Fire forces Australian shipyard into administration

Australia's Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett inspects the hull of the fire damaged Armidale Class Patrol Boat HMAS Bundaberg Australia's Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett inspects the hull of the fire damaged Armidale Class Patrol Boat HMAS Bundaberg Royal Australian Navy: LT John Hooper

NOVEMBER 4, 2014 — Brisbane-based shipbuilder Aluminium Boats Australia Pty Ltd today announced that it had been placed into voluntary administration.

John Park and Kelly Trenfield from global business advisory firm FTI Consulting Group have been appointed Administrators for the company.

The company says the move was made necessary after a fire involving the Royal Australian Navy the Armidale Class Patrol Boat HMAS Bundaberg when undergoing maintenance at the company's Hemmant dockyard 11 weeks ago. An investigation into the cause of the fire, which started on board the boat, is continuing and an insurance claim has been lodged.

Aluminium Boats Australia Director Roy Whitewood said the voluntary administration process would help the company address its current financial challenges.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff who have shown enormous support to the company, particularly during the past 11 weeks as we have sought to work through a range of issues following the fire," he said.

"It is my strong hope and desire to return the business to financial health, and I will be working closely with the Administrators to try and achieve this."

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Aluminium Boats Australia was founded in 1999 and employed 160 people at the time of the fire. Ninety staff were laid off in the immediate aftermath of the fire, with the remaining 70 losing their jobs Tuesday.

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