million dollars of support for the Latrobe Valley and an authority to help cut red tape, an unprecedented amount of funding in my lifetime, but more importantly, real help, to look outside the box for a solution in quick time.

Today, we are looking at an Australian first, a scheme that offers Hazelwood workers, a fair and Just Transition, as our industry faces changes beyond our control.

I would like to sincerely thank AGL for being the first to sign up to this landmark Worker Transfer Scheme. An Australian First.

Congratulations for Leading the Way!

This Tripartite scheme involving Government, Generators and the unions, could not have been achieved without the help of many people.

People like Harriet Shing who has tirelessly supported the Latrobe Valley community.

Former ACTU president and Former Leader of the Australian Labor Party Simon Crean, who facilitated these complicated negotiations and the many hard working back office staff at the department of Economic Development.

The efforts of the many many ministers involved like Lily D'Ambrosio, Jaala Pulford, Gayle Tierney and especially Wade Noonan who has become a very familiar and welcome face in our region.

Most of all, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Premier Daniel Andrews and the Victorian Labor Government for the lifeline provided.

Your help will not be forgotten and it is greatly appreciated.

Thank You Daniel Andrews.

Mark Richards
Premier Daniel Andrews with Mark Richards