UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Peter Jones, a forklift driver at Norply, his partner, Hayley Mills, and one of their three children, Cody Jo
UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Peter Jones, a forklift driver at Norply, his partner, Hayley Mills, and one of their three children, Cody Jo

Talk of Norply appealKyogle Council considers giving $50,000 to help jobless workers



KYOGLE Council has voted to show its support for the establishment of a Community Emergency Appeal to assist Norply employees, and may give $50,000 to the cause.

About 140 workers lost their jobs when the factory was destroyed by fire last Thursday.

During yesterday's council meeting, councillors resolved to consider allocating $50,000 to setting up the appeal for Norply employees in desperate need.

The level of council support will be finalised once the finer details of the appeal are sorted out.

Mayor Ernie Bennett said the appeal would allow organisations and communities beyond Kyogle to help workers left without an income.

"Kyogle people are the type of people where they'll be supporting it themselves," he said.

"We want to be able to ask people beyond the Kyogle community."

Peter Jones lost his job of 13 years when the factory was destroyed, but the Kyogle father-of-three is confident Norply workers will be looked after.

"There is hope. Hope for my future, my family's and for Norply," he said.

"I'll look for casual work until I find out what's happening out there (at Norply). I want to go back.

"I just want to try and do something to help."

Mr Jones was one of about 100 former Norply employees who attended a meeting with Centrelink and local job agency representatives in Kyogle yesterday.

Centrelink announced all applications for assistance made by Norply workers would be fast-tracked to ensure there is no gap between when Norply payments end and Centrelink financial assistance begins.

All permanent Norply employees will be given an addi- tional two weeks pay at a cost to the company of $250,000.

Lismore Centrelink customer service centre manager Marilyn Lindsay said all Norply employee applications would be dealt with separately and extra staff had been called in to process their applications quickly.

In a separate meeting also held yesterday, Cr Bennett met with State Member for Lismore Thomas George and representatives from Norply, the Premier's Department and the NSW Department of Emergency Services.

Cr Bennett said the meeting was held to co-ordinate how everyone could help.

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