Jan 12, 2017

Ozcon closure sparks government aid

Ozcon closure sparks government aid

Surat Basin steel pipe engineering services business Ozcon Industries has closed its doors and gone into voluntary liquidation, with director Kieran Chiverton pointing to the drilling industry downturn as a factor.

Ozcon has been operating for more than 10 years, providing pipe threading and perforating processes, together with specialised pressure welding services, to the energy sector.

A statement confirming the liquidation indicated Ozcon’s workforce totalled 81 at the time of the decision, but it had previously employed up to 135 people in Dalby.

In that statement, Mr Chiverton said the company had incurred significant losses on a number of specialised welding projects and had also suffered due to the drilling industry downturn across the Australian energy sector.

The Palaszczuk Government said it had moved immediately to support workers and their families affected by the Ozcon closure, with the Department of State Development co-ordinating services to be on hand in Dalby as the company broke the news of the closure to employees.

“My message to these workers and their families is: you are not alone,” Acting State Development Minister Bill Byrne said.

“Centrelink has local staff providing financial advice, our four local TAFE career counsellors are available and Dalby Lifeline also has local counsellors available, as well as people in Toowoomba staffing their hotline.

“Ozcon is a private company that makes its own commercial decisions, but government has a critical role to play in times like these.”

Ozcon – which has sites at Miles and Moomba as well as Dalby – had advised the government that workers would be paid for work up until today (Thursday, January 12), however they would not receive any further entitlements.

Chris Powell of DuncanPowell.

Chris Powell and Stephen Duncan of DuncanPowell have been appointed joint liquidators of Ozcon Industries.

Mr Powell said that Mr Chiverton had been negotiating for the sale of the Ozcon business prior to the decision to appoint the joint liquidators.

“These negotiations will be pursued while at the same time the business will be widely offered for sale,” Mr Powell said.

Annual turnover of the business was about $17 million in the June 2016 financial year.

It sprang from an earlier enterprise, Ace Conveyers, which was run as a partnership between husband and wife team Kieran and Rhiannon Chiverton.