SCOTT KOVACEVIC, email@example.com 18th Feb 2020 12:00 AM | Updated: 5:37 AM Subscriber only
QUESTIONS about Gympie Regional Council's management of projects awarded to now-collapsed Ri-Con Contractors continue to swirl, with the council refuting claims it knew about the company's struggles as early as last August.
O'Brien Plumbing Gympie director Tim Bothams, who was owed more than $150,000 when Ri-Con fell over, claims the council was aware in August subcontractors on the Kilkivan Equestrian Centre were being left unpaid.
Another subcontractor, who worked on the equestrian centre and requested anonymity, claimed he spoke to the council about late payment and breach of contract on payment terms last August.
He said he was paid within 48 hours of raising his concerns with the council.
However, a council spokeswoman said the council first became aware of the problems on November 25, after which they "spoke to Ri-con regarding council's concerns of the impact this may have on local contractors".
In a letter sent to councillors and the council on February 4, Mr Bothams said a timeline of the events showed "hard questions need to be asked" about work on the $2 million equestrian centre and the $2.8 million Gympie Youth Precinct.
"The last eight months of dealing with Ri-Con … and Gympie Regional Council with these two projects have shed poor light on the workings of this council and the management of building projects," Mr Bothams said.
He said Ri-Con, removed safety fencing and signage from the equestrian centre on September 6, and the company's project manager never returned to the site or answered calls.