Darren Ireland says his business is down $65,000 for work done refurbishing The Rock Building Society before the project’s primary contractor folded.
Darren Ireland says his business is down $65,000 for work done refurbishing The Rock Building Society before the project’s primary contractor folded. Allan Reinikka Rokarock

Collapse stings local companies

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ROCKHAMPTON contractors, including Darren Ireland, have been left hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt after a national construction company went into administration with more than $1.5m in debts.

Laprock Constructions Pty Ltd was contracted to complete a refurbishment of The Rock Building Society, in Rockhampton, but unexpectedly went into administration late last week.

Mr Ireland, who owns Darren's Asbestos Removal, is a local contractor who is counting the cost of the situation.

He said after paying his contractors for work on the refurbishment he was now tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

"I just did a $65,000 job there and I've got to cover one of my contractors for $30,000," he said.

Mr Ireland said he didn't lose as much as some businesses, which he claimed would miss out on payments totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"I spoke to another contractor (that is) there and they're out of pocket $180,000," he said.

Despite Laprock issuing The Rock Building Society with a Statutory Declaration that all contractors had been paid, Mr Ireland claims the money never reached local contractors' bank accounts.

He said the administrators, SV Partners in Sydney, told him Laprock Constructions had ceased trading and emptied its bank account on Wednesday night, only hours before payments to the subcontractors were due.

"Thursday morning the administrators told me there was $100 in the bank account," he said.

The Rock Building Society chief executive Andrew Paynter said

Laprock Constructions was paid in full for work completed up to last Wednesday, with a "substantial amount of money" being paid to the company last week.

He said he was disappointed local contractors were out of pocket but all precautions were taken in an effort to prevent this situation.

"There's little more we could have done," he said.

Mr Paynter said the company was also reeling.

He said The Rock now had a 75% complete building refurbishment without a primary contractor to complete the work.

Despite this difficulty, Mr Paynter promised the company would try to support local contractors where it could.

"Where possible, we will employ local contractors to finish the work," he said.

Documents from Building Standards Australia show Laprock's building licence was terminated by the company's managers on May 11.

Australian Securities Exchange data shows the company went into external administration last Friday. Laprock Constructions failed to return The Morning Bulletin's calls.

 

[ADMIN: A line at the bottom of this story was published by mistake and has been removed. It does not change the context of this article in any way.]




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