McVilly Timber workers shocked at job loss

Shocked McVilly Timber workers are reeling and unsure of their future after they were made redundant.

No more: McVilly Timber workers were made redundant on Monday after administrators were appointed, closing the company, which has operated for 42 years. Picture: Rob Gunstone

No more: McVilly Timber workers were made redundant on Monday after administrators were appointed, closing the company, which has operated for 42 years. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Employees James McGinty and Lindsay Whennen operated the post peeler, stacker and strapper at the Mumbannar site and are unsure how they are going to pay their bills.

“They rounded us up at 2pm (Monday) and told us there and then there’d be no redundancy and no pay out,” Mr McGinty said.

“I was there for four years so it was straight out of the blue. It was a bit of a shock.”

Administrators were appointed to Terang-based McVilly Timber on Monday, closing the company, which has operated for 42 years.

The company owes about $1 million and 27 workers are without jobs at locations including Terang, Timboon, Mumbannar, Bungaree and Winchelsea.

Mr McGinty, 30, of Dartmoor, said seven workers and one truck driver were made redundant at the Mumbannar site. He said one had a young family, while others were aged in their 20s and 30s with financial commitments.

“There’s a guy who’s been there on-and-off for 14 years. He couldn’t believe it. He didn’t know what to do.

“I’ve got a few bills to pay but there’s not much you can do when you’re left in the lurch. It’s pretty bad.”

Mr Whennen, 22, said he was in disbelief and it took a few days to sink in.

“We didn’t hear anything (prior to the announcement) but our pays were getting slower and slower. Each week they were taking longer to come in,” he said. 

Mr Whennen said he had five bills due next week, including his car registration and insurance and would have to contact the bank and finance company for an extension.

Terang Progress Association secretary Sandra Noonan said the closure “was not good”.

“It’s quite a large number of people across a few towns,” she said. “It’s devastating for the families and the community to lose another business.”

Terang Home Hardware timber manager Lee McIntosh said it was sad for the town to lose one of its big businesses. “I think time will tell (about the impact on the town). I’m not too sure how many people worked at the Terang site but it’s never good when such a big business like that folds.” 

Corangamite Shire mayor Jo Beard said she was seeking clarity with administrators about the job losses and future opportunities for workers.

Administrators PPB Advisory is calling for “urgent expressions of interest” to buy the business and assets. Non-binding bids are due by Friday, February 24.