Company reportedly owes over $1m

FINANCIALLY troubled construction company Perle Pty Ltd has reportedly left debts of more than $1 million in Coffs Harbour.

Affected local sub contractors will join creditors from the Illawarra and the Hunter and meet with receivers in Sydney today.

Perle Pty Ltd has partly built NSW Housing projects in Azalea Avenue, West High Street and Harbour Drive funded by the Federal and State government’s BER stimulus schemes.

State secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining, Energy Union Mal Tulloch said 50 union members across NSW are owed between $3-4 million.

He said Perle Pty Ltd was also building up to 15 government projects in NSW catholic schools.

Locally, one Coffs Harbour creditor is owed almost $300,000 over the troubled public housing projects.

“There’s no point building homes for disadvantaged families, if the people building them lose their own homes,” Mr Tulloch said.

“A lot of builders had comfort in the fact these were government jobs. There’s been pyramid contracting since the original government tenders were awarded to multinational principal contractors. Someone along the line is obviously ripping off the public.”

Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser, yesterday called on the State and Federal governments to make good on the losses of local tradesmen and suppliers.

“It is a disgrace that probity checks and due diligence were obviously not applied to the building contract of Perle Pty Ltd, which has now gone into voluntary administration,” Mr Fraser said. “Surely the government has to guarantee the payment to the sub-contractors involved in these contracts across NSW.”

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