Media Release

13 November 2018

Southwick: Liberals Nationals to establish Carbon Innovation Institute in the Latrobe Valley

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Liberals Nationals to establish Carbon Innovation Institute in the Latrobe Valley

The Liberal Nationals are committed to creating new, sustainable and innovative jobs in the Latrobe Valley.

Shadow Minister for Innovation, David Southwick MP has announced a future Liberal Nationals government would establish a Carbon Industry Commercialisation Institute (Carbon ICI) in the Latrobe Valley.

A future Liberal Nationals government will deliver a total of $2 million in start-up funding to establish the institute that will leverage off existing networks and infrastructure to drive collaboration and innovation throughout the Valley’s carbon industry.

The Liberal Nationals will work with Federation Uni in Churchill to establish the Carbon ICI and will be overseen by the Chief Innovation Officer bringing together industry, university and business sectors to achieve commercial goals to expand one of Victoria’s key industries

Federation University will act as a lead partner and provide $5 million of support in the form of research laboratories and equipment, academic expertise, scholarships and PhD research.

David Southwick visited local fertilising business, Omina with the Nationals candidate for Morwell, Sheridan Bond and the Liberals candidate for Morwell, Dale Harriman.

Omina is just one example of a company value adding the Latrobe Valley’s huge carbon resource to create new industrial markets and develop sustainable local jobs.

Daniel Andrews and Labor turned their backs on the Latrobe Valley when they chose to triple the coal tax forcing the closure of Hazelwood resulting in hundreds of jobs losses.

Labor has been in power for 15 of the last 19 years and failed to ensure that communities in the Latrobe Valley are able to diversify their industries, especially when coal is in such abundance.

Encouraging job growth in regional Victoria is the cornerstone of the Liberal Nationals plan to decentralise Victoria.

Victoria is growing at around 150,000 people a year and most of that growth is occurring in Melbourne. We must look towards our regional cities to take some of pressure off Melbourne, but in order to do that, governments must work to ensure there are proper jobs in regional cities.

The Liberal Nationals are committed to creating a state of cities not a city state, but to achieve that we must grow the whole of Victoria.

The Liberal Nationals will get ahead of regional infrastructure by building a European style High Speed Rail through Victoria, building a Geelong metro and investing $1 billion into regional roads.

We will support existing regional business and encourage new business to regional Victoria by reducing payroll tax for eligible businesses to 1%.

The Liberal Nationals are committed to embracing new industries like carbon innovation. Only the Liberal Nationals will utilise the Latrobe Valley’s considerable carbon knowledge and resources to drive opportunity throughout the Gippsland region.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Innovation, David Southwick:

“To stay relevant in a globally competitive world, Victoria needs a diverse, innovation and collaborative economy.

This Carbon Commercialisation Centre will leverage off existing knowledge and equipment in the Valley to drive new markets are opportunities.

We need to get back in control of population growth, and that means growing cities in the right way, in the right time, and ensuring good jobs for locals.”

Comments attributable to The Nationals candidate for Morwell, Sheridan Bond:

The Latrobe Valley has vast and readily accessible carbon-based resources, with this new Carbon Industry Commercialisation Institute to drive new jobs and investment.

Advancement in carbon initiatives and support for new industries and technologies will play a vital role in the future economy of the Latrobe Valley, as they have internationally.

By bringing new industries into our region, we’ll create good, secure jobs for the Valley, helping our community continue to grow and develop in the future.

Comments attributable to Liberal candidate for Morwell, Dale Harriman:

“We are committed to ensuring we get jobs into the Latrobe Valley.

Workers in the Valley understand carbon and this commercialisation institute will capitalise on this knowledge, support local jobs and new start-ups throughout the Gippsland region.”