Paul Keightley from Wide Bay Floor Sanding - out of pocket $21,000 after the Maryborough City Hall main contactor went bust. Photo: Alistair Brightman
Paul Keightley from Wide Bay Floor Sanding - out of pocket $21,000 after the Maryborough City Hall main contactor went bust. Photo: Alistair Brightman

’It wasn’t our decision’: Why City Hall subbies went unpaid

THE main contractor of the Maryborough City Hall renovation, which went into voluntary liquidation leaving local subbies high and dry, is facing further action from the state industry commission.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission has commenced action to cancel GSG Contracting's building licence.

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It has also sought to enforce an exclusion action against the director which could see them locked out of the building industry for three years.

The Chronicle understands about six Fraser Coast contractors have been listed as creditors for unpaid work on the Fraser Coast Regional Council's hall project.

These companies include Wide Bay Floor Sanding, Elite Electrical Refrigeration and Airconditioning and Allen Gillespie Electrical.

GSG Contracting construction manager Simon Graye told the Chronicle "it is a disappointing outcome for everyone."

He also said when he took the Maryborough City Hall contract he had no idea the company would go into liquidation.

"It wasn't our decision (to go into liquidation), it was the Queensland Building and Construction Commission," he said.

"This happened because we had our building licence suspended by the QBCC."

The firm's high-level Queensland Building and Construction Commission licence was suspended on October 28 for failing Minimum Financial Requirements and its State Government Pre-Qualified Contractor status has been made inactive.

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When asked why the QBCC suspended his builder's licence he said it was a "complicated situation".

Mr Graye said he let several of the Maryborough City Hall contractors know about the liquidation on the day it happened and was advised liquidators had told the rest within two days.

Mr Graye confirmed he was still operating an earth moving business called Power Civil which was "a completely separate business in a completely different industry".

A QBCC spokesman said part of the requirements were that companies held appropriate asset levels that supported their maximum annual allowable turnover, and this wasn't the case for GSG Contracting.

"Experience tells us that companies which operate without the appropriate asset base to support their turnover are at higher risk of facing insolvency," he said.

"While there is no law that can provide an iron clad guarantee against business failure or financial mismanagement, people who invest in Queensland and workers who establish their career in Queensland need to be given the highest possible security that Queensland has a strong, stable building industry."

GSG Contracting's licence had also been previously suspended on October 14, 2019 for non-payment of debts, but reinstated the following day, as that issue was resolved.

"Even if a licence has been cancelled, the QBCC has the ability to examine financial information that has been previously provided by or on behalf of the cancelled licensee," the spokesman said.

"As such, the licensee's accountant is currently under investigation for providing false or misleading financial information to the QBCC."