BACKING THE LOCALS: Ian Glaister from Ian Glaister Flooring says there are at least half a dozen subbies in the Fraser Coast who have experienced problems working for big building businesses.
BACKING THE LOCALS: Ian Glaister from Ian Glaister Flooring says there are at least half a dozen subbies in the Fraser Coast who have experienced problems working for big building businesses. Alistair Brightman

Subbie jobs should stay local, claims business owner

AS A small business owner, Ian Glaister is all too familiar with the problems caused by big building businesses mismanaging local projects across the Fraser Coast.

With the Fraser Coast Chronicle's campaign to back local subcontractors in full-swing, Mr Glaister says more needs to be done to ensure subbies across the region are paid for their work on major projects they are contracted to.

Mr Glaister, who runs his own floor-covering business in Hervey Bay, said he knew at least six local businesses had either not been paid in full or not paid at all for work on construction projects across the Fraser Coast.

He even shared his own story of problems encountered while working on an aged care centre in Hervey Bay.

"I was awarded the job to supply the labour to put in the floor coverings for this particular project," Mr Glaister told the Chronicle.

"I ended up spending $2,500 on adhesives and flooring products for the job.

"But when I got up there they (the developers) had already handed the job to a Brisbane-based company, who have since gone bust, and left me out of pocket.

"Adhesive is very expensive and it doesn't take long to rack up a few thousand dollars, which means a lot to me."

Mr Glaister said he felt upset that out-of-town companies would engage local subbies for projects but would end up tightening prices to get the job done.

But chasing up money owed from these projects, a position he said many locals found themselves in, was even harder.

"If those companies don't feel like paying it, then we locals don't have a leg to stand on," he said.

"To go and fight that fee, it will all get taken up in legal fees anyhow so there is no real point in doing that.

"The smaller the subbie, the harder it is to chase up the money they're owed."

"I strongly feel if a job is going to be handed out in town where locals are capable of doing it, they should get it instead of these companies."

He said a possible solution was to have someone overseeing parts of each project, but said he wasn't sure of how the system would work in the long run.