$36m is ‘no re­lief for us’

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - RYAN KEEN

A $36 mil­lion “progress pay­ment” from the de­vel­oper of the Gold Coast’s trou­bled Jewel tow­ers to its ma­jor builder is prov­ing lit­tle re­lief for outof-pocket sub-con­trac­tors.

Yuhu Group, de­vel­oper of the stalled $1.4 bil­lion triple tow­ers in Surfers Par­adise, was to make a $30m pay­ment soon to builder Mul­ti­plex, the Bul­letin re­ported yes­ter­day.

A Yuhu Group spokesper­son told the Bul­letin late on Thurs­day: “The progress pay­ment you might be re­fer­ring to has al­ready been paid.”

It is un­der­stood to be $36m. But the news of the pay­ment is bring­ing no joy to sub­con­trac­tors who quit the site in the past fort­night amid up­heaval sur­round­ing re­designs and pro­posed re­tender­ing of some work.

One con­trac­tor await­ing a six-fig­ure pay­ment for pre-or­dered ma­te­ri­als said yes­ter­day: “Un­til the money is in my

bank ac­count they can say what they want.

“I have heard it all nu­mer­ous times – then push comes to shove and it’s the con­trac­tors left with no money in their pock­ets. So un­til I see the money in my bank ac­count I’m al­ways fear­ful.”

A Yuhu spokesper­son last night re­peated “all pre-or­dered ma­te­rial up to and in­clud­ing Septem­ber 21 will be paid for in full to Mul­ti­plex and those who be­lieve they have a claim should dis­cuss with Mul­ti­plex”.

The spokesper­son added: “... pre-or­dered ma­te­rial that can­not be re­turned”.

“Yuhu also makes all its pro­ject progress pay­ments in a timely man­ner.”

Sources say Yuhu and Mul­ti­plex rep­re­sen­ta­tives will meet on Mon­day to ne­go­ti­ate some of the con­trac­tor costs.

It co­in­cides with work restart­ing af­ter a meet­ing of work­ers and the Con­struc­tion, Min­ing, Forestry and En­gi­neer­ing Union (CFMEU) on Thurs­day en­dorsed a re­turn.

Half the 900 work­force was let go, ac­cord­ing to the union. The rest of the staff and sub­bies quit dur­ing the con­fu­sion when work dried up, with Yuhu Group say­ing it was await­ing re­designs and a ho­tel op­er­a­tor to be se­lected.

A Mul­ti­plex state­ment on Thurs­day said: “We’re glad to be back at work on the Jewel site to­day, and look­ing for­ward to com­plet­ing our re­main­ing scope of work on this land­mark Gold Coast devel­op­ment.”

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