MONEY LOST: Dozens of subbies have been affected by the folding of Sommer and Staff, which was working on the Mary Poppins building in Kent St.
MONEY LOST: Dozens of subbies have been affected by the folding of Sommer and Staff, which was working on the Mary Poppins building in Kent St. Joshuah Bucke

'No way we can fight it': Frustration simmers over local job

WHILE helping upgrade the Mary Poppins building under Sommer and Staff's direction, Bill Christensen believed work was progressing well.

But after the troubled company went into receivership, his problems with getting paid began.

Mr Christensen, the owner of Wide Bay Architectural Hardware, was supplying commercial hardware to Sommer and Staff during its upgrade on the Kent St building in September last year.

After the company went into administration, Mr Christensen knew there was no chance he'd get paid for any more work he'd done on the site.

"They paid all right for a while but then came back with a bill for $2000 worth of extras before they went into receivership,” Mr Christensen told the Chronicle.

"After I got the notification I wasn't expecting to get any money out of it.”

It's not the first time the Bundaberg-based subbie has been short-changed by big building businesses in his line of work.

Mr Christensen estimated he'd lost about $20,000 over the past 10 years due to problems with payments on jobs.

"We've been caught before...(so) the bottom impact isn't felt as much because it's over such a long period of time,” Mr Christensen said.

"But it's still frustrating when you see it happen.

"It takes a lot of work to make up for the lost money.

"We manage our business pretty tight on credit...when we don't get paid in these situations there's no real way we can fight it.”

The folding of Sommer and Staff left dozens of local sub-contractors, who were at the time contracted to work on the Mary Poppins building and conduct electrical upgrades at Maryborough Hospital, out of work.

The company reportedly owed $5 million to subbies from all over the state.