Not much stimulus for companies

CARRYING the burden of $1.639- million in debts owed by failed construction company Perle Pty Ltd, local sub-contractors have walked away from troubled NSW Housing developments in Coffs Harbour.

A meeting of affected tradesmen on Thursday saw 34 of the 60 local creditors attend and agree not to return to the sites until they are paid in full.

Housing NSW has said it is working closely with the administrator Rogers Reidy of Sydney to achieve the best outcome for all concerned.

Housing Minister Frank Terezini’s office said a building company would be appointed to complete the Harbour Drive housing project and outstanding works on the already tenanted public housing units in Azalea Avenue and West High Street.

But those left out of pocket want no part of it.

“It was put to a vote whether we should go back on site and complete the Harbour Drive apartments and the decision was unanimously no. We want nothing to do with those sites until we are paid,” creditors spokesman Warren Nix said.

“All that we want is our money, what we’re rightfully entitled to. We believe the Department of Housing or the State Government is responsible for these debts yet in the meantime local Coffs Harbour companies are wearing the cost of this company’s collapse.

“Coffs Harbour companies are sick of being screwed. This has to be the last time we are screwed by out-of-town developers not completing projects.”

Perle was awarded an estimated $50 million in Keneally State Government ‘stimulus package’ building contracts, going to the wall last month owing $9.7 million statewide.

Administrators say there’s $6.5- million to offer creditors, with expected returns of between 10 and 60 cents in the dollar.

Hilda Burnett, of Burnett Plumbing, which is owed almost $300,000, said news that other companies may finish off the works before the debts are cleared is disheartening.

“We are asking other local companies not to finish off the works until the debts owed in the local building industry are settled. These debts are affecting the Coffs Harbour industry as a whole,” Ms Burnett said.

She said unfortunately the stalled works were impacting on 18 disadvantaged and underprivileged families in need of public housing.

“Some stimulus package this has been. All it has done is set back local companies,” she said.

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