15/04/2009 - 10:34

Three WA ABC Learning Centres to shut

15/04/2009 - 10:34

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Three ABC Learning Centres in Western Australia are expected to close while the future of two more are in doubt after receivers PPB failed to find suitable operators.

Three WA ABC Learning Centres to shut

Three ABC Learning Centres in Western Australia are expected to close while the future of two more are in doubt after receivers PPB failed to find suitable operators.

Court appointed receiver Stephen Parbery, of PPB, told reporters that operators had been found for 210 childcare centres of the original 241 ABC2 centres across the country.

The ABC group went into receivership last November with debts of more than $1.5 billion.

More than 700 centres deemed viable are set to be sold off and remain in business, but the remaining 241, classified as ABC2, were regarded as non-viable and had been kept open after the federal government provided $58 million.

Today, Mr Parbery said PPB has found alternative care for children at 19 centres that will close.

In WA, these included centres in Byford, Waikiki and Westfield.

The WA division of the LHMU, which represents childcare workers, said the three centres employ a total of 25 people.

"The fate of most ABC Learning Centres has been decided, ending months of uncertainty for the parents and children at these centres," LHMU assistant secretary Kelly Shay said.

"But what remains unclear is the fate of employees.

"Their futures are still very uncertain and we call on the government to ensure that no ABC Learning employee loses their job, despite the closing of centres."

PPB expects 80 per cent of ABC2 employees will be offered jobs with the new operators.

Meantime, potential buyers for a further eight centres across the country have not been found including two in WA.

PPB said no operator was identified for ABC centres in Boulder and Somerville Central, with the centres' fate "to be resolved".

The federal government says it has no plans to take over the eight unviable ABC Learning Centres set to close within months.

Negotiations are continuing with new operators for centres in Dunsborough Lakes, Fremantle, Kelmscott, Madora Bay and Rockingham North.

 

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