All over for Protectaprint, now in administration

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Melbourne trade laminating business Protectaprint is in administration, as mounting troubles and an ATO wind-up order send the business over the edge.

Richard Wilkinson, Protectaprint
Over it: Richard Wilkinson, Protectaprint

The company is subject to an ATO winding up order in respect of unpaid tax, which is due to come into effect a week on Friday. It has also been subject to a $700,000 stoush with an unnamed consumables supplier; it had launched a counter-claim over what it said was faulty adhesive, but this has now been dropped.

Protectaprint owner Richard Wilkinson said he and his co-owner and brother Steve Wilkinson are "over it", with the pair deciding it is time to move on.

Wilkinson says the ATO winding up order is for a related trading company that he "forgot about". Print21 understands that several suppliers have also issued winding up notices against Protectaprint.

Wilkinson said, "We had also been having problems finding staff – I have been back on the machines myself, which I never thought I would do. You would think that in the current situation in Melbourne we would have no trouble, but staff are increasingly hard to come by.

"This is a good business, we have plenty of work, but the various issues have led us to decide that we'll call it a day."

The Wilkinson brothers bought the business from Allkotes two and a half years ago, and moved from Adelaide where they had been based, following the sale of their Adelaide Protectaprint business to Opus Group business McPherson's months earlier. When they took it on there were 15 staff; latterly there have been just a handful.

The Adelaide building that Protectaprint had occupied went up in flames a few weeks after the company relocated out of the factory.

***Local laminating company TLC says it has the capacity to handle work that was going to Protectaprint. Director Barry Webstaer says, "TLC has the most capacity in Victoria for laminating, spot UV, latex printing etc, and we're here ready to help any clients with their work."

***Avon Graphics Melbourne is setting up to support the industry for scratch-off latex production. A new specialised piece of equipment has arrived at the Melbourne plant and is currently being installed. Avon’s Sydney and Brisbane plants are already offering scratch-off latex production. All of Avon Graphics’ plants now offer full laminating and coating services.

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