About 500 jobs are set to be created in the Latrobe Valley, with the Victorian Government announcing a deal to bring the manufacturing of electric vehicles to the region.
The Australian-owned SEA Electric will set up the factory in Morwell, in the state’s east, with the first vehicle expected to roll off the production line in about a year.
The company aims to eventually assemble up to 5,000 per year at the site.
As well as meeting the country’s growing demand for electric cars, the deal is expected to create hundreds of jobs
“Our announcement today, the partnership with SEA Electric, is all about making sure the Latrobe Valley is the national capital for electric vehicles,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“We said we would stand with the Latrobe Valley, we’d back the Latrobe Valley, that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
SEA Electric executive chairman Tony Fairweather said the company was close to choosing an exact site for the factory, and planned to start training up local workers at its Dandenong plant as soon as possible.
“We’re also well advanced with starting the recruitment process for Latrobe Valley residents that are willing to … start working with SEA Electric immediately in our Dandenong facility with the ability to transition back into the Latrobe Valley facility once it’s ready,” he said.
The announcement is not an election promise, and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the deal would go ahead regardless of who won the November 24 poll.
Jobs are a key concern in the marginal seat of Morwell, which has been hit hard by the closure of the Hazelwood power station last year.
Government support for the deal has come from the $266 million Latrobe Valley Support Package, though Mr Andrews refused to detail how much the Government had provided.
Other car manufacturers have taken government support, only to close down local production.
Mr Andrews would not say what conditions were attached to the Government’s commitment. READ MORE