MP takes up plight of subcontractors

THE plight of building subcontractors owed $1.6 million under the collapse of Sydney construction company Perle has been raised in Federal Parliament.

Nationals member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker took the Gillard Government to task over the matter, highlighting how the company entered administration while building "stimulus package" projects across NSW.

In Coffs Harbour Perle has been unable to complete a NSW Housing unit block in Harbour Drive.

Local creditors this week blockaded the worksite with concrete barriers, protesting for the State and Federal governments to intervene in the debacle.

The rally came after a majority of the creditors voted not to return to complete the project until they are paid what they are owed.

Mr Hartsuyker questioned whether the Government’s rush to spend stimulus money through a social housing initiative had contributed to the collapse of Perle.

“This is what the then Minister for Housing, the member for Sydney, said about the initiative in a media release following her visit to inspect a property at Hervey Bay: ‘The program is delivering great value for money ... I am delighted that a local building company is doing the work on this project and that seven local tradespeople are employed on site. This shows how important the stimulus plan has been in supporting local jobs through the global recession.’

Mr Hartsuyker said a different picture had been painted in Coffs Harbour.

“The result is that 58 local companies are facing the prospect of getting as little as 10 cents in the dollar on individual accounts running into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“This government and the NSW Government have done more damage to these small businesses and the families that depend on them than the global financial crisis ever could.

“Once again, we have seen their bungling hurt the very people that their actions were intended to assist.”

NSW Housing Minister Frank Terenzini has briefed Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser on what is being done to assist local creditors.

The matter has also been referred to the office of Jenny Macklin, the Federal Minister for Families, Housing and Community Services.

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