A new Economic Growth Zone will be established in the Latrobe Valley, as part of a $266 million package to create local jobs and grow local businesses.
Companies wanting to start or expand their businesses in the Latrobe Valley will be eligible for financial incentives, including the reimbursement of fees and charges, as part of the $50 million Economic Growth Zone. For example, under the changes, a business purchasing a $500,000 property to move into the Latrobe Valley could receive up to a $25,000 reimbursement of their stamp duty.
The Economic Growth Zone will cover the three Local Government Areas of Latrobe City Council, Wellington Shire and Baw Baw Shire. Eligibility for funding will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the newly established Latrobe Valley Authority.
In addition, the Red Tape Commissioner will investigate ways to reduce red tape in the Valley and break down regulatory barriers to growth, and a dedicated team of trade and investment specialists will be embedded within the Authority to open up export opportunities and attract new businesses.
To ensure projects in the Latrobe Valley are fast tracked, the Government will supply Latrobe City Council, Wellington Shire, and Baw Baw Shire with a planning ‘flying squad’ to get through the planning backlog.
The Andrews Labor Government will also establish the $174 million Community Infrastructure and Investment Fund for new local projects, which could include road and rail upgrades, school upgrades and health facilities. This will help the community grow, and create more local jobs.
These announcements add to an existing $10 million economic facilitation fund to grow businesses, and the $22 million package of support for workers and businesses affected by the closure of Hazelwood, which includes:
- A Worker Transition Centre established in Morwell in partnership with the Gippsland Trades and Labour Council – a one-stop-shop for individual support
- Education, counselling, financial advice and subsidised job-seeker training for workers in transition
- Tailored support for businesses to help them identify new opportunities and develop a transition plan
- An expansion of the Back to Work program to businesses that employ workers in the Latrobe Valley.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We are opening doors to businesses to bring jobs and opportunities to the Latrobe Valley and to keep the community and local economy strong.”
“Through the Latrobe Valley Authority, local residents and community leaders will have a real say about projects that affect their lives.”
Quote attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas
“The people of the Latrobe Valley have underpinned Victoria’s economic growth for decades and we are doing everything we can so that will continue.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“Hardworking families and businesses are the backbone of the Latrobe Valley, and we will always stand with them.”