Hazelwood march call to action

ORGANISERS of a march on Melbourne’s State Parliament next week in support of Hazelwood are in the process of finalising buses to allow Latrobe Valley residents to attend.

The march is being organised by the organisers of last month’s Rally for the Valley, which called on Premier Daniel Andrews to keep the station and mine open for a period of four to six years.

About 300 people attended the rally at Morwell Recreation Reserve where protesters decided to hold the march on parliament on 22 March.

Rally co-organiser Peter Ceeney said once further details were confirmed they would be shared on the Rally for the Valley Facebook page.

“Hopefully we can get a few people there to make a little bit of noise and encourage people who might want to listen to our concerns,” Mr Ceeney said.

“Not really a lot’s changed and as a Valley we’re going to suffer from losing that much work and that much income (once Hazelwood closes).”

He said he expected buses to the event would depart about 7.15am on the morning of the rally to allow the march to arrive at the steps of parliament by about 10.15am.

State Member for Morwell Russell Northe will present a petition to parliament calling for Hazelwood to be kept open.

The march falls about a week before the plant and mine’s closure on 31 March.

He said despite closure looming it was important to fight to prevent the loss of jobs in the region.

“There’s too many people without a voice,” Mr Ceeney said.

“As of yet we don’t have a major voice but if we get behind it we’ll get stronger and stronger.”

He said he expected the closure to cost his own business about $40,000.

Mr Ceeney also said there would be follow-on effects for other businesses which received business from Hazelwood workers.

“There’s already companies shedding staff because they know they’re going to lose work through Hazelwood,” Mr Ceeney said.

For more information, search Rally for the Valley on Facebook.