G.J. Homes in minister's firing line after Ipswich collapse

THE man responsible for reforming Queensland's building sector has called for G.J. Gardner to 'step-up' and ensure nobody is out-of-pocket after the collapse of its Ipswich franchise.

Shockwaves rippled across Ipswich last week following the news prominent building company G.J. Gardner at North Ipswich had been put into liquidation.

It is estimated more than $750,000 is owed to sub-contractors for work completed across the region.

For the first time since the collapse, Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni has broken his silence and called for the state branch of the company to do its share.

HITLIST: Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick De Brenni has called for G.J. Gardner to ensure tradies are not out of pocket after the Ipswich collapse.
HITLIST: Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick De Brenni has called for G.J. Gardner to ensure tradies are not out of pocket after the Ipswich collapse. Contributed

"Let me be clear, G.J. Gardner as the franchisor should be stepping up here," he said.

"They need to do all they can to ensure no one is out of pocket."

Mr de Brenni said subbies involved in the G.J. Gardner collapse should contact the liquidator and register as a creditor.

"Everyone in the building industry deserves the confidence they will be paid on time, in full, every time... it's a core Labor value," he said.

On Saturday Summit Roofing director Hayden Quaife revealed he was about $150,000 down after the collapse of G.J.

Several tradies affected by the collapse called for reforms to the building sector.

Mr de Brenni said the government was working on early identification to prevent similar situations.

"This situation demonstrates the importance of a strong and effective industry regulator; one with the power to detect when a builder is in trouble," he said.

"One with the teeth to act early and minimise the devastating impacts of insolvencies."

Mr de Brenni said the government's reinstatement of the Minimum Financial Requirements would ensure the Queensland Building and Construction Commission had greater insight into a construction company's financial health.

"Importantly, this mandatory reporting system is backed by tough penalties for anyone who breaks the rules," he said.

"The Palasczcuk Labor government has further enhanced security of payment for Queensland subbies through reforms that took effect from December 17, 2018.

"There's now a fairer progress payments process, streamlined adjudication procedures for disputes and greater protection of retention monies.

"Again, these changes are backed by a system of enforcement to ensure it works as it should."

Advocacy group Subbies United manager John Goddard called for an expansion of the government's Project Bank Account rules.

Payment for large government projects is made into a pool bank account where tradies and builders can each take their share.

Mr Goddard wants the program to include all projects.



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