“Do better than Hazelwood”: 2028 closure for Yallourn gives seven years to do the right thing by workers

Published: 10 Mar 2021

Energy Australia’s announcement today it will close Yallourn in 2028 is a blow to the Latrobe Valley community – but the seven-year timeframe is a chance for the government and energy companies to show they can do the right thing by power station and mine workers, the Mining and Energy Union said today.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Victorian President Trevor Williams said today’s announcement was not unexpected, but was still disappointing for workers, their family members and the wider community.

“Power stations are the heart of the Latrobe economy. The community is still suffering from the sudden closure of Hazelwood in 2017 with just four months’ notice.

“Energy workers at Yallourn have been powering Victoria for decades and they don’t deserve to be thrown on the scrap heap.

“With seven years notice, this is a chance for Energy Australia and the Victorian Government to step up with a comprehensive plan for affected workers and the Latrobe community. We need to do better than Hazelwood.”   

CFMEU Mining and Energy will work with Energy Australia and the Victorian Government to secure:

  • Provisions for early retirement for those ready to leave the industry in 2028.
  • A worker transfer scheme to provide opportunities for workers who wish to stay in the industry to transfer to other power stations and mines in the region.
  • Investment in the creation secure, well-paid jobs in the Latrobe Valley.

Mr Williams said the timeframe allowed for a comprehensive plan to avoid forced redundancies for Yallourn workers.

“Many will choose to work through to retirement but those Yallourn workers with years and decades left to give deserve opportunities for good, local jobs, including transfer to nearby power stations and decommissioning and rehabilitation of the site.”