Building firm liquidator questions director payments
LIQUIDATORS probing the $2.3 million collapse of GJ Gardner Homes Ipswich says payments to the director along with a six-figure loan were made to him before their appointment last year.
Liquidator Adam Ward, of Worrells, says his preliminary investigation into the collapse of TP Enterprises Aotearoa, trading as GJ Gardner Homes Ipswich, had identified two payments totalling $17,500 to director Peter Burghout in the period before the liquidation in January.
"These payments would likely be considered unreasonable director-related transactions and may be recoverable," Mr Ward said in a report to creditors.
But he indicated there would insufficient funds to conduct further investigation into pursuing a recovery action without creditors contributing money. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Mr Burghout.
Mr Ward said a $344,543 loan had been made to the director, which was unlikely to be recovered because of Mr Burghout's financial position. He said there was unlikely to be a return of any money owed to creditors.
The company, which was incorporated in 2016 and operated a franchise for the national GJ Gardner brand in Ipswich, closed its doors after the Queensland Building and Construction Commission suspended its licence. The company's collapse left 15 incomplete projects and 25 customers who had paid deposits on homes.
"The director has advised that the company's main reason for insolvency was due to its inability to meet the QBCC's minimum financial requirements," he said.
Mr Ward said that as the company did not have the ability to complete the homes, home owners were either having to engage new builders or lodge a claim against its insurance policy through the QBCC home warranty scheme.
This will likely result in a damages claim or counter claim against the company for most if not all unfinished projects. Mr Burghout was not contactable.
The QBCC has launched a crackdown on construction companies operating beyond their financial means amid a spate of insolvencies in the sector that has cost subcontractors hundreds of millions of dollars.
The watchdog said more than 100 companies that have failed to lodge proof of their financial health with the QBCC face being banned from taking on new work. More than 1400 companies in the state's construction sector have entered administration in the past five years.