THE sting caused by the uncertain future of Tamworth’s Grain Products Australia (GPA) is being felt by a number of other businesses around the city.
Parry Logistics, based in Taminda, is one of a number of local businesses with a contract to service GPA, left counting its losses after administrators were called in on December 19.
GPA’s financial woes resulted in a 30 per cent cut to Parry’s immediate business activity and as a result, the family-owned business was forced to lay off eight staff members.
Parry Logistics owner Greg Parry said having to lay off the eight employees, many with more than two years’ service to the company, on Christmas Eve was “very difficult”.
He said work for the logistics company had wound back immediately after receiver McGrathNichol arrived at GPA on Wednesday,
December 19. “It’s hard to categorise how many runs we were doing from Grain Products each day or week; it hinged on demand, but essentially overall it’s a 30 per cent reduction in our workload,” Mr Parry said.
“It’s a loss to our business that is impossible to make up for and as a result we had to make the hard decision to let those eight staff go.”
Mr Parry said the company had been offering logistical transport support to GPA for a number of years.
“It’s not the kind of contract work you can easily pick up again,” he said.
“We provided the logistics to GPA from its inception and to the businesses at that site before GPA was established.”
Many people don’t know that the logistics company, until having to lay off those eight staff members on Christmas Eve, was another of the city’s largest employers.
“We had about 72 before we lost the eight,” he said.
“We are now back to 68 employees.”
Mr Parry didn’t rule out having to let go of more staff should GPA close when the expression of interest period ends tomorrow.
“We really don’t know what will happen next, but I’m not overly confident they will find a buyer,” he said.
“If that’s the case, it’s hard to say what could happen for us.”
Mr Parry said should GPA close, about 100 local workers, all with similar skill sets, were likely to be looking for work.
“That will create a problem, given the economy and the fact many of those employees, from both companies, will be looking for the same kinds of jobs, in the same areas across town,” he said.
At this stage McGrathNicol has advertised the business and assets for sale nationally.
A spokeswoman said yesterday potentially interested parties, including those from offshore, had been contacted.
“The receivers and managers will continue trading some parts of the business to help preserve the company’s value until any offers they receive for the business are assessed,” she said.
GPA employees will continue to be paid as normal for work performed until Friday, when a further update will be made available.