Subbies on warpath following Carmichael collapse
A GROUP of Queensland tradespeople has called for reform of security of payment laws after the collapse of a major builder is understood to have cost subcontractors more than $ 10 million.
The group, called the Subcontractors Alliance, also wants a contentious commission of inquiry report, buried by the former Borbidge government in 1996, released.
The Scurr report is believed to have recommended a system of construction trusts but it was never released after complaints from major industry groups.
“There needs to be security of payment reform which includes construction trusts to make sure our money is safe,” alliance spokesman Les Williams said yesterday.
“Looking at what has happened at Townsville and elsewhere, this reform has to happen.”
Contractor Carmichael Builders collapsed last month with several big projects under way.
While corporate administrators are yet to release information, Carmichael Builders is believed to owe unsecured creditors $ 10.8 million, including about $ 2.5 million to subcontractors in Townsville for work on an aged care home project at Fairfield.
Mr Williams said thousands of small businesses were being ruined through no fault of their own.
“We need security of payment and we need construction trusts not controlled by builders,” Mr Williams said.
The alliance has written to State Housing and Public Works Minister Leeanne Enoch calling for reform and the release of the Scurr report. Yesterday, Ms Enoch said she was seeking advice over the Scurr inquiry report issue but she assured subcontractors the Government would act to improve security of payment.
Ms Enoch said a team had been formed within her department to look into possible measures.
“We will consult with relevant industry bodies and other key stakeholders including the Subcontractors Alliance,” Ms Enoch said.