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Breaking new ground: Challenges and opportunities of a changing energy landscape in regional Australia (Latrobe Valley, Victoria)

August 04, 2022

A new Blueprint institute series takes a deep dive into the regional realities of Australia’s shift to a clean energy future—and what that will mean for communities on the ground. Alongside the already released South-West Queensland paper, they examine Central Queensland, the Latrobe Valley of Victoria, the Central Coast of NSW, and the Collie region of WA. Across these five regions—home to all our remaining coal-fired generators, and most of our coal mines—Blueprint’s analysis finds that while opportunities are abundant (in renewable energy and more broadly), and significant prospective projects are underway, uncertainty caused by a lack of definitive policy direction is hampering their development. 

In the Latrobe Valley of Victoria:

  • In the next eight years, renewable energy projects in the region could offer 3,160 positions in construction and installation, and 740 ongoing jobs in operations and maintenance.

This represents a significant opportunity, but also a stark reality check—government must do more to enable wider regional economic diversification in these communities.

Expecting renewables alone to compensate for the stable, high-paying jobs that coal has provided is unrealistic. But importantly, our analysis finds that all of the regions studied are full of untapped potential that the clean energy economy, broad diversification, private investment, and targeted government backing in vital areas can unlock. 

“Institutions set up to deal with Hazelwood’s sudden closure in 2017, such as the Latrobe Valley Authority, have shown us that locally led initiatives can spur economic diversification. As we look to the future, vast opportunities such as the Valley’s offshore wind resources, among others, can further support the region’s bright future,” said CEO David Cross.

A detailed outline of the opportunities available to the Latrobe Valley is available in the full paper.

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