15
Oct 2019

Katter warns CuDECO to dig deep and pay ex-staff

Tweet about this post

KAP Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter is disgusted that the Cloncurry-based Chinese-owned CuDECO Rocklands mine has still not paid their employees’ entitlements and is now in administration.

The Chinese company stood down all their employees earlier in the year after suspending operations in December 2018. Employees are out of pocket in redundancies, wages, superannuation and holidays with reportedly some employees owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mr Katter said, “We started with a small group of employees coming to my office requesting help and that number is growing exponentially with more and more contacting us every week.”

“These are hardworking people living in the small town of Cloncurry who are now struggling to feed their families. You can’t sack a workforce of that size and expect them to find work easily in a small town, the jobs just don’t exist and some have had to change industries, leave town or travel to Mount Isa for work.”

Receivers were appointed to the company on the 1st of July with administrators appointed shortly after. These administrators were granted an extension of up to six months by the Court.

Mr Katter was disappointed by the extension, saying, “The longer it goes on the more they [the administrators] get paid. Thousands of dollars a day.

“We can’t trigger that Government money [Fair Entitlements Guarantee] until they go into liquidation or bankruptcy.”

Unfortunately, with administrators appointed, the Fair Work Ombudsman is unable to assist and has stated that employees must seek payment through the administrators.

Mr Katter said his office had received communication from the administrators which advised that they, at present, were unable to pay the employees, advising them to attend a meeting in February with all other creditors.

“It took over a month for the administrators to get back to my office regarding this after my initial phone call on the 6th of September and many follow-up calls and emails made by my office.”

Mr Katter said that receivers, working on behalf of the secure creditors, were first in line to recover their debts.

“This is the very reason I wanted the banking inquiry. It is so demoralizing for all Australians that nothing was done, not one person was punished,” Mr Katter said.

It has been reported that CuDECO was lent money that they didn’t repay which partly triggered the operations being suspended.

Mr Katter’s office has been in contact with the ATO, ASIC and Christian Porter’s office and is scheduling to meet with the Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations at this Parliamentary sitting.

“I have been fighting these battles for 50 years and I have been winning them for 50 years.”

—ENDS—

Contact Details

Innisfail
P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

Canberra
(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au