Adaptapack directors, Sam and Katie Walls.
Adaptapack directors, Sam and Katie Walls. Sophie Moeller

$1.5m pledged, 100 jobs promised but robotics firm falters

A ROBOTICS business which was slated to receive $1.5 million in federal funding has gone into administration.

Sydney-based Adaptapack was last February announced as a recipient for the funding under the Regional Jobs and Investment Program to expand into Lismore.

The company's directors, Katie and Sam Walls, travelled to the region for Page MP Kevin Hogan's announcement of the funding last year.

When the funding was announced, the pair said the business would bring 100 high-paid and high-skilled jobs to the area.

But external administrators were appointed to Adaptapack, as well as Walls Machinery Pty Ltd, on November 8 last year.

Kate Walls, CEO, of Adaptapack (far right) at PM's $25million investment package announcement.
Kate Walls, CEO, of Adaptapack (far right) at PM's $25million investment package announcement.

Ms Walls is also a complementary health practitioner associated with Universal Medicine, a group whose founder, Serge Benhayon, was found by a Supreme Court jury to be "the leader of a socially harmful cult".

She runs Gentle Rhythms, a business based on Sydney's upper north shore which is "an official Universal Medicine satellite clinic", according to her website.

A spokesman for Mr Hogan said the $1.5 million funding was subject to Adaptapack meeting a certain "benchmark" before it was released.

"They went into administration before they reached this benchmark," he said.

"They have received no government money."

He said the money would be re-allocated, but would remain on the Northern Rivers.

Adaptapack had been in negotiations with Lismore City Council regarding the potential use of an Oliver Ave, Goonellabah site.

The council resolved last August to allow $31,200 be approved for a business case to support a grant application for the Oliver Avenue Link Road project.

A spokeswoman for the council confirmed they had expended the money for the business case, which was submitted as part of a grant application to the NSW Government's Growing Local Economies Regional Growth Fund in October last year.

"After Adaptapack went into liquidation, we resubmitted the grant application discussing the value the project would bring to other businesses in that location," she said.

"The project remains a priority for council."

The council is still awaiting the outcome of the grant application.

Adaptapack has been approached for comment.



Which Northern Rivers towns have increased in land value?

premium_icon Which Northern Rivers towns have increased in land value?

STRONG demand for hobby farms and lifestyle properties has created a spike in rural...

Decision made on controversial Byron bypass

premium_icon Decision made on controversial Byron bypass

Find out if Byron Shire Council can continue work on CBD bypass.

Ballina's ageing ferry needs 'risk reduction' strategy

premium_icon Ballina's ageing ferry needs 'risk reduction' strategy

How often will Burns Point Ferry be out of action?