CQ home builder goes bust
A CENTRAL Queensland building company has gone into voluntary administration, leaving subcontractors, suppliers and home owners out of pocket by more than $2 million.
It is believed Metro Builders, which operates in Rockhampton and Yeppoon, closed its doors on Friday and laid off its workforce without warning.
The building company has since taken down its social media page and diverted office calls to message bank.
The only explanations, a note displayed on the office door and an email to workers, advised the company had gone into liquidation.
A building industry source said up to 24 Metro Builders homes were left incomplete.
It is claimed deposits were paid for future projects and contractors are owed more than $1 million. One is reportedly out of pocket by $150,000.
Luke Renshaw and his young family had been building their Tanby home through Metro Builders with a completion date of August 15 - a month before their third child was due.
Having already paid $350,000, they only had one instalment left to pay before they received their keys.
The couple said everything was on track until last week when the building process began to slow and contacting Metro Builders became "near impossible".
On Sunday night, Mr Renshaw and his wife Jess began to worry as they had heard rumours that the company was closing. "I was actually at work and my wife rang me and said she heard that they were going to go bust," Mr Renshaw said.
"I went down to their shop and there was a sign on the window that basically said 'thanks to our customers and tradies in this challenging time, we've had to close up and we're going into liquidation, contact QBCC (Queensland Building and Construction Commission) for any further enquiries."
Mr Renshaw contacted QBCC, which told him the company had not officially lodged its liquidation with them.
"They hadn't had a formal announcement from Metro Builders to say they've gone bust and his licence was still current, which left us in a tough position," Mr Renshaw said.
Mr Renshaw said that since discovering the devastating news he had spoken with some of the company's builders.
"They didn't have any idea what was happening, they were then sent a generic email with what was on the sign on the door at the shop," he said.
Mr Renshaw and his wife will meet with lawyers this week to see if they can legally terminate their contract.
"We have insurance through Master Builders but until he officially files for liquidation, we're sort of left in the lurch," he said.
Mr Renshaw said the house was in what builders term the "enclosed stage".
"Basically all the internal stuff needs to be fitted and painted and all of the electrics need to be done," he said.
"On top of that as part of our contract, we had a pool, shed and septic system which still haven't been completed.
"Our move in date was August 15 and we have a baby due a month after.
"The sad thing is, it's not just me."
Master Builders Central Queensland regional manager Dennis Bryant confirmed the news regarding Metro's voluntary administration.
He said subcontractors would most likely be the hardest hit.
"Under the home owners warranty provision, home owners have protection for this sort of situation," Mr Bryant said.
"Their houses won't get completed any time quickly but there will be an opportunity to get their house completed under another builder.
"The ones I really feel sorry for are the subcontractors who have no protection in this situation."
Metro Builders boasts on its website that "our track record is your assurance".
"As a locally based home builder we are supported by major developers and their extensive land portfolio which gives us the unique ability to manage and control every aspect of the home buyer's journey," it said.
"We have completed many beautiful homes and we remain active in most of the popular growth areas with exciting plans for the future.''
The Morning Bulletin made several attempts to contact Metro Builders yesterday, including attending its office in Queens St, Yeppoon, which was closed.