Morwell protests against inaction on Hazelwood mine fire, 2014. Pic: Ben Courtice

International economist to speak at Morwell about a ‘Just Transition’

Internationally recognised author and economist, Bob Massie, will be speaking alongside local
speakers in a public forum in Morwell about creating new economic opportunities to benefit the
community.

As outgoing president of the New Economy Coalition in the USA, Bob will be speaking about
exciting international examples, and how Australia might benefit from a ‘just transition’ to new,
cleaner economies.

One year on from the Hazelwood mine fire disaster, there are growing calls to diversify the local
economy, and to create new industries and employment opportunities that pose less health risks to
residents. The public forum, ‘A Just Transition for the Latrobe Valley?’, will examine the
opportunities and barriers that the Latrobe Valley community faces in ensuring ongoing livelihoods
and a healthy environment.

Morwell protests against inaction on Hazelwood mine fire, 2014. Pic: Ben Courtice
Morwell protests against inaction on Hazelwood mine fire, 2014. Pic: Ben Courtice

Local speakers – including representatives from Voices of the Valley, the Earthworker Cooperative
and other community organisations – will discuss concerns and potential options for the Latrobe
Valley, including manufacturing, mine rehabilitation and community health. A Latrobe City Council
speaker has also been invited.

“With the privatisation of the SEC, the Latrobe Valley lost thousands of jobs. It is vital that we have secure, meaningful and safe work for Latrobe Valley people into the future”, said CFMEU Mining and Energy Division President, Luke van der Muelen, who is interested to hear what Bob Massie’s talk might contribute. “We need clever thinking and ideas, but also proper planning, community consultation and real action.”

As Australia nears the end of the mining boom, as older coal power stations reach the end of their
lives, and with the massive uptake of solar energy, there is increasing attention on how regional
communities across the country can not only prepare for inevitable change, but choose what kind of
economies might best serve them. Bob Massie has also been invited to speak in the Hunter Valley
coal region in New South Wales, as well as in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

“We know we can’t just shut down power stations tomorrow, because many families still depend on them. What we want is to protect the health and well-being of our community, and to see new industries and opportunities for the Latrobe Valley”, said Voices of the Valley President Wendy Farmer.

“We hope that the event provides some hope and inspiration about what’s possible, and sparks
conversations about what a ‘just transition’ for the Latrobe Valley might look like”, said Earthworker
Cooperative member, Colin Long. The Earthworker Cooperative, which has helped convene the
event, is working to establish community-owned solar hot water manufacturing in Morwell.

The free public event will take place at the Morwell Bowling Club on Monday February 23rd, 6pm
– 7:30pm. For more information, or to RSVP, go to:

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/a-just-transition-for-the-latrobe-valley-tickets-15627841294

ALL MEDIA ENQUIRES can be directed to:
Colin Long (Earthworker Cooperative) – 0403 920 361 / clong@nteu.org.au
Dan Musil (Earthworker Cooperative) – 0432 485 86 / dan.earthworker@outlook.com
http://www.earthworkercooperative.com.au

2 thoughts on “International economist to speak at Morwell about a ‘Just Transition’

  1. Successive governments have dropped the ball when it comes to planning for a coal free future in the Latrobe Valley. Daniel Andrews could make a name for himself by showing some foresight and encouraging new clean industries in the area.

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