South Grafton abattoir owner Stuart Ramsey.
South Grafton abattoir owner Stuart Ramsey.

Ramsey only has himself to blame

IT takes someone with the hide of a Stuart Ramsey to blame government departments for the failure of their business, but predictably that is what happened when the closure of Ramsey Food Processing's abattoir in South Grafton was announced yesterday.

We said as much in a comment piece yesterday.

Government departments aren't to blame for the failure of his business; that rests much closer to home.

Had Mr Ramsey's company not polluted a South Grafton creek the Department of Environment and Climate Change would have never had to prosecute it; had his company followed the directions of the Land and Environment Court it would never have been prosecuted for contempt of court and had he not established "sham" shelf companies, as Federal Court Judge J Buchanan described them, to deny workers their proper entitlements he would not now be facing a hefty legal bill, possible fines and the previously unpaid entitlements.

Those things are not the fault of the government.

Our feelings and support should go to the workers. In most cases they are employed in low-skilled jobs and have little prospect of finding work quickly in the Clarence Valley. The older workers might never find it.

Mr Ramsey, however, is in a different position.

He has other business interests and while the closure of such an important asset will hurt, it is unlikely he will have to join the dole queue any time soon.

Perhaps the best outcome would be for Mr Ramsey to sell the plant - it still has profit-making potential - and the workforce can be reinstated.

If that is an option, all levels of government should chip in to help, just as they did when Mr Ramsey bought it.



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