Les Williams was furious that fraud complaints he and Beau Hartshorn made to Queensland Police under the state's criminal code about activities leading up to the 2013 collapse of Walton Construction Qld have been referred to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Les Williams was furious that fraud complaints he and Beau Hartshorn made to Queensland Police under the state's criminal code about activities leading up to the 2013 collapse of Walton Construction Qld have been referred to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. John McCutcheon

Subbies furious after fraud complaint flicked to ASIC

FURIOUS subcontractors will seek an urgent meeting with the Premier about a Queensland Police decision to refer fraud allegations made against NAB, failed construction company Walton and business advisors Mawson to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

The subcontractors' reaction came after the Minister revealed the complaint laid on August 31 this year had been bundled with two others made 12 months ago.

Those cases subsequently sat with the Case Assessment Unit of the the QPS Financial and Cyber Crime Group.

Subcontractors Alliance head Les Williams authored the first complaints tabled in 2017 about "phoenixing” and relating separately to Walton and Collhart Investments.

He and landscaper Beau Hartshorn also made the August 31, 2018, complaints against NAB, Walton Construction and Mawson alleging specific breaches of the Queensland Criminal Code.

Mr Williams said while he had expected the 2017 allegations would end up with ASIC, the ones this year allege the state crime of fraud.

The 2013 demise of Walton left 600 of the state's small businesses unpaid for around $30 million worth of labour and materials.

Revelations the separate issues had been bundled together and would be sent to ASIC came after questions were put to the Police Minister Mark Ryan about the progress of the 2017 issues and whether he had confidence the Financial and Cyber Crime Group was adequately resourced to deal with complaints in a robust and timely manner.

Mr Williams had heard nothing about the progress of those complaints apart from that they were with the Case Assessment Unit.

"The Police Commissioner advises that the Financial and Cyber Crime Group has the resources and personnel to fulfil all its duties,” the Minister's spokesperson said.

"In relation to the question about a particular matter the Queensland Police Service advises the following: 'The Case Assessment Team within the Financial & Cyber Crime Group have concluded their assessment of the original information and subsequent material that was provided on August 31, 2018. It has been determined that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is the appropriate agency to investigate the allegations. A formal referral from the QPS to ASIC on behalf of the complainant is in the process of being been completed'.”

Mr Williams said the fraud allegation was a state offence that should properly be investigated by Queensland Police.

"We intend to make a lot more,” he said of complaints about activities in the state's construction sector.

"I will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Premier.”



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