Hazelwood - we thank you.
In a week that looks bleak to so many Latrobe Valley residents; we say thanks to the institution that is Hazelwood.
Our family story is a familiar one for many residents within the Latrobe Valley. The Hazelwood Power Station is at the very beginning of our family story, it is the reason we exist as a business and as a family. My husband's grandparents moved to Morwell from the Western Districts of Victoria to work at the Morwell Power Station in 1950, before moving across to the Hazelwood Project, which was good to him through to retirement. Throughout those working days, they started their own family which in-turn, created our generation.
Like current day employees in the power industry they worked hard, they provided for their families and they gave a lot back to the community. When they moved out to Morwell, the power industry was the most significant provider of employment; the backbone of our local economy, which it continued to be for years to follow.
As one of many small businesses in the region, we owe a debt of gratitude to the power industry. They helped transform our small country area into the bustling region that it has become. A region that still thrives off power generation but isn’t solely reliant on it. Over the years, these power stations have contributed money back into the community. This contribution has helped create our homes; our sporting clubs; our schools; our way of life.
At the end of this week, that money will start to slip away. The Hazelwood that has helped carry and support our region for a long time will step aside, and it’ll be up to us as small businesses to work together to keep the local economy afloat and prosperous. Are we ready for this? Maybe not. Would we ever be? Probably not. Will we survive? Absolutely.
As a small business, we can’t afford the generous charitable donations of an organisation like Hazelwood. However, we can play our role, and we do by sponsoring several local sporting clubs, publications and initiatives. Like many businesses, we hope to continue to give back to the community as often as we can. It’s how we were raised.
So in this difficult week, we wanted to say thank you Hazelwood for all that you’ve done for our region, our businesses and mostly for our families. You’ll be forever engrained in our history.
If you’re feeling concerned about the housing market or about the future of the Latrobe Valley, take a few moments to read our post 'Why wouldn’t you live in the Latrobe Valley.' This provides our take on how various incentives paint an opportunistic picture for our future. Things like doubled first home owner grants, slashed stamp duty, major infrastructure projects and the natural beauty and lifestyle that our region offers.
To those people affected by the closure (some of which are friends and family), our thoughts are with you and the strength of a whole community is behind you.