Uncertainty for tradies owed money after collapse of GJ Gardner Homes in Bathurst

TRADIES caught up in the collapse of GJ Gardner Homes in Bathurst face an uncertain future, with some owed in excess of $100,000 by the failed business.

Formerly trading as Aluka Constructions Pty Limited, GJ Gardner Homes Bathurst went into voluntary liquidation on August 30.

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, money owed will be repaid.

They will find out more after a creditors’ meeting is held on September 19.

In the meantime, 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 in which they find themselves.

Liquidator, Chad Rapsey, from Rapsey Griffiths, confirmed last week there were seven employees who had lost their jobs following the closure of the franchise.

Mr Rapsey was assisting the employees access the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) scheme. 

He also confirmed there are approximately 75 creditors owed in excess of $1.1 million.

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

And they are, understandably, angry.

They said they had received very few answers from GJ Gardner Homes.

“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.

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

Mr Rapsey, who is preparing a report to creditors about the company’s affairs, and making inquiries into the failure of the company and possible offences committed by the directors, said once he has completed his investigations he will be in a position to estimate if there will be a dividend to creditors.