Fire to fast track Valley funding 

Funding for Latrobe Valley projects could be prioritised to boost the local economy, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced on Thursday.

“The government stands ready to bring forward a number of projects Latrobe City Council has under consideration for the future of the Latrobe Valley more generally and I will be working more with them, We will use the regional growth fund to invest with the council over those projects,” Mr Ryan said.

Council acting chief executive John Mitchell said council officers and councillors were preparing a list of projects they would like to see funded and hoped to have a “firmer” proposal by the end of this week.

Mr Mitchell said a government-employed small business advisor would join council employees in asking Latrobe Valley business-owners what projects they would like to see funded.

Meanwhile he said Latrobe City was supporting the community in other ways.

“We will be assisting the clean up of the outside of houses and businesses as well,” Mr Mitchell said.

He said the process would begin with infrastructure on Saturday and spread across to other buildings in the following weeks.

Mr Mitchell said council would look at providing laundromat vouchers to people who were unable to dry their items on clotheslines due to the smoky conditions.

He said council was investigating ways to provide respite for residents at events held outside Morwell, as it has done by providing free transport to the Boolarra Folk Festival on Saturday.

Anyone wishing to share their views on how to best support the business community should phone council on 1300 367 700 and ask to speak to Geoff Hill.