Subbies say QBCC should have acted earlier
CONSTRUCTION industry subcontractors want to know why it has taken the Queensland Building and Construction Commission so long to address the role of professionals in many of the more than 50 building company "collapses" in the state in the past five years.
The regulator has announced a crackdown on accountancy professionals who supply 'misleading' financial reports, ahead of the introduction of new minimum financial requirements for licensees to take affect from April 2.
The action came as a taskforce headed by retired Supreme Court Justice John Byrne prepared to launch a joint investigation into alleged fraud and other criminal activity in the industry.
The QBCC has deemed the accountant for TP Enterprises Aotearora Pty Ltd trading as GJ Gardner Homes Ipswich, to no longer be acceptable as an independent accountant in representing licensees.
The decision followed a forensic financial examination of the company which went into liquidation just days after its accountant had certified it financially fit on January 15.
QBCC Commissioner Brett Bassett said the accountant had been barred indefinitely from providing financial information to the regulator in relation to any licensed builder in Queensland.
Subcontractors Alliance head Les Williams said subbies wanted to see forensic examination of the financial reports used to justify the building licences of many of the companies identified during News Ltd's Back Our Subbies campaign as having liquidated in the past five years.
"Many have traded insolvent for extended periods of time with a QBCC building licence," Mr Williams said.
"The QBCC owes it to the Queensland community and the recently established taskforce to explain just how that has occurred."
Mr Williams said the Subcontractors Alliance had previously written to Mr Bassett offering to provide him with the names of companies who the organisation believed had relied on false financials to maintain or secure licences.
He said he had written to Justice Byrne outlining how the alliance believed construction companies had engaged in insolvent trading schemes to pay down secured creditors and relief the liability of directors.
Mr Williams said businesses engaged in the practice needed to maintain their licences despite their financial state to allow them to continue to trade and generate income which was diverted to pay down secured debt at the expense of subbies.