This builder is smart, at least he thinks he is when he seized the moment. He used Covid 19, a once in a lifetime event, as an excuse to close his office, shut down his operation & leave subbies and suppliers unpaid.
And don’t say we didn’t tell you this would happen, we know these sly bastards like the back of our hand.
A Pheonix Scheme with fraud on a large scale is at foot but does anyone care?
There is no other industry or walk of life where such an injustice and blatant fraud can take place from one section of an industry against another section of the same industry.
Even worse, the parasite who does the “crime” can remain untouched, be exempt from punishment and pocket the spoils, your money. He can not just pocket the spoils, he can live in it. You have put a roof over his head.
No one knows who should fix this or how to fix it so they do nothing. Governments both State and Federal turn a blind eye.
ASIC are totally useless and underfunded, and the Police are reluctant to act. No, I will rephrase that, they simply refuse to act even when evidence is presented as it was at a recent talkfest but if you sit on a park bench and eat a kebab during a Covid-19 lockdown, look out. They will be all over you treating you like the criminal you are with a big fine and if you don’t pay the fine, you will be jailed.
Some of these builders live by the rule that “they” are only on this earth for a short time, so they should take what they want, regardless of the damage it does to others.
The damage is an inconsequential by-product of them making themselves and their families wealthy. They can live with the damage caused in most cases, to hundreds of people, in fact, they don’t give that a thought, it doesn’t rate a mention.
“They” are content in the knowledge that they and their family have every right to contract subbies and suppliers to put labour and resources into their jobs and then just take it all, no hang on, keep it all by simply not paying them.
The end game is “they” and their family have all they need for a comfortable and highly materialistic future, but the subbies have nothing, they are easy game.
If for example a tiler complains to the builder about non-payment, the builder simply replaces him with another tiler and so on down the trade tree and doesn’t pay any of them. If the new tiler asks what happened to the old tiler, the builder simply says his work was defective or his timeliness was poor, how easy is that? Too easy.
What happens to them in the afterlife for their sins on this earth if there is an afterlife, is not considered, it’s irrelevant because it’s all about the here and now.
They Take Everything From Subbies
“They” don’t know the feeling of dread, the shame a person would feel when they lose everything.
The feeling of worthlessness, of failure after working so hard for so long, holding it together against all odds only to be faced with this final humiliation.
You would feel you have let your family down, your staff, suppliers and broken the trust between you and your partner even though they don’t feel that way.
Nor would “they” care if they knew the depths of depression because it’s all about them. People who do this, they are entitled narcissists, no one else matters.
“They” would not know the distress felt when you know your business is gone, your house will be gone, your family life is finished as you have known it for so many years. You poured everything you had into their projects but in the end, it was all for nothing, you will never see a cent of it.
You have misplaced your trust in them and the system under which you work, and you will watch them sail away with the lot while you walk away with nothing but the arse out of your shorts, your dark thoughts and a total absence of hope.
Do you end it here or do you keep trying and somehow get your family through the next few days, the next few weeks?
Where to turn, who to turn to, where can I borrow some money to keep going? Who would lend me money?
There is no one.
They would not know the thoughts that pervade you when you wake in the early morning, the feeling of utter hopelessness. You get up in the dark while everyone else sleeps, make yourself a black coffee and sit alone with your dark bleak thoughts.
You search for ways to hide your shame, you become very quiet, morose, withdrawn. You might even think about how you could put an end to it without making it unbearable for your family or the people who might find you if you did do that final act but there is no way out of this where you won’t hurt a lot of people.
Your family, the first responders, who also have families who would be affected.
Your family notice the change in you, they are worried about your wellbeing, they try to reassure you. It’s so hard to drag yourself out of the mess but you get up off the canvas on the standing count of 8 to try again for their sake.
“They” have got what they want, your money and they got it so easily. It’s almost like it's allowed, like it's legal to do it. In fact, it is. The law protects them, it certainly doesn’t punish them, no charges of fraud are laid that I know of, rarely if ever, not to my knowledge, certainly not in this industry.
Can I Name Them?
I could name dozens of these zombies, these now wealthy, empty human shells but the law would punish me. I could easily name this bastard and I will if someone cares to contact me who can do something about it but while I think it’s too late to stop this one, its not to late to punish him and to set an example for those who are thinking about following in his footsteps.
It is never too late to make an example of him.
They know who they are. Brisbane, The Gold and Sunshine Coasts in fact all the way up the coast and all over Australia, this great country is littered with the likes of this selfish greedy filth.
They frequent the top end restaurants, they drive the latest European cars, they sit their fat arses on the latest and most luxurious outdoor settings while they sip their Lattes or fine wines.
They have no respect, they are not respected, and they take away the self-respect of the subbies and suppliers they rip off.
If you want to visit them you would need to go to Sovereign Island, Raby Bay and other waterfront and gated communities.
Let’s go back a few steps to how we got to this point with this scum
In Qld we have the QBCC, the licencing body, the watchdog but this dog has no teeth. It’s a gummy old rheumy eyed animal that lays around farting its way through the day, led by highly paid, underwhelming people who blow out a lot of hot air but in the end, do very little for the backbone of the industry.
To be fair, they are constrained by the QBCC Act but hell, they could do so much better, so much more for the industry’s most vulnerable. We also have the so called peak body The Master Builders, what a joke those fat cats are. Peak body my arse. In general, any organisation with the word "Masters" in it is a joke, they are deceiving themselves into thinking they are something special when they are not.
I should have given SubbiesUnited the grand title of "The Master Subbies Association" it has a certain ring to it eh. What a bunch of wankers.
Why any subbie would be a member of this organisation is beyond my comprehension. They are our enemy, they spent huge money opposing Project Bank Accounts with billboards and TV advertising so that should tell you all you need to know about where their loyalties lie.
Subbies Need To Do More
But, subbies have to remember, they need to do more for themselves, they have to or they won’t survive because they cannot rely on anyone else.
They need to know how to submit a progress claim that is watertight, they need to know their contractual obligations and rights and how to enquire about overdue payments without putting themselves in the firing line of greedy l$qu$dators and lawyer$$$. Waiting to sue them for preferences the minute they enquire to the builder where their overdue money is.
They have to become proactive. When the account is overdue, they need to start charging 67P interest on the debt. There is nothing a builder can do about that, they have to pay it. While its a dog, its better than nothing so they should make it their business to know the QBCC Act at least to some degree.
This is how it works.
- “They” are late paying their subcontractors and suppliers but after years of working for them, you trust them, it’s just a bump in the road.
- So subbies do nothing, they have a relationship with the builder, he told them he would pay but it would be late.
- They believe that if it all goes wrong, the toothless and ineffective watch dog will get a result for them.
- The builder delays as long as possible, they make promises which are continually broken but still, subbies do nothing.
- Deadlines pass then pass again and again but there is still that good faith from years of working closely, we were almost a team.
- “They” ask that you trust them and finish the job so that they can get paid so they can then pay you. How many times have I heard that faithful old chestnut? What a pack of unoriginal pricks. They must all sing from the same songbook.
- Subcontractor eventually realises it’s all been lies.
- He finally submits a QBCC monies owed complaint but 6 months have passed.
- Builder takes the full amount of time allowed under the QBCC Act to reply to the monies owed complaint, more time passes.
- Builder disputes monies owed complaint as he is entitled to do under the ridiculous QBCC Act, yet more time passes.
- Even if there are 20 monies owed complaints, the QBCC does nothing. “They” keep their licence. In the eyes of the QBCC, where there is smoke, there is NO fire.
- You might ask, how could they do this to me after all these years, all the broken promises.
- This bastard has no shame.
- QBCC can do nothing because the debt has now been disputed, they have no teeth, just a weary old dog of an organisation blurting its way through time. The name change from the BSA to the QBCC was just that, a name change. Window dressing.
- “They” are still licensed, subbies are shocked that this can happen. The debts are now 6 months old and there are many of them, it’s not just one whingeing subbie here, its 60 of them.
- One says I am lucky, they only got me for 2k. Another says, shit, this is the 3rd time in 12 months, another one said “they got me for 50k”, another says 20k and on and on it goes but they remain untouched. No QBCC action, no Police investigation, they have hidden the money so that it will take years to find it if any L$qu$dator cared to look which they don’t. They are only interested in one thing, suing subbies for preferential payments, they laughingly call it "the low hanging fruit" but again, I have got ahead of myself.
- The subcontractor waited too long, he trusted them, he’s out of time to lodge an adjudication application.
The subbies have gone along with the builder, now it’s too late and that sets it up perfectly for the next stage of the phoenix scheme.
In the mean-time, which in this case has been at least 6 months, “they” have taken pre-insolvency advice and made many structural changes to their organisation and financial situation. All for the better, all for the benefit of themselves, the fix is in, the phoenix is on!
End PART 1
PART 2 on Thursday. it includes;
- Pre insolvency Advice
- Structural changes to the builder’s growing asset portfolio
- Covid 19 arrives right on time
- Builder writes to creditors
- Son texts to subbie
- SubbiesUnited writes to builder
- Project Bank accounts for jobs under 1 million to stop the rot
- What did Allan forget?