News

Govt under fire over St Hilliers

Andrew Fraser has labelled his own government "incompetent" over the decision to let construction tenders to troubled firm St Hilliers.
Andrew Fraser has labelled his own government "incompetent" over the decision to let construction tenders to troubled firm St Hilliers.

THE State Opposition has called on the O'Farrell Government to immediately step in and help tradies dudded again on failed public housing projects across NSW.

Now that national construction firm St Hilliers has entered voluntary administration, its emerged that Coffs Harbour tradesmen working on the troubled Harbour Dr public housing block are waiting on a payment of $660,000.

Caught up in the second collapse of a government contractor in 17 months, Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser has criticised his own government over the bungle.

"They knew they were in trouble when they accepted this contract; if they knew, the department and the minister's office should have known and the contract never should have been let," Mr Fraser said.

"This is incompetence of the worst kind," he said.

The minister under fired over the St Hilliers contracts, Greg Pearce called on the Federal Government to investigate St Hilliers, claiming the group had placed its administration arm into liquidation to avoid liability and debt on Victorian projects.

"What sort of business model is it that these people can come out and say well we're going to put this company into administration to avoid our exposure to guarantees and debt?," Mr Pearce said.

He said the State Government performed two financial checks on St Hilliers before it signed contracts for the completion of 181 social housing developments in NSW two months ago.

Some of the developments, including the Coffs Harbour site failed to be completed after construction firms appointed by the Keneally government went broke.

Shadow Treasurer Michael Daley said the government needs to explain its decision to let the tenders to St Hilliers.

"Barry O'Farrell's own MP for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser has called the government's decision to let the contract to St Hilliers 'incompetence of the worst kind'," Mr Daley said. 

"The O'Farrell Government needs to explain immediately what action it will take to secure local construction jobs and guarantee that the 12 NSW Government projects currently tendered out to St Hilliers will be completed.

Shadow Minister for Small Business Adam Searle said the government must step in to protect sub-contractors, too often dudded when major firms go into administration.

"Subcontractors are often the last to be paid when companies get into difficulty and that's not good enough," Mr Searle said.

"The O'Farrell Government must act now to ensure that small businesses are not forced into bankruptcy as the result of what is now happening."

"That means taking a serious look at reform to 'security of payment' legislation - to ensure that subcontractors aren't left out in the cold," he said.

Topics:  barry o'farrell greg pearce st hilliers



Positive signs for Clarence Valley property market

Yamba had the most expensive units and houses over the year to October.

Yamba houses sell for median of $500,000 each

Top Pub raise a glass to Lower Clarence's revival

CHEERS TO THAT: Lower Clarence Magpies' captain-coach Dan Randall with new club sponsors, managers of the Maclean Hotel Zoe Jamieson and Mark Kirkland.

"If we can contribute to getting them on the field ... that's great”

Pauline Hanson calls Trump protesters "clowns"

 Thousands rally in support of equal rights, in Sydney, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. Hundreds of rallies are due to take place in over 30 countries around the world following the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

“Don’t these clowns have anything else better to do?"

Local Partners

Lifeguards commended after rescuing eight at Pippi

Lifeguards Harry Fahey and Mikey Gilliman talk about their 'textbook rescue' of eight swimmers while on patrol at Pippi Beach


Festival director joins stars at Sundance

ACTION: Wendy Gibbs, director of the Bent Bridge Film Festival, before heading off to the Sundance Film Festival in the US.

Rubbing shoulders with celebrities at film festival

5 things to do this weekend

Lower Clarence Relay for Life Swim

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Suicide Squad director reveals his regrets about the film

Margot Robbie in a scene from the movie Suicide Squad.

DIRECTOR of superhero flick on what he’d change about ‘flawed’ film.

Meet the new Marco on MasterChef Australia: Yotam Ottolenghi

Israeli-born, London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi will be a guest chef for a week on the 2017 season of MasterChef Australia.

AFTER Marco’s defection to Seven, MasterChef signs a true food hero.

Big Bang spin-off to be about kid Sheldon

Jim Parsons in a scene from the TV series The Big Bang Theory.

Actor Jim Parsons has dished on an upcoming Big Bang Theory spin-off

How Adam Brand’s Nashville dream fell apart

Country music singer Adam Brand talks about how heartbreak stopped him chasing his Nashville dream.

SINGER reveals how heartbreak stopped him from chasing his dream.

JADA goes to the nation

RELIABLE: Shannon Piddock and Troy Sievers from S&D Welch Transport pick up the 2016 JADA artworks to take back to the depot for loading onto its specialist transport.

Clarence promotes its art by the truckload

Festival director joins stars at Sundance

ACTION: Wendy Gibbs, director of the Bent Bridge Film Festival, before heading off to the Sundance Film Festival in the US.

Rubbing shoulders with celebrities at film festival

Positive signs for Clarence Valley property market

Yamba had the most expensive units and houses over the year to October.

Yamba houses sell for median of $500,000 each

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Rates safe from land value hike

DRIVING GROWTH: The Pacific Highway upgrade has been linked to improved land values.

Figures up in latest valuer-general report

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!