The Andrews Government is torn between helping a group of workers in a small country town fighting for their jobs and caving in to a group of Melbourne investors happy for taxpayers to relieve them of their responsibilities, writes Michael Spencer.
The problem for the Andrews Government is that if it caves in to pressure over the Heyfield sawmill, what is the precedent that will be set? Why shouldn’t it then help workers at milk factories in northern Victoria, or any other rural business facing closure?
Heyfield’s claims for government assistance are weaker than most. When Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH) bought the Heyfield sawmill from Gunns Limited in 2012, it was already damaged goods.