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Hope for builders

Coffs Harbour tradies are hopeful of returning to St Hilliers troubled worksite on Harbour Dr this week.
Coffs Harbour tradies are hopeful of returning to St Hilliers troubled worksite on Harbour Dr this week. Rob Wright

EMBATTLED builder St Hilliers is hopeful Coffs Harbour tradies will return to work on the stalled Harbour Dr public housing project this week.

The company went into administration last Wednesday after its sister firm St Hilliers Ararat Pty Ltd got into financial difficulty. 

But in a sign business is returning to normal for St Hilliers Construction, administrators announced that four of its Department of Defence projects in Victoria and Queensland would restart on Monday.

St Hilliers Group chairman Tim Casey, the son-in-law of racing identity Bart Cummings, said the company was trying to get all of its other work sites open again.

Mr Casey said the company was optimistic that 12 NSW public housing projects in Coffs Harbour, Wollongong, and Shoalhaven Harbour would reopen in coming days, after a meeting on Friday with public works.

Four other of its construction sites reopened on Thursday.

The Coffs Harbour sub-contractors say there is about a week's worth of work left to complete the project.

St Hilliers is due to make a progress payment of $660,000 to the local tradies by the end of the month.

Given the State Government has not yet paid the company over the project, there are calls for the government to pay the local builers directly to save the funds from falling into St Hilliers administration matters.

In a statement, St Hilliers' administrator said Mr Casey and his team are in active dialogue with all clients regarding its projects and hold the view of reopening all projects as soon as possible.

Topics:  harbour dr public housing block, public works nsw, st hilliers


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