Ian Oelrichs OAM, Banglaow
NORTEC have closed and are selling their small-business-incubation properties. The incubators were set up using government funds and public donations. Specifically, they were set up not with the business owners’ funds [NORTEC has no business owners] and especially not using any funds provided by its board members. So who did own the incubators? Was it actually the community?
NORTEC has said they do not have the expertise to run them. So why have they been mucking around with them for so long? Could it be the closure was necessary for financial reasons and have they been a loss-making organisation for a while?
NORTEC is an organisation that trains people to work successfully in business. It seems as though they have used the proceeds of the sales to shore up their own business failure.
NORTEC is a ‘not for profit’ [NFP], essentially a charity, set up to provide services that help local residents find jobs and local businesses find staff. The incubators were there to give new businesses the time and guidance to develop and thereby employ more people. They were a very important additional level of ‘employment service’ and ‘economic development’ in a region such as ours.
NORTEC has walked away from this obligation in a way that has impacts much wider than NORTEC itself rather than looking at ways to fix the problem.
What makes a bigger sham of this is that NORTEC is not following its own core values. How much inclusion, respect, integrity and accountability were being demonstrated by NORTEC regarding selling off the four incubators?
I suggest absolutely none!
Many involved with job and business creation wonder if NORTEC has any notion of what they have done to this region. These programs have received another ‘kick in the guts’ owing to NORTEC’s lack of thought and ability to think more cleverly.
One has to ask are charities the right type of organisation to help grow employment? How can the federal government justify giving them millions and millions of dollars to help increase employment when, seemingly, they cannot run their own business and need to sell what are essentially community assets to pay for their failure.
Is a review of this process needed?