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Monday, 3 November 2003
Page: 21725


Mr ZAHRA (1:54 PM) —Moe got a bit of a kick in the guts the other day when it was announced that, sadly, Rocklea Spinning Mills was shutting its factory at Moe. The banks have appointed a receiver manager—sadly for workers in Brisbane, Tullamarine and Moe, in my electorate. People there have been advised that it is likely that the company is going to be wound up. I understand that there is an outstanding issue of a Commonwealth government grant of around $850,000 to Rocklea Spinning Mills. I understand that the company has been waiting some months to receive this grant. You have to ask what sort of a scheme the government has in place whereby companies go broke waiting to receive grants from the Commonwealth government.

I want to place on record that it is my very strong view that that $850,000 is money owed to the workers of Rocklea Spinning Mills and that that money should be made available to those workers if there is any issue at all in relation to the ability of that company to meet the entitlements of those workers who have worked so hard for that company for so long. In some cases people have worked at the Moe factory for 25 years. They are people who are on fairly low incomes, who have never involved themselves in industrial action and who have been incredibly flexible in assisting the company, over a number of decades in some cases, to adjust to changed market and international circumstances. I call on the government to provide all information relating to this grant and to indicate as soon as possible whether or not they are going to make the $850,000 available. (Time expired)