President’s comments – May 2016

The last few weeks in Whyalla certainly have been a tremendous roller coaster ride, since it was announced that Arrium/OneSteel, went into voluntary administration.

From the onset, members of the Chamber Executive have been very active, through discussion at our Executive meetings, attending briefings and discussions with Administrators KordaMentha, Small Business Commissioner John Chapman, State Government Ministers, local contractors and being available for many media interviews.

Although our Executive Team is made up of members who are in a volunteer capacity, we have not let this be a barrier to our involvement in all aspects of this situation and in a number of cases, this has meant that we left our normal business activities to support and represent our membership and the business community in Whyalla.

The Executive Team have been truly active not just by way of attending meetings, but proposing ideas and suggestions, to try and protect our important assets in Whyalla, which are our Steel Industry and the people who support it.

The uncertainty that is being felt by this community is understandable and the Chamber Executive has been working tirelessly, to make certain that as the advocate for business, our voice is being heard in the best possible way, so that we are sending the right messages back to the Governments of the day and engaging with them, to work collaboratively for positive outcomes.

Our website is constantly being updated with information as it is sent to us, thus providing relevant and up-to-date information as we move through this situation.

I have personally received a number of telephone calls and emails from the Administrators KordaMentha, ATO and local member Eddie Hughes MP, to keep us informed or thank the Chamber for the support we are providing and leadership we are showing for this community.

The recent announcement by the State Government of the $10M interest free loan program is a positive move and a step forward, to bring some level of comfort to those who are financially exposed to our current situation. Our steel industry is a strategic asset and it is imperative that our local contractor base continues, to support the needs of this region now and in the future.

For those who need to seek advice, please contact Soto Stuppos of Hood Sweeney on 1300 764 200

We are all looking for outcomes, sooner rather than later, however, we do not believe we will have a short term solution, due to the complexity. Therefore, we need to work through this together, provide support and use the services that have been made available for those contractors and businesses that unfortunately have financial exposure and require assistance to move forward.

In summary, the Chamber website www.wcci.org.au will contain information as it is passed on, so please keep visiting our website and feel free to contact me direct or through our website with questions or comments.

Your Chamber – Your Business – Whyalla’s Success

Ron Hay

3/5/16

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