Latrobe City Council has written to Telstra Corporation expressing disgust at the telecommunication giant’s decision to close its Moe Call Centre.
The council was also disgusted at the telcos lack of commitment to regional Australia.
Telstra will close its Moe call centre on 13 April, meaning its 114 workers will have to look for new jobs.
Latrobe City Mayor, Darrell White, said it was “extremely disappointing” that Telstra showed a disregard for regional Australia and a “lack of consideration” of the impacts that this closure will have on the Latrobe City community.
“In 2001 when the Telstra agreement was signed, Moe was experiencing a high unemployment rate of 15.3 per cent,” he said.
“This prompted council’s bid to attract Telstra to Latrobe City which included a payment of $500,000 under council’s then Business Attraction Policy, binding Telstra to the creation of 300 full time jobs for a minimum period of three years.”
Latrobe City deputy mayor, Sharon Gibson, said in addition to the terrible impacts on those who are losing their jobs in the Moe area, Council feels cheated by Telstra because of the cash contribution that was made.
“Although the call centre has been operating for much longer than three years, Telstra has turned its back on regional Australia by moving its business to Melbourne and the Philippines,” she claimed.
Latrobe City Council was proactive in diversifying the economy and attracting major new employers to the region.
Although the call centre building is privately owned, council will continue to endeavour to assist the owner in attracting a new lease for the building.