BILL HOFFMAN25th Jan 2020 12:00 AM | Updated: 8:53 AM
THE failure of another building company this past week has underscored how precarious the industry remains despite six years of agitation and promises since the infamous Walton Queensland collapse in 2013.
More than 300 unsecured trade supply and subcontract creditors have been left unpaid in the demise of Ri-Con Contractors for the work they had done and the materials they had supplied.
Little has changed despite the findings of a joint Senate 2015 Inquiry into construction industry insolvency, the establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, promised but-still-to-be-introduced legislation by the Queensland Government to ensure subcontractors were paid in full, on time, every time, last year's Special Joint Taskforce into construction industry fraud, Queensland Building and Construction Commission's tougher minimum financial requirements and the public dissection of the bastardry shown over more than a decade by a central Queensland building company.
Les Williams of the Subcontractors Alliance who, with a band of others, has stoically maintained the fight on behalf of the thousands of small businesses that have, are and will be screwed, has called the Palaszczuk Government out after this week's latest chapter in the ongoing showcasing of the dysfunctionality that lies at the heart of one of the state's largest industries.
He's made clear that a failure to introduce unilaterally this year project bank accounts to hold in trust money owed subcontractors on each project, would constitute a broken election promise by the Premier.
And he's right.
Mr Williams has also called out local authorities - Noosa and Sunshine Coast councils - for their failure to introduce project trusts for work they tender.
He said those local authorities must have been hiding under rocks if they have failed to appreciate the seriousness of non-payment issues in the industry affecting their ratepayers, and the need to test statutory declarations to ensure the veracity of claims that subbies had been paid before the release of further progress claims to builders.