Creditors of collapsed GJ Gardner Homes Bathurst should know more soon

The former GJ Gardner Home office on George Street. The office is now vacant.
The former GJ Gardner Home office on George Street. The office is now vacant.

INVESTIGATIONS into the collapsed GJ Gardner Homes Bathurst franchise are still under way with the liquidator’s report expected by the end of the month.

Chad Rapsey from Rapsey Griffiths was appointed liquidator of the business in August following its collapse. He said this week investigations were “still continuing”.

Mr Rapsey said he would be issuing a further report to creditors on or before November 30.

Six people are out of work, six homes are partially built and 75 creditors are owed in more than $1 million following the collapse of the franchise almost three months ago.

The company, trading as Aluka Constructions Pty Ltd, was voluntarily wound up on August 30.

Mr Rapsey was appointed as liquidator in the days following the collapse. His appointment was initiated by the company which was insolvent and could not pay its debts when they were due.

Mr Rapsey said employees who lost their jobs have since been directed to the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) scheme but for the 75 creditors owed in excess of $1.1 million, it’s a case of wait and see.

One tradie, who wished to remain anonymous, is owed around $100,000, while an electrician is understood to be owed $130,000.

While the owners of homes under construction by the collapsed builder have home owners’ warranty insurance and can claim via the Home Building Compensation Fund, the tradespeople and businesses owed money have a long wait to find out how much, if any, of the owed money will be repaid.

Mr Rapsey said the majority of these creditors are local subcontractors and suppliers in the building and construction industry in Bathurst.

Mr Rapsey said once he has completed his investigations he will be in a position to estimate if there will be a dividend to creditors, who left holding the debt, are understandably angry.

“It’s just horrific,” said one person caught up in the situation.

“We are not used to dealing with this stuff. We are trying to trade out of it, but who knows whether we can or not. It happens everywhere - the tradies and the businesses are the ones who get caught.

The tradie said they knew of a business caught up in a similar situation after a business collapsed.

“Something similar happened in Cooma; we know a bricklayer who was owed $60,000 and didn’t get a cent.”

Since the franchise collapsed, the tradie said those affected are trying to keep their head above water, many working seven days a week trying to trade their way out of the situation.