Craig Laundy, the federal minister responsible for business-incubator programs, has absolved himself from any responsibility regarding NORTEC's decision to sell off incubator sites and axe its programs.
The new business incubation site in Mullumbimby will be run by Sourdough. They have an information session coming up on Wednesday, 21 February at the Mullumbimby Innovation Hub.
Small businesses in Mullumbimby who were recently evicted by the government-funded ‘solutions provider’ NORTEC three weeks before Christmas are asking why CLIC, who will be taking over the site from NORTEC, can’t let them stay on.
It has come to light that NORTEC has recoded significant business losses during the last few years shedding more light on the motivations behind their recent withdrawal from programs they have been funded to provide both in the Byron, Lismore and Ballina shires.
Justine Elliot, Labor’s federal member for Richmond has made urgent representation to the minister for jobs and innovation over NORTECs termination of leases for the small businesses at their three small business incubator sites and the sale of the Goonellabah and Byron Bay sites.
Employment and training provider NORTEC have recently withdrawn the government funded outreach program aimed at providing language, literacy and numeracy training to help people access employment and training opportunities.
NORTEC has now listed the Byron Bay small-business incubator site for sale through a local real estate as a ‘very rare opportunity to purchase a substantial holding in an area of low vacancy and high demand.’
NORTEC is refusing to extend time for small business to find new locations over Christmas, yet it continues to itself as small a business supporter.
NORTEC claims to be ‘creating opportunity and inspiring the future’ and that they are able to provide ‘small-business solutions’ but they have demonstrated that supporting and inspiring is not at the top of their list of priorities – at least not for the small businesses they were supposed to be supporting in Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Goonellabah.
Denise Nessel, Ocean Shores. The news that NORTEC intends to sell two properties used for business incubators is disturbing.
Geoffrey Colwill, chairperson, NORTEC. Along with other employment service providers, we are on the cusp of a quantum shift in our industry, which has been set by the federal government’s agenda. NORTEC is determined to adapt to the new environment and continue to create opportunities and inspire futures for the people we work with.
Garry Bargh, past BETC manager. NORTEC is selling community assets: the Bryon small business incubator in Centennial Circuit, Byron industrial estate, established 1999 and the Ballina small business incubator in the Ballina industrial estate, Clark Street, established 1993.