Nuclear Strategy Fails Latrobe Valley Coal Workers: MEU

Mining and Energy Union

Nuclear power stations will not provide a pathway into new employment for coal-fired power industry workers and the current debate is a distraction from securing new jobs in the Latrobe Valley, the Mining and Energy Union said today.

With Peter Dutton's Coalition announcing Loy Yang in Victoria as a future site for a nuclear power station, the MEU said workers and communities needed viable new industries sooner than could be provided by nuclear.

Victorian District President, Andy Smith said that workers in the Latrobe Valley were at a critical point, facing closures in the next few years.

"Yallourn Power Station in the Latrobe Valley is set to close in 2028 and Loy Yang A Power Station is set to close in 2035.

"Even if nuclear energy was a popular option, according to the CSIRO, the earliest a large-scale nuclear plant could commence operations is no sooner than 2040.

"The clock is ticking; Victoria's focus needs to be on delivering a fair transition for the thousands of workers directly and indirectly employed by our local power producers.

"Power stations in the proposed sites for nuclear would be long closed before the plants would become operational, and if no support is provided, Latrobe Valley workers and communities will have already packed up their lives and moved on.

"Now is not the time for distractions. We need to be acting to deliver an orderly transition for the Latrobe Valley which focuses on jobs, economic activity and positive social outcomes for those affected.

"We are also disappointed the Coalition has announced this policy with no consultation with Victorian coal-fired power station workers about whether they want a nuclear future."

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