Sub­bies on warpath fol­low­ing Carmichael col­lapse

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

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.

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