A truck dumps it load inside New Hope Group's New Acland coal mine. Photo: Stuart Cumming/The Chronicle
A truck dumps it load inside New Hope Group's New Acland coal mine. Photo: Stuart Cumming/The Chronicle Stuart Cumming

New Hope push back on pay term dispute

NEW Hope has defended the way it pays local companies after the Small Business Minister wrote to the company urging it to end 90-day payment plans.

Shannon Fentiman wrote to New Hope and dozens of other Queensland mining companies to warn them the government would take action if the companies did not reduce payment terms from 90 days to 30 days.

Mining-dependent small businesses reported cash flow issues due to lengthy payment plans.

But New Hope has defended its actions, stating it has no suppliers on 90-day terms.

A New Hope spokeswoman said the company had more than 2000 suppliers and none with payment terms longer than 30 days.

"New Hope offers each supplier a range of payment term options depending on their unique situation," she said.

"New Hope do not have any suppliers on 90-day terms. Of our 2000-plus suppliers, we have none over 30-day payment terms.

"New Hope works closely with each supplier to ensure it understands their individual needs and circumstances and come to mutually agreed payment terms. New Hope prides itself on the long-term relationships it has with its suppliers and contactors."

Ms Fentiman's letter was sent to 49 mining companies, including New Hope and Rio Tinto, who publicly ended their practice of extended payment terms in 2017.

In the letter, the minister urged miners to voluntarily change their payment plans or the government may intervene.

"If the matter is not resolved by voluntary adoption of improved payment terms, the Queensland Government will consider further reform to support small business in regional Queensland," it read.

Ms Fentiman praised New Hope's 30-day payment terms.

"We wrote to all companies in the resource-mining industry, urging them to support fair payment terms for small businesses," she said.

"It's great that New Hope are one of the companies that are leading by example and I have encouraged them to join our campaign to ensure the industry is supporting small businesses and local communities."

- NewsRegional