Min­ers warned pay up

CQ TEAM STEPS UP FOR QUAKE RE­COV­ERY

Central Queensland News - - REAL ESTATE | INDUSTRY NEWS -

MA­JOR min­ing com­pa­nies push­ing out payments for con­tracted work are caus­ing “dev­as­tat­ing” losses for re­gional busi­nesses.

That’s ac­cord­ing to Glad­stone En­gi­neer­ing Al­liance spokesman Kieran Moran, who said the city was one of many strug­gling un­der “ex­tended pay­ment terms” is­sued by min­ing giants.

He said a re­cent Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment in­quiry looked into how the min­ing sec­tor could bet­ter sup­port re­gional busi­nesses, one is­sue be­ing the up to 90 days lo­cal con­trac­tors are po­ten­tially wait­ing to be paid by multi­na­tional com­pa­nies.

Mr Moran said that due to the down­turn of the in­dus­try in 2013 min­ing com­pa­nies ne­go­ti­ated to stretch out in­voice payments up to 90 days. It be­came com­mon prac­tice within the in­dus­try.

“But in­dus­try has picked up greatly, with coal prices and the econ­omy, it’s time to go back to those com­pa­nies pay­ing the lo­cal busi­nesses what they’re owed within 30-45 days again,” Mr Moran said. He said sev­eral Glad­stone busi­nesses had closed as a re­sult and there was about $4 mil­lion in un­paid work across the re­gion.

Mr Moran said those fig­ures were sim­i­lar in cen­tral and north Queens­land.

Glad­stone busi­ness Cor­fields Elec­tri­cal waited al­most a year to be paid for a min­ing con­tract and was “on the brink of clos­ing”.

Owner Ken Cor­field told the Ob­server in Au­gust that tens of thou­sands of dol­lars still owed was be­ing “drip fed”. The con­tract was due to be fi­nalised last De­cem­ber. Fed­eral Mem­ber for Daw­son Ge­orge Chris­tensen launched the Make it 30 Days cam­paign on Oc­to­ber 4, aimed to en­cour­age min­ing com­pa­nies to pay within 30 days or less to “give lo­cal busi­nesses a fair go”.

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