Latest update on crucial developments around Latrobe Valley
Hearing on Latrobe Valley transition dependence on coal-fired power stations
At a public hearing in Traralgon, the Legislative Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee spoke with Latrobe Valley community representatives about the transition away from the Valley’s long dependence on coal-fired power stations.
The inquiry into the closure of the Hazelwood and Yallourn power stations is exploring options for the State Government to pursue to offset the loss of more than 1,000 direct jobs, as well as associated contractors. Hazelwood was decommissioned in 2017, while Yallourn is due to close in 2028.
Achievements for Latrobe Valley by Labor and Mark Richards
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Mark was born in Morwell, grew up in Churchill and now lives with his wife, Ann, in Traralgon. Mark attended school at Churchill Primary, Morwell Technical and Maryvale High Schools, completing his 4-year SECV traineeship at Yallourn TAFE. He played for Morwell’s UBANGI volleyball team and has been involved in martial arts from Moe to Maffra for over 10 years.
Mark started work at Hazelwood Power station in 1990 as a plant operator, working his way up to be a Unit Controller before Engie closed the power station in 2017. Mark has a strong commitment to job creation and strengthening our local community.
Like many in the Valley, Mark has spent the last 29 years keeping the lights on in Victoria. Hazelwood Power Station was a big part of his life, and like the Latrobe Valley community, its closure was up front and personal. Mark brings a deep knowledge of the power industry and a love of the valley to his candidature. He played a key role in shaping the Hazelwood Enterprise Bargaining Agreements, improving safety, wages and conditions and in 2015 negotiated the inclusion of redundancy payments for the first time in 50 years.
When many believed the Hazelwood Power Station would continue to operate until 2032, Mark had the judgement and foresight to initiate, and undertake high level negotiations with the assistance of Simon Crean, resulting in the implementation of the first successful worker transfer scheme in Australia.
Mark has a strong social conscience and believes in the benefits of giving back to the community.