Western Australia Acting Premier Kim Hames
State Revises Terms On Coal To Support Hundreds Of jobs
Victor P Taffa
The State Government will provide a pre-payment of up to $4 Million for the delivery of coal from Griffin Coal in a move designed to support the company’s employees.
Acting Premier Kim Hames said the Government had advised Griffin Coal administrators it had accepted minor revisions to the original terms and conditions for the pre-payment.
“At the request of the administrator, the Government has agreed to waive the condition under the existing contract that requires Griffin to demonstrate there is a certain amount of uncovered coal reserve available each month.” Dr. Hames said.
“The administrator contends that meeting this condition will divert mining activity from the delivery of coal.”
“The Government has decided that, in these unique circumstances, waiving this condition is appropriate to enable the $4 Million pre-payment to be provided and help the mine continue operating in the short-term.”
Griffin Coal requested financial help from the State Government on January 4 and an offer was made two days later – the Government acting quickly to ensure keeping jobs and workers’ entitlements were at the forefront of any administrator decision.
“The offer of a $4 Million pre-payment for three weeks worth of coal under the existing contract with Verve was a way we could help ensure cash-flow and buy time for the administrator so jobs could be maintained.” the acting Premier said.
Dr. Hames said the State’s pre-payment offer was subject to the coal meeting Verve’s existing contract requirements for quality and quantity, and that the money would be used for operational expenditure only.
“Griffin Coal is a wholly privately-owned company and it is the owner’s responsibility, through the administrator, to ensure the future of jobs and the resource.” Dr. Hames said.
“The Government is pleased to offer support where it can and our actions are borne of our support for the hundreds of Griffin employees and the Collie Township.”
“This is a unique situation and the Government’s offer is a one-off. We are not in the business of bailing out a privately-owned company.”
The State has assumed any risk if the pre-paid coal is not delivered, State Treasury has effectively underwritten the $4 Million to Verve, which has not assumed any risk in this regard.
Verve’s contract with Griffin would continue if quality and quantity requirements were met.
Strong and decisive action by the Government will ensure that the families of Collie can put food on the table and pay the electricity account.