Govt help is not an op­tion

Albany Extra - - News - Saskia Adysti

Though they hope to see the Katan­ning co-op sur­vive its ad­min­is­tra­tion process, South West MPs say gov­ern­ment in­ter­ven­tion is not pos­si­ble.

O’Con­nor MP, Rick Wil­son and Roe MLA, Peter Run­dle said it would be very dif­fi­cult for any gov­ern­ment to sub­sidise an in­di­vid­ual busi­ness.

Mr Run­dle, who grew up in Katan­ning and is a share­holder of BKW co-op, said the fu­ture of the busi­ness was now in the hands of the ad­min­is­tra­tor.

“It’s al­ways very dif­fi­cult for the Gov­ern­ment to come in and sub­sidise in­di­vid­ual busi­ness be­cause other busi­nesses will come in and ask for the same thing,” he said.

“We can es­tab­lish busi­ness de­vel­op­ment of­fices but they are not nec­es­sar­ily geared to sus­tain some­thing like the co-op.”

Mean­while, Mr Wil­son whose brother is a di­rec­tor of the BKW coop said it would be a very sad day if the co-op couldn’t keep its doors open.

“BKW co-op is an in­sti­tu­tion and cer­tainly has been a big part of my child­hood,” he said.

“I know peo­ple in town who have given a life­time of ser­vice to the coop.

“I grew up with those peo­ple — if it closes its doors they might be out of work.”

Head of RSM’s re­struc­tur­ing and re­cov­ery group and the ad­min­is­tra­tor of the co-op, Neil Cribb said he had re­ceived nu­mer­ous ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est for the busi­ness but was still wait­ing for an of­fi­cial of­fer. “Be­fore de­cid­ing on any­thing we are still wait­ing for a non­bind­ing in­dica­tive of­fer by the end of the week,” he said.

“Af­ter­wards, then we can ne­go­ti­ate with pre­ferred of­fer­ers.”

Mr Cribb said the co-op needed a ma­jor in­vest­ment to over­come $800,000 in losses over the past two years.

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