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Calls for meeting in Kyabram

Banksia investors living in Kyabram and district have been left angry and disappointed on hearing there will be no meeting with receivers in Kyabram.

November 21, 2012 4:50am

Banksia investors living in Kyabram and district have been left angry and disappointed on hearing there will be no meeting with receivers in Kyabram.

Suggestions of a campaign to persuade receivers McGrathNicol to hold a session have already been circulating on the street and in internet conversations.

McGrathNicol announced it will hold four investor information sessions on Friday, December 14, two at Shepparton Sports Stadium and two at the Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre.

Kyabram Chamber of Commerce president Sheryl Hatch was one of the first to speak out on the announcement and her views have since been echoed by many more.

‘‘We need a meeting here, the company owes the town a meeting in Kyabram,’’ Mrs Hatch said.

‘‘It just makes sense to have a meeting in Kyabram. Banksia was born here and has seemingly died here.

‘‘A lot of people do not drive and those with businesses to run will need to get extra staff in to cover so they can attend.’’

Campaspe Shire Council chief executive Keith Baillie raised the issue when McGrathNicol outlined its plans at the Victorian Government’s Working Group Meeting on November 5.

‘‘I stated to the meeting that it would be expected that a receivers’ meeting be held in Kyabram and I offered the Kyabram Plaza Theatre,’’ Mr Baillie said.

‘‘I was advised however that a venue holding several thousand was required. I asked whether despite that, Kyabram could be considered and perhaps a recreation reserve could be used.

‘‘I still believe it is important for impacted people in our shire to have a local meeting, however, given this announcement, I recommend people attend the Shepparton sessions if at all possible.’’

Kyabram-Deakin Ward’s three councillors all agreed a meeting should be held in Kyabram.

Cr Neil Pankhurst said he was disappointed a meeting had not been scheduled.

‘‘I understand one of the concerns was finding a suitable and big enough venue locally, but it would certainly have been preferable to have a meeting in Kyabram,’’ he said.

Cr Carol Howell said Kyabram would be the town hardest hit by Banksia going into receivership.

‘‘It’s always been such a local business and it’s very important to have a meeting here. There are a lot of people here who will find it difficult to get to Shepparton,’’ she said.

Cr Robert Danieli said people had expressed their disappointment to him with suggestions some form of pressure should be applied to get at least one session held in Kyabram.

‘‘People want first-hand information and it seems ridiculous they are staying away. Virtually everyone here is affected either directly or indirectly.’’

In a statement issued last week, McGrathNicol said the venues had been chosen based on the spread and concentration of debenture holders.

‘‘As you know BSL has offices spread right across Victoria so we needed to make sure that the venues chosen for the information sessions would be convenient for as many debenture holders as possible,’’ receiver Tony McGrath said.

 

‘‘In making that decision, we evaluated the spread and concentration of debenture holders and the size of available facilities.’’

The same information will be provided to debenture holders at all four sessions.

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