Far South Coast Small Businesses
|About this Item||Subjects||Small Business; South Coast; Bankruptcy; Contracts; Debts
||Speakers||Constance Mr Andrew
||Business||Private Members Statements
Mr ANDREW CONSTANCE (Bega) [6.00 p.m.]: I bring to the attention of the House difficulties experienced by a number of small businesses on the far South Coast in the Shoalhaven City Council area and the Eurobodalla Shire Council area. A number of subcontractors were contracted by Kore Constructions, which is in administration, to undertake work at the Kiola campus of the Australian National University [ANU]. Chris Young's Joinery of Narooma was subcontracted by Kore Constructions to provide, and provided, wardrobes, desks and shelving valued at $18,9700 to the ANU. Kore Constructions assured Mr Young that payment would be made, but that has not happened. Kore Constructions was paid before the job was finished, but before checking whether the subcontractors had been paid.
The Contractors Debt Act 1998, a State Government initiative to address the problem of building industry subcontractors being left unpaid, has not worked in this instance. I hope that the New South Wales Government will intervene to assist Mr Young and right this injustice. I am advised that a number of subcontractors were owed money as a result of Kore Constructions going into administration. I would have hoped that some assistance could have been given to these good local far South Coast business people who were not paid for the work they undertook for the ANU. At various site meetings subcontractors were assured that they would receive payments, but it never happened. Following an approach to the ANU by one subcontractor, the university sent him a letter virtually wiping its hands of the whole situation.
Although I recognise that the ANU paid for the work, I had hoped for some assistance in the form of some sort of payment for the businesses that did the right being. The State Government Contractors Debt Act has let small business people down. As the local member I have tried to approach the ANU on a number occasions to set up a meeting with Chris Young to determine whether anything can be done. Ultimately, the only people suffering are the small business people from the area who cannot afford to lose such large amounts of money. I hope that the Minister for Fair Trading and the Minister for Small Business might be able to assist me in obtaining some recompense for these small businesses, in particular Chris Young's Joinery, for their wonderful work. It has not been easy for them.