Buildcorp responds over furious, unpaid subbies

Protesters on the Australian Catholic University site in Brisbane with subcontractors confront Buildcorp site manager Julian Woodward following the collapse of Sunshine Coast contractor Ideal Interior Linings.
Protesters on the Australian Catholic University site in Brisbane with subcontractors confront Buildcorp site manager Julian Woodward following the collapse of Sunshine Coast contractor Ideal Interior Linings.

UPDATE 5PM: A Buildcorp spokesperson said it was following due process in relation to the subcontractor.

"We are not in a position to make any further comment at this stage, pending our investigation, particularly given the sensitivities and reputational and other damage that could arise from a failure to accurately, truthfully and properly investigate and report on this matter," the spokesperson said. 

10AM: Protestors at the Australian Catholic University are this morning confronting principal contractor Buildcorp following the collapse of Sunshine Coast contractor Ideal Interior Linings has left them unpaid hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Police have been called with a source telling the Daily that the exchange was becoming increasingly heated. 

About 200 subbies, workers and suppliers were individually owed amounts up to more than $200,000 in cases.

 

Police at the building site protest.
Police at the building site protest.

Invoices presented a month ago remain unpaid on top of nearly another month of work since completed on the job.

The subbies are demanding an explanation with one source saying the project was just three weeks away from completion.

They began gathering at the site at 9am. 

 

Angry subbies at a protest on a Brisbane building site this morning.
Angry subbies at a protest on a Brisbane building site this morning.

EARLIER: Subcontractors, suppliers and staff of a long-standing Sunshine Coast construction company have been left unpaid for the past two months on the Australian Catholic University project in Brisbane.

Subbies, some of whom have gangs of 10 and 20 men and owed more than $200,000, were planning to protest at the job site today as the fate of Ideal Interior Linings of Parrearra hung in the balance.

The company is owned by Ike Russell, who has run a plastering business on the Sunshine Coast since 1976.

Calls to the company premises and Mr Russell's mobile contact were unanswered.

One subcontractor who declined to be named said he was owed around $18,000 but knew of others owed $100,000 and more.

An employee confirmed the Brisbane job had been shut down on Monday because of the company's incapacity to meet its commitments.

"He had to stop it Monday," the contact said.

"People were querying where their pays were."

The employee said the project had run backwards from the word go and had not been helped by difficult site access and the placement of the amenities block which took a 15-minute round trip for the 60 workers.

"Site management was an issue and they were waiting for windows to go in when the project was meant to be completed," the employee said.

"He's been trying to handle it as best he can.

"It's been escalating on a daily basis.

"Key personnel, site supervisors, subbies and trade suppliers have not been paid their last progress claims.

"The contractor wanted him to accelerate the program and when he couldn't they increased the man power themselves and took the cost from his progress payments."

It was believed the job had only three weeks to run with just sections of the second and top floors to complete.

An employee said the business had never previously been near the situation it was now in.

"Ike has kept a lot of men employed and a lot of families in income over the past 40 years," the employee said.

"He's done jobs all over the state."

The subcontractor said he not only had one monthly payment overdue but was now nearly out two months.

He said unpaid sub contractors and suppliers were planning to meet on the Australian Catholic University site from 9am.



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