BCL Group claims $4 million debt while WA building industry expects figure to rise
A director of the collapsed BCL Group claims the company owes at least $4 million to unsecured creditors, many of them small subcontractors, documents filed to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) show.
But director Louie Hancock did not reveal how much was owed to secured creditors, including the Commonwealth Bank, meaning the extent of the company’s debts could be substantially higher.
The Wangara-based company went into liquidation last month after a review into its financial viability.
Liquidators Richard Albarran and Cameron Shaw, of Hall Chadwick, are reviewing the claims to verify their accuracy.
The documents suggest that at least 160 subcontractors are owed more than $4 million, including:
- Perth-based labour and equipment hire companies Australian Civil Haulage and Flexi Staff, each owed more than of $300,000
- Bunbury-based businesses Form X and Jetline Kerbing Construction, owed $300,000 and $170,000 respectively
- Kalgoorlie-Boulder-based business Total Asphalt and Total Traffic Management, owed $146,000.
The Australian Taxation Office is owed more than $350,000, while Corrs Chambers Westgarth Lawyers is owed $116,000.
Jetline Kerbing Construction owner Russell Lines believed there were inaccuracies in the initial figures, and they may be subject to change.
“Ours is about $50,000 under,” he said.
“I don’t know what they’ve got on their books, but obviously I’ll send all the information I’ve got to the liquidators.”
‘Unlikely there will be much left over for subcontractors’
Subcontractors WA chairwoman Louise Stewart said it was unlikely subcontractors would be paid.
“Given the number of secured creditors that BCL has, I would say that it’s quite unlikely there’s going to be very much left over at all for subcontractors, which is obviously devastating and very disappointing,” she said.
“This is an industry that needs change now because as usual it is going to be subcontractors left out of pocket.”
BCL had worked on major projects including the West Coast Eagles’ new Lathlain headquarters, the Supreme Court Gardens upgrade, and the $440 million Elizabeth Quay development.
Construction has halted on a slew of other projects the company was tied to, including the City of Subiaco’s $1.4 million upgrade project on Lake Jualbup and Bunbury’s Koombana Park, which had previously been flagged as the site of a government department headquarters.
BCL’s collapse marked the latest demise in the construction sector, after Cooper and Oxley and Choice Living both went into administration earlier this year.