Victorian  Government  puts  local  Cold  Chain  industry  at  risk  

The  Refrigerated  Warehouse  &  Transport  Association  of  Australia  (RWTA)  has  called  on  the   Victorian  Government  to  explain  why  it  encouraged  a  business  with  a  history  of  serial  insolvency  in   Europe  to  enter  the  local  market.    

The  Andrews  Labor  Government  last  week  welcomed  plans  by  Dutch-­‐based  cold  storage  and   logistics  company  NewCold  to  establish  its  Asia  Pacific  Headquarters  in  Melbourne’s  west.

However,  an  investigation  by  international  Forensic  and  Risk  Services  company  PKF  has  revealed   NewCold’s  European  Directors  have  a  history  of  insolvency  associated  with  failed  companies  in  the   same  industry.

RWTA  Chairman  David  O’Brien  called  on  the  Victorian  Government  to  disclose  any  subsidies  or   financial  assistance  offered  to  NewCold’s  establishment  in  Victoria,  and  to  explain  what  due   diligence  has  taken  place.

“Our  own  investigation  found  both  of  NewCold’s   foreign  Directors  have  been  directors  of   companies  that  have  gone  into  liquidation  in  the  UK.  How  have  they  proved  financial  viability   when  there  is  a  history  of  serial  insolvency  in  Europe?”  Mr  O’Brien  asked.     “This  should  have  raised  the  alarm  for  any  Australian  business  or  Government  considering   entering  a  commercial  relationship  with  this  firm,”  he  said.    

Mr  O’Brien  said  he  was  extremely  concerned  that  if  NewCold  decided  to  buy  market  share  by  price   gouging,  this  would  lead  to  job  losses  by  destroying  local  players.

“The  Premier  needs  to  explain  what  data  he  relied  upon  to  support  his  promise  of  the  creation  of   127  jobs  in  a  business  which  is  highly  automated.”

The  Australian  cold  storage  industry  is  estimated  to  be  worth  about  $6-­‐billion,  and  is  forecast  to   continue  growing  at  around  2.5%  per  annum.  

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