Latest News

Local News

CFMEU | JM Kelly Collapse A 'Kick In The Guts'

CC0-Creative-Commons

UPDATE 1:19PM 18/10/18 | The collapse of Rockhampton builder JM Kelly is a kick in the guts to hundreds of central Queensland construction workers and their families, CFMEU State Secretary Michael Ravbar said.

“This latest corporate failure in the building industry underscores the need for tighter regulation of a sector where there are far too many rogue operators prepared to cut corners, and cut subbies and workers adrift.”

“With JM Kelly we are talking about a group that has form, and a reputation for failing to pay subcontractors,” he said.

JM Kelly has been in the sights of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission for the past two years, following the collapse of a related company and continued complaints from subcontractors relating to unpaid bills. And in 2011 the group was fined $600,000 by the Federal Court for illegal price fixing with government contracts.

“As is always the case, it is the small subbies and the workers who suffer, while the builder walks away from the wreckage – often only to reinvent himself with another building company down the track,” Mr Ravbar said.

“Too much regulatory effort is wasted on policing unions and the workers they represent, rather than targeting the real issues facing the construction industry such as insolvencies like this, sham contracting, safety, the exploitation of foreign workers and the lack of apprenticeships.”

UPDATE 7:16AM 18/10/18 | The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has begun action to exclude company director John Murphy from the building industry, after related entities entered administration.

QBCC Commissioner, Brett Bassett, said the QBCC had started exclusion action against Mr Murphy in 2016, following the liquidation of another company.

He said that given Wednesday's statement that the company had appointed administrators, the QBCC would again take exclusion action, as required by law.

The QBCC has also suspended the licences of JM Kelly Builders Pty Ltd and Kawana Joinery Co. Pty Ltd.

In June 2016, Collhart Investments Pty Ltd (formerly JM Kelly (Project Builders) Pty Ltd) entered into liquidation. On 28 July 2016, the QBCC cancelled the licence of Collhart Investments Pty Ltd, whose general manager was John Murphy.

Following the licence cancellation of Collhart Investments Pty Ltd, the QBCC started action to exclude John Murphy from the industry, on the grounds that he was an influential person in Collhart Investments Pty Ltd.

“At that time, Mr Murphy exercised his right to dispute the proposed exclusion action in QCAT, which effectively paused that action, meaning the company could trade as normal,” Mr Bassett said.

“In light of today’s (Wednesday's) developments, the QBCC will again take exclusion action against Mr Murphy, as it is required to do by our legislation.”

Mr Bassett said that since 2015, the QBCC had received monies-owed complaints totalling more than $2 million against the entities. To date, the QBCC has been able to recover more than $680,000 of those debts on behalf of subcontractors and suppliers.

The QBCC advises anyone owed money by JM Kelly Builders Pty Ltd and Kawana Joinery Co. Pty Ltd to contact the QBCC as soon as possible.

Mr Bassett said he ordered the actions this morning after the companies indicated yesterday (Tuesday) that they would refuse to respond to a number of show-cause notices issued by the QBCC on 2 October 2018.

The QBCC had issued notices to J M Kelly Builders Pty Ltd to show cause why the company licence should not be suspended due to multiple debt complaints.

EARLIER | The JM Kelly Group has gone into voluntary administration.

Tradespeople working on the JM Kelly Aldi site in Rockhampton on Wednesday told The Morning Bulletin that contractors were packing up equipment and had walked off the job site before 10am.

Rockhampton Regional Council Acting Mayor Cherie Rutherford has labelled the news deeply disappointing for the whole community.

“This news is upsetting not just for the workers, sub-contractors and businesses around the region who do work for JM Kelly but for their families as well,” Acting Mayor Rutherford said.

“The loss of any jobs and supply chain work will be felt deeply by our whole community.

“Council will now have to wait to hear from the administrators to see what next steps will be taken following this announcement, including any impact on outstanding works Council had commissioned JM Kelly to undertake,” Acting Mayor Rutherford said.

The collapse puts a development in grave doubt.

JM KELLY'S website states that PwC has been appointed as the company's voluntary administrators.

JM Kelly Group includes:

BPM Cowlrick Pty Ltd
Burns and Twigg Pty Ltd
Cajun Pty Ltd
Central Electrics (Contracting) Pty Ltd
Central Queensland Investments Pty Ltd
C.Q Construction Management Pty Ltd
Fitzroy Industries Pty Ltd
JM Kelly Builders Pty Ltd
JM Kelly Management Pty Ltd
Kawana Joinery Co. Pty Ltd

 

Statement from the Queensland Building Construction Commission

QBCC to commence industry ban action against John Murphy; suspends JM Kelly building licences, effective immediately

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has today begun action to exclude company director John Murphy from the building industry, after related entities entered administration.

QBCC Commissioner, Brett Bassett, said the QBCC had started exclusion action against Mr Murphy in 2016, following the liquidation of another company. He said that given today’s statement that the company had appointed administrators, the QBCC would again take exclusion action, as required by law.

The QBCC has today also suspended the licences of JM Kelly Builders Pty Ltd and Kawana Joinery Co. Pty Ltd.

In June 2016, Collhart Investments Pty Ltd (formerly JM Kelly (Project Builders) Pty Ltd) entered into liquidation. On 28 July 2016, the QBCC cancelled the licence of Collhart Investments Pty Ltd, whose general manager was John Murphy.

Following the licence cancellation of Collhart Investments Pty Ltd, the QBCC started action to exclude John Murphy from the industry, on the grounds that he was an influential person in Collhart Investments Pty Ltd.

“At that time, Mr Murphy exercised his right to dispute the proposed exclusion action in QCAT, which effectively paused that action, meaning the company could trade as normal,” Mr Bassett said.

“In light of today’s developments, the QBCC will again take exclusion action against Mr Murphy, as it is required to do by our legislation.”

Mr Bassett said that since 2015, the QBCC had received monies-owed complaints totalling more than $2 million against the entities. To date, the QBCC has been able to recover more than $680,000 of those debts on behalf of subcontractors and suppliers.

The QBCC advises anyone owed money by JM Kelly Builders Pty Ltd and Kawana Joinery Co. Pty Ltd to contact the QBCC as soon as possible. 

Michelle Price has been working as a journalist since 1999 and loves human interest pieces.

Follow Michelle on: Twitter - ho_mprice

Facebook - Click Here