No waste of time or paper in Latrobe Valley

Media Release

JM049/2018

19 March 2018

Joint release with:

Darren Chester

Federal Member for Gippsland

  • New feasibility study to plan and design a waste-based renewable energy plant
  • If successful, energy-from-waste plant will reduce CO2 emissions and create jobs
  • The Coalition Government is investing $2.5 million in the project

A proposal to help boost the economic future of the Latrobe Valley in Victoria is under the microscope with the commissioning of a feasibility study into a waste-based renewable energy plant.

Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh said today's launch of an information centre would give locals the chance to better understand the ongoing feasibility study into the viability of an energy-from-waste plant at Australian Paper's Maryvale Mill.

“This information centre will give residents important information about the necessary planning, design and cost estimations to assess the potential for this plant to be built in the Latrobe Valley,” Dr McVeigh said.

“If built, the plant would provide the region with a significant economic boost through the creation of up to 800 direct jobs during construction and up to 40 ongoing jobs. It's also anticipated that the project will create hundreds more indirect jobs across the Latrobe Valley.

“Preliminary studies show that such a facility could achieve a net reduction of 500,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.”

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said such a reduction would equal removing 100,000 cars from Australian roads each year, a radical step in improving Australia's energy sustainability.

“Energy-from-waste plants reduce our reliance on natural gas and coal-fired electricity, while also creating efficiencies for businesses such as Australian Paper,” Mr Chester said.

“Importantly, this is a project that could create valuable jobs in the Latrobe Valley, both during construction and longer term.

“The Maryvale Mill is the biggest private employer in the Valley, contributing $451 million annually to the Gippsland economy. I am pleased the Government is able to provide funding to encourage further investment into the region and more jobs for the future.”

The Coalition Government is jointly funding the $7.5 million project with the Victorian Government and Paper Australia Pty Ltd.