Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has called on the Premier Daniel Andrews to take action to support Latrobe Valley businesses following the collapse of Steelvision.
Speaking in Parliament, Mr Blackwood said serious questions needed to be answered regarding Steel Vision and the process that was followed for the approval of a significant grant from the Victorian Government.
‘Steelvision established its operations in Morwell in March 2018 with the support of a state government grant apparently in the order of $750 000,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘Within a matter of months it became very apparent that Steelvision were facing serious financial difficulty, and this was having an impact on local businesses supplying goods and services to Steelvision.
‘They have now been placed into voluntary administration and administrators appointed.
‘It is very hard to understand how this company was able to attract hundreds of thousands of dollars in state government funding to set up its operations in Morwell, yet in a matter of months the same company is in administration and has subsequently left a trail of hurt in our community.
A number of Latrobe Valley businesses are now facing hefty financial losses following Steelvision being placed into administration.
‘This issue has left many local businesses extremely distressed from a financial and emotional perspective.
‘I understand that Steelvision owes creditors more than $15 million.
‘This is an enormous hit to the local economy and the families caught up in this mess.
‘Admiral Towing and Ashby’s Electrical are two of the many unsecured creditors that have virtually no chance of being paid.
Mr Blackwood has called on the Premier to establish a compensation fund to assist Latrobe Valley businesses and employees to ensure more job losses and closures do not occur as a result.
‘In September 2018 even the Treasurer publicly noted concerns relating to Steelvision, yet took no action to investigate allegations or do anything to minimise the damage to local businesses and individuals who had acted in good faith when supplying goods and services to Steelvision.
‘This is about what is fair, just and right, and appropriate support for businesses and people who trusted the governments judgement in support of Steelvision and their Morwell operation,’ said Mr Blackwood.