NORTEC losses may explain sell-offs

Adelaide Friday, Michael Brechbuhler, Jarrah Hustler and Natalia Sanchez from the Byron Bay incubator site have until January 19 to move out. Photo Aslan Shand.

Following revelations that NORTEC is selling valuable land in Byron Bay and Goonellabah and closing down the small business incubators at both sites, and the one they ran in Mullumbimby, the parlous financial state of the company has emerged.

NORTEC recorded net losses of $2,549,950 for the year ended 30 June 2015 and a further loss of $1,468,865 in the 2016 financial year.

NORTEC, an employment and training provider that receives government funding to run projects including NEIS programs, small business support and numeracy and literacy access programs has been closing down a number of projects in the region and recently withdrew the literacy and numeracy program based in Mullumbimby as well as closing the incubator sites.

‘Due to the way the government has set up these organisations they have a lot of fixed costs and the income can be variable,’ said Garry Bargh, past BTEC manager, who originally helped develop the small-business incubator sites NORTEC are selling off.

‘Balancing income and outgoings could be a challenge when we ran BTEC – it takes careful management. Yet we were able to develop and grow these incubator sites and hand them over to NORTEC debt free in 2007.

‘At that point the income from the incubator sites enabled them to be self-sustaining and provide the services that the incubators required to run.’

NORTEC were contacted by The Echo but did not respond by deadline.

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