It's the practice causing significant damage to the building industry
It's the practice causing significant damage to the building industry

Building industry phoenixing to be tackled head on

QUEENSLAND'S building industry watchdog, the tax office and ASIC, Australia's corporate, markets and financial services regulator have joined forces in an offensive against illegal phoenixing in the building industry.

An educational seminar will be held in Rockhampton on September 10 for building industry members to address the practice causing significant harm to industry members.

Illegal phoenix activity is the evasion of tax and other responsibilities, such as employee entitlements, through the deliberate, systematic and sometimes repeated liquidation of related corporate trading entities.

The seminars follow the Special Joint Taskforce led by Justice John Byrne, which investigated illegal and fraudulent building activity in Queensland and referred 108 matters to relevant law enforcement authorities, including the ATO and ASIC.

READ: Tricks of the trade

READ: Subbies lured into $80 million bogus deal

READ: Subbies demand answers to construction carnage

A 2018 report commissioned by the ATO, ASIC and the Fair Work Ombudsman estimates the annual impact of illegal phoenix activity across the Australian economy on businesses, employees and the government is between $2.85billion and $5.13billion.

QBCC commissioner, Brett Bassett, said the three agencies were all members of the national Phoenix Taskforce but this was the first time they had combined their resources in this way.

"This is a strong indicator of the seriousness of this issue and our determination to combat it,” Mr Bassett said.

"In the building industry, illegal phoenixing hurts everyone from mum-and-dad businesses, to subcontractors and suppliers. These seminars will help members of our industry to identify and hopefully avoid the methods used by the unscrupulous individuals who engage in this behaviour.”

REVEALED: The dodgy business owners costing you billions

READ: The real cost of QNV collapse

ASIC's presentation will discuss proposed law reforms, including the introduction of company director ID numbers to better track the relationship between individuals and entities.

Representatives from the agencies will also participate in a panel-style question and answer session at the conclusion of their presentations.

Seminar information, including registration details, is available from the QBCC website.