Large WA transport firm run by former Toll boss collapses

Rivet Mining Services (RMS), one of the largest providers of bulk haulage and onsite services to mining companies in Western Australia, has gone into receivership.

In a preliminary statement, receivers FTI said that extreme weather events, project delays, labour shortages, and cost pressures had led to the company’s demise.

FTI added that its appointment related only to RMS, and not to the broader Rivet Group.

“All other entities of the Rivet Group will continue to trade in their usual manner and have the ongoing support of their senior secured lender to the group to do so to ensure that customers, suppliers and employees are not adversely impacted,” FTI said.

RMS was headed by Mark Rowsthorn, a co-founder and executive director of Toll Holdings and chief executive of Asciano as well running the McAleese Group that collapsed in August 2016.

RMS, which was part of McAleese, owed creditors almost $100m when it collapsed. Creditors later agreed to a deed of company arrangement.

According to its last financial report lodged in 2017, RMS continued to be impacted by lower iron ore prices, significant weather events and fleet repairs and maintenance.

The Rivet Group emerged from the McAleese collapse in December 2016 with Rowsthorn at the helm.

The collapse of RMS comes months after Clough, a much larger WA contractor, called in administrators with $248 million owed to creditors including $88.7 million to the joint venture building the Snowy 2.0 hydropower project for the federal government.

The TWU said it is working with RMS administrators to ensure workers are prioritised throughout this administration process.

TWU national assistant secretary Nick McIntosh said wafer-thin margins are unsustainable for any business, but in transport they are the norm.

“We’re seeing hundreds of transport workers losing their jobs and supply chains plunged into chaos because operators are unable to survive the upsurge of operating costs like fuel, severe weather events, or project delays without regulatory support to recover those costs from wealthy clients,” he said.

“Driver shortages are the result of an industry in crisis. Truck driving used to be a career people were proud of, now it’s the cause of unrelenting stress and deadly pressure.”

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