Bill's Media Releases

Gillard Government keeps in touch with hastie workers

The collapse of Hastie Group this week has been a hard blow to many families across the country but the Gillard Government is doing all it can to intensely monitor ongoing developments and assist employees in need.

The Government is aware the Hastie Group is made up of approximately 44 separate companies employing people across mechanical engineering, electrical and plumbing work on construction sites along with refrigeration and mechanical services.

I have repeatedly spoken with the appointed receiver and administrator for Hastie.

The administrator’s advice is that a number of the subsidiaries may be sold as going concerns and as such it is anticipated that a significant number of existing jobs for electricians, plumbers and metal tradespeople will continue.

The ACTU, CEPU and other employee representatives have been in contact with the Government to stand up for their members.  The Government is pleased to have received advice that up to 1,300 Hastie workers employed in the services part of the business are likely to retain their jobs.

In addition 500 workers in two refrigeration businesses are likely to retain their positions.

We will continue to keep in close contact with the administrator and receiver throughout this week.

The Government is also aware that the CEPU and the administrator have reached an arrangement allowing redundancy certificates to be issued.  For some employees this means they may be able to gain access to entitlements faster.

All workers who are not able to continue in their employment will be eligible for support through JSA and Centrelink. All eligible employees will be entitled to access the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS) where liquidation of Hastie subsidiaries is confirmed.

The Government is committed to ensuring that Hastie workers are not kept in prolonged uncertainty.  We are acutely aware that these skilled employees are caught up in circumstances beyond their control and the work they do is necessary for many construction projects to be successfully completed.

We are particularly disappointed at initial reports that these circumstances have arisen due to a $20 million accounting irregularity in the Hastie business. The Government is aware that ASIC are now looking into the matter and making enquires of the directors, administrators and auditors.

These workers and their families should be in no doubt that the Government will continue to monitor this situation closely and stands ready to assist Hastie workers in need.

Minister Shorten’s Media Contact: Sam Casey 0421 697 660