The Chronicle

Covid pain for firm


THE director of a Toowoomba civil engineerin­g company that’s $4.69m in the red has blamed the Covid pandemic and too much rain as the key reasons why the business was placed in voluntary administra­tion.

About 60 per cent of Dukril Group Civil Constructi­on’s revenue came from rehabilita­ting gas fields, but director Iain Bucknell said the work had dried up overnight as the business faced uncertaint­y during the early days of the Covid pandemic in 2020.

“We were lining up to do rehab work, but everyone did not know which way to go – they all just sat on their hands,” he said.

A second major blow came to Dukril Group after torrential rain in Proserpine forced the company to walk away from a major road project.

The company ceased trading on August 26 and was placed in voluntary administra­tion the next day with Brisbane firm Mackay Goodwin appointed as the liquidator.

Twelve employees were laid off at this time.

The liquidator’s report found the company held about $4.69m in liabilitie­s – with about $3.72m owed to unsecured creditors.

Its analysis of the Dukril Group’s financial history shows its trade income dropped by 21 per cent in the 2020-21 financial year while its staff costs increased by 22 per cent.

The reports states that this change in fortunes was the result of several of the company’s contacts being suspended due to Covid restrictio­ns.

“This appears to be the primary contributo­r to the loss recorded in the FYE 2021,” the report said.

A second meeting of creditors has been called for Friday, October 1 when they will vote to either extend the administra­tion period, end it, or liquidate the company.

The liquidator’s report recommends extending the administra­tion period.

The report states that if the company is liquidated now the unsecured creditors would lose all their money, while they may get about 3-4 per cent if the administra­tors had time to recoup debts.

Mr Bucknell said it was unlikely the company would survive. “There has been a lot of damage done,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia