That is the catch cry
Whenever the slow train wreck of bad things slowly unfolds, there is always people who say that someone should do something.
In the building and construction industry there is no superhero who is going to fly in or any other rescue angel who is going to fly in and sort the mess out.
The police, fire brigade, ASIC and “The Government” do not have any role to play in the scenario unfolding before us.
Who has to do something?
SubbiesUnited is doing something, we are helping you help yourself.
The short answer is that the person who has to act now is YOU!
You might say that the QBCC or the governing body in other states are the entities that should step in to sort all of this out.
The problem is that in Qld the QBCC is a creature of statute and can only act within its statutory powers. Super hero powers or rescuing angel powers are not included in the act.
In order to activate the machine that is the QBCC, YOU have to push certain buttons. A bit like having to “break glass in case of emergency”.
In Queensland, homebuyers having a house built have to pay for insurance under the QBCC's statutory Home Owners Warranty scheme.
That scheme is designed to assist home owners where a builder goes into liquidation, fails to complete the project or stuffs things up.
The issue is that the policy has time limits. Just sitting back hoping for a solution can mean that you eventually do not have any recourse.
The solution is to dig out your policy, read it, know what your time limits are and seek legal advice.
If you do not have your policy, here is a link to the QBCC home warranty insurance scheme.
The answer for subcontractors is even more simple.
Submit a monies owed complaint. If enough subcontractors and suppliers do it, the QBCC will initiate an investigation of the builder’s financial position. Three monies owed complaints is the magic number to initiate an investigation so give the QBCC something to do on a slow Monday.
This is a no risk move for subcontractors.
If the company is insolvent the QBCC will suspend its licence and this means you are no longer at any sort of risk concerning stopping work and it should trigger a resolution of the status of the company.
If the company appears to be solvent and is allowed to continue to operate, this will provide valuable ammunition against a preferential payment claim should construction operations continue but the company follows the usual trajectory of a wounded duck and crashes in the near future.
This whole saga has done Privium irreparable reputational damage.
Sitting back and doing nothing is not in the interests of subcontractors. All it does is allow time to expire which is to the advantage of the directors and shareholders.
While there are indications that the company may be purchased by another builder, the actions outlined above will not alter any prospective action in that regard. The QBCC can reinstate the licence on the basis of new financials.
This is the link to the QBCC monies owed complaint.
Suppliers are in the same boat as the subcontractors and the immediate course of action should be a monies owed complaint.
Other courses of action
There are also other courses of action depending on individual circumstances. You should seek legal advice in that regard.
Written and researched with the assistance of our friends at Who Jungle.
Subbies join here and access our private members forum, we offer two membership options, 6 or 12 months. We make exceptions for some suppliers that we trust and who call us first but in general, if you are not a subcontractor, don't bother joining. We have our ways of weeding you out before you can access the forum and we will not refund your membership fee.