SUBBIES: Mackay's Brendon Carter of SOS Concrete Constructions with concreter Jared Panochini.
SUBBIES: Mackay's Brendon Carter of SOS Concrete Constructions with concreter Jared Panochini. Luke Mortimer

Call to police payments to subbies

A MACKAY businessman has suggested hiring someone in each regional area to police payments to subbies would be a better use of taxpayer money than a new taskforce. Another fears neither political party will truly fix the problem.

Their comments come after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the taskforce, which comes after our Back Our Subbies campaign, would forensically examine the circumstances surrounding the collapse of a number of major construction companies.

Since 2013, about 50 collapses in the sector have left debts of $500 million collectively owed to more than 7000 trade creditors.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also promised a "tradie pay guarantee" if the Labor party wins the Federal election.

The 'guarantee' would include a $7 million fund for corporate regulator ASIC to fund cases against firms that did not pay their subcontractors, and construction companies would have to put subcontractors' pay in trust accounts to win government contracts.

The LNP also promised a commission of inquiry into the issue.

SOS Concrete Constructions' Brendon Carter said he was curious what would happen to progress payments the State Government paid out that dodgy companies kept, while subcontractors struggled to pay their own grocery bills.

"I reckon both parties have no intention of doing anything. What they need to do is start throwing people these people in jail and start holding them accountable," he said.


Graham Townsend
Graham Townsend. Rainee Shepperson

Retired earthmoving business owner Graham Townsend suggested hiring someone in each regional centre to police these declarations.

"What I'm upset about is that they're politicising this whole issue and promising spend lots of time and money when they've already got the tools to stop the contractors from doing what they're doing," he said

"They've got signed statutory declarations from contractors stating that they've paid their subbies. And all they have to do is police that."

But the pledges are a good start.

"I'm glad that the media has taken this massive issue on and got the political parties moving," Mr Townsend said.