Premier lashes ‘unethical’ building firms
PREMIER Barry O’Farrell says the State Government has had enough of building companies that can’t meet obligations and “screw” their sub-contractors.
Mr O’Farrell was commenting after his finance minister Greg Pearce yesterday (Tuesday) called construction company St Hilliers “grubs” and “dishonest” and said they “behaved like white-shoe brigade 1980s developers”.
Work on 43 public housing units in Orange – one of 13 sites across the state – was halted after St Hilliers went into voluntary administration.
It’s the second time construction has been halted on the Matthews Ave and Dalton St complexes after the original completion date of January last year was put back when builders Darclay Constructions went into voluntary liquidation.
Administrators were appointed to St Hilliers last week when associated company St Hilliers Ararat Pty Ltd went into liquidation after failing to complete the public-private expansion of Victoria’s Ararat Prison.
St Hilliers still held a New South Wales Government contract to build 13 housing commission lots, but on Tuesday it was announced NSW Public Works would take over the project.
Mr O’Farrell says he shares Mr Pearce’s frustration.
“The concern and the frustration that not only Mr Pearce but other ministers have is with construction companies who enter into agreements, who take on contracts, who don’t meet obligations and who inevitably seem to screw sub-contractors,” Mr O’Farrell has told journalists in Sydney today (Wednesday).
“That’s incredibly unfair, unethical, and frankly we’ve had enough of it.”
St Hilliers said yesterday it was disappointed it had been sidelined by the government because it had given an assurance it would be able to re-open all of the public housing sites, complete them on time and on budget, and pay all sub-contractors.