Call for action into construction insolvency
Tuesday, 23rd July, 2013
By Erica Visser
It is unacceptable for the State Government to ignore the collapse of public works contractors any longer, according to the BH Labor Party.
In the past two years, local contractors have felt the sting after the sub-contractors for two major projects went into administration, leaving large debts behind.
A teacher housing project was finished just before the company responsible declared insolvency, and this year a company hired by NSW Health Infrastructure, National Build Plan, collapsed soon after the local sub-acute rehabilitation unit was built at the hospital.
BH ALP Party member and city councillor, Marion Browne, said yesterday that the trend in construction industry insolvency could destroy businesses in Broken Hill.
“The Government made comments when these building (company) collapses happened but as far as I can see, nothing has actually been done to protect small businesses,” she said.
“The small businesses here have lost a lot of money and they could easily go out of business from some of the amounts.
“They are also less likely to want to tender for the Government jobs when big firms come in from outside and the local companies sort of get squeezed.”
Clr Browne said that it was important that the city continued to push the NSW Government to give protection to small companies.
“They’re government projects and there’s no protection. The Government just seems to shrug its shoulders.
“It is unacceptable. It just destroys the confidence. One local business lost $400,000. That’s not workable.”
Clr Browne said that local State MP John Williams had shown he understood the problem and had referred her to a recent government report on it.
“This report has come with some fairly sensible recommendations...but it still hasn’t acted on those,” she said.
“It’s just happening too often to just be bad luck.
“It’s important to keep the issue alive. It’s very easy to forget these things once the first anger passes.”