McCurdy urges Myrtleford community to stay united

Monday 19 June 2017

Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy has urged the community of Myrtleford and district to remain strong and united.                       

Mr McCurdy was in Myrtleford on Friday talking to businesses and individuals and was at the local football on Saturday discussing the dispute at the mill.

“I have met with union members, non-union members, local businesses and community members and what I have heard is this community is fractured and vulnerable,” Mr McCurdy said.

“The dispute at Carter Holt Harvey has extended beyond an industrial dispute and is dividing the normally close knit township of Myrtleford. Sadly neighbours and friends are at odds as the dispute extends into another week. 

Mr McCurdy said the dispute was primarily between a multi-national company and a union with neither prepared to back down.

“The real losers in this whole saga are the families, businesses and community spirit in this timber town,” he said.

“I urge the people of this wonderful town to remember the priority in a small community is first to look after each other. Don’t let outside influences ruin the wonderful relationships you hold dear. Strength as a community comes first.”

Having been through the demise of the tobacco industry Mr McCurdy said Myrtleford had got back on its feet and was a vibrant destination for tourists and a great place for locals to live.

He said the dispute had the potential to inflict heavy economic implications on the town that didn’t need another industry collapse.

“A local resident told me: ‘The town is being held to ransom and we are the meat in the sandwich’. We must not allow a division to impact the future of this town.”

“I hope the community of Myrtleford is not further compromised by a dispute between two parties who cannot see eye to eye, while the grass roots members of the community are the ones being affected.

“I have requested Premier Daniel Andrews meet with Myrtleford community members during this week’s Parliamentary sitting to establish how the Victorian Government can assist or intervene to ensure the community remains viable in the short term while the dispute continues.”

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