The QR contract transfer that demands explanation
THE Crime and Corruption Commission has confirmed its inquiries are continuing into the 2013 transfer of eight Queensland Rail contracts worth $20m held by Walton Construction Queensland to the alleged phoenix company Peloton on the strength of a phone call three days before the builder went into administration.
At the time Peloton was not pre-qualified to undertake government contract work.
The matter was referred to the corruption watchdog in December last year by Nicklin MP Peter Wellington after the transfer had been reviewed by Queensland Integrity Commissioner Richard Bingham.
The review had been conducted at the request of then Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe in November after questions raised by the Sunshine Coast Daily.
In the course of his inquiries Mr Bingham met whistle blowers and also received documentation supplied by Subcontractors Alliance head Les Williams which included Walton project financial reporting files.
In a subsequent letter to Mr Wellington, Mr Bingham said it would be a matter for the CCC to assess the concerns and determine what if any further action is warranted.
"No doubt it will have regard to the strength of any evidence which Mr Williams is able to provide, but in my view the submission which he has provided to you outlines credible prima facie evidence in this context,” Mr Bingham wrote.
"Having considered Mr Williams' submission, I believe that the concerns which he raises in relation to QR's role in the transfer of the Cleveland railway station contract warrant investigation.
"It is conceivable that there are other matters relating to other contracts to which Waltons was a party which may also warrant examination by relevant authorities, but I have not considered those.”
Walton Queensland went into administration on October 3, 2013, and subsequently liquidation. Total company debt including that of parent company Walton Constructions is in excess of $70 million.
In a statement on Wednesday the CCC said it was undertaking an assessment into the matters raised by Mr Wellington.
"As this assessment is still ongoing it is not possible to comment further at this time,” a spokesperson said.
In 2014 former Queensland Rail CEO Helen Gluer told the Sunshine Coast Daily the transfer of the contracts had been the subject of an internal review which found the government department had acted in "good faith”. Ms Gluer was appointed to her role after the contract transfers took place.