Radius enters administration

UPDATE 6.30pm: Morley’s Emporium has closed as Radius Disability Services enters voluntary administration.

In a further statement this evening, adminstrators advised Morley’s Emporium retail and hospitality would close immediately, resulting in a number of employees being made redundant.

Craig Crosbie and Rodney Slattery of PPB Advisory have been appointed as Voluntary Administrators of Peter Harcourt Disability Services Ltd, trading as Radius Disability Services (Radius).

Radius is a not-for-profit community organisation providing training, employment and care support services for people living with disability in Bendigo and the surrounding areas.

PPB Advisory partner, Craig Crosbie, said: Radius had historically played an important role in the Bendigo community and vastly improved the lives of many people living with disability in the region.

“The care support services would continue in the short term while alternative arrangements were made with relevant government departments to ensure clients were looked after,’’ Mr Crosbie said.

“For financial reasons it has been necessary to close the Morley’s Emporium retail and hospitality offering immediately. This has regrettably meant a number of employees have been made redundant.

“We will work closely with management and the remaining staff while we undertake our investigations into the financial affairs of Radius and we will provide a further update as soon as we are able

The first meeting of creditors will be held on Thursday,  October 27 at 3pm.

An information session will also be held for Radius’ clients and their families shortly.

Further information is available to creditors and employees of Radius Disability Services under the Creditors Information section of the PPB Advisory website at www.ppbadvisory.com

Earlier: THE board of Radius Disability Services has made the “heart-breaking” decision to enter voluntary administration.

In a statement released on Monday afternoon, chairman Russell Robertson said it was a decision made “with great sadness”.

Radius, which was formed 62 years ago, has about 133 supported employees, 102 day service clients and 78 general employees.

The full statement read: With great sadness, the board of Radius Disability Services earlier today made the heart-breaking decision to appoint voluntary administrators to manage the ongoing operation of the organisation.

Chairperson Russell Robertson began informing staff, clients and their families of the decision today.

“This organisation was set up 62 years ago by a Committee of Management that wanted to keep people, including children, out of institutions. There has been a tradition of love and care every day since, and this decision really does break our hearts,” he said.

“Over the past five years we have been looking at ways to save the organisation. We are substantially dependent on government funding and we needed to change to try to generate income from other activities such as our social enterprises.

“We have tried everything we can, but we don’t see any reasonable commercial decisions open to the organisation.”

“The biggest reason for making this decision now, while we still have some flexibility, is to ensure there is continuity of care for our clients. Some of our clients have complex needs and their continued care and support is, and always has been, our number-one priority.”

Mr Robertson said the board acted quickly to ensure as minimal impact as possible on staff, clients and their families.

The board has recently become aware of new information after an investigation by new CEO Alyson Miller.

This means that the financial viability of the organisation cannot be maintained. The most important issue is to ensure there is continuity of care for our clients and supported employees.

“The administrators have assured us in the immediate term there will be no change in care arrangements for our clients or supported employees,” Mr Robertson said. “The administrators will be working with the necessary government departments to find a longer term solution.

“We are working closely with the federal and state governments at this difficult time.

“Part of the reason for making this decision now was to ensure the entitlements of our staff would be protected, and that no detriment is caused to creditors by trading on.

“If we struggled on financially for a few more months, that story may have been different.

“Our supported employees have valuable skills and are fabulous people. We are confident there will be ongoing meaningful and fulfilling opportunities for them with other organisations that provide similar support.”

Radius has about 133 supported employees, about 102 day service clients and 78 general employees, which include carers and mentors for supported employees, and a small number of corporate staff.

“If there are businesses out there who wish to provide employment opportunities for our Supported Employees and Staff then please contact the administrators.

“We expect the administrators will call a community meeting later in the week, where staff, clients and their families can be well informed about the process in the coming weeks, Mr Robertson said.

“This is a sad day for our clients and their families, a sad day for our staff and, of course, a sad day for management and for the board. Given the impact of Radius and its staff on so many people over the years, I also feel this is a sad day for Bendigo,” he said.

“One thing I know about Bendigo is how caring a community it is. The board is doing everything it can to support Radius staff and clients, and I urge Bendigonians to do the same and show that legendary love and support in this tough time.

“I would like to thank everyone who has made a contribution to Radius over its history, and to all current staff, clients and their families. The Radius community consists of wonderful people and I cannot thank you enough for what you have all done.”