SUBBIES STUNG: Company collapse leaves locals in lurch

 

DOZENS of subcontractors are out of pocket after the construction company tasked with two major Maryborough projects went bust.

It's just a taste of what is happening across Queensland as big building businesses collapse leaving locals in the lurch.

Across the state more than 50 building companies have collapsed since 2013, leaving about 7000 subbies unpaid.

Today we launch an investigation into the collapse of some dozens of building companies which owe subcontractors millions of dollars.

New development - Glenn Winney from Win Constructions in front of the new Hervey Bay project The Icon.
New development - Glenn Winney from Win Constructions in front of the new Hervey Bay project The Icon. Cody Fox

Glen Winney, whose company supports hundreds of local subcontractors every year, says the impact of these collapses is felt throughout the community.

The managing director of Win Projects said more education and transparency was needed in the building industry to ensure smaller subcontractors weren't stung by the collapse of major projects.

Mr Winney said part of the problem was there was not enough support for local contractors during the tender process.

"When a big job around town comes up, there will be quotes from bigger, Brisbane-based contractors who will erect temporary offices here," Mr Winney said.

"Because of that, they're considered 'local' and are awarded the contract.

"They go and leave maintenance issues when the job is finished and the higher-risk ones end up going broke."

That particular situation unfolded on the Fraser Coast after Sommer and Staff went into voluntary administration in September last year.

At the time, they were midway through renovations at the historic birthplace of Mary Poppins author PL Travers on Kent St.

Mr Winney said the collapse of big projects and companies created a "reputational blow" for the local industry.

"It really impacts the small supplier, the mum-and-dad kind," he said.

"When they've got a small job supplying roller doors or painting services, every job counts for them.

"To lose a job and lose several thousands of dollars, sometimes it makes the small guys go broke or they have to compensate by putting their prices up.''

As we continue to cover the issue, we want to hear from local subcontractors who have been hurt by bigger companies going bust.

Get in touch with us at editorial@frasercoastchronicle.com.au or by phoning 41201000.

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