Plan for Morwell’s recovery

United Morwell groups have recently submitted a proposal to the State Government for the improvement of the town’s central business district.

The proposal comes after Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced in March the government hoped to prioritise funding of projects to boost Morwell’s economy following the Hazelwood mine fire.

Since then, a sub-committee of the Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund have been meeting and discussing projects submitted by Morwell groups.

These groups include Advance Morwell, the Morwell Traders group, Latrobe City Business and Tourism Association, the Latrobe City Business Recovery group and the community recovery group.

Over the past three weeks Latrobe City councillor Graeme Middlemiss facilitated several meetings with representatives from all the groups to create a united plan of projects.

“It’s to give the town a lift and basically improve the experience of shopping and visiting the Morwell CBD as a means of overcoming the downturn that resulted from the mine fire,” Mr Middlemiss said.

The proposal contains a list of projects, and their estimated costs, falling into categories such as beautification, re-branding and events.

“This has gone to the government and it is anticipated there will be further discussions before a decision is made,” Mr Middlemiss said.

Member for Morwell Russell Northe said his government was considering the proposal and expected to be able to “say more” in the next two to three weeks.

“The State Government will continue to have conversations with council about those particular projects and how we might be able to advance them in the near future,” Mr Northe said.

“We’re obviously conscious of the fact that we need to consider what is being put forward or proposed with some urgency, so we are doing that.

“I’m relatively confident that we can support some of the propositions that have been proposed.”

Morwell and District Community Recovery Committee chair Carolyne Boothman said she endorsed and supported the plan, adding the committee was working with relevant agencies to organise events and workshops to aid recovery.