Trades contracted to work on the 50 apartment Uniting Yamba Road development say they are collectively owed about $1 million by embattled builder GCB Constructions.
East Coast Access owner Nikole Hambly said last week they began pulling down scaffolding on the job site as they hadn’t been paid anything by GCB Constructions this year since January.
She said they hadn’t been advised GCB Constructions had been placed into administration, but the construction company was involved in court proceedings in Queensland.
“We have been told GCB Constructions are trying to trade themselves out of this position through their Gold Coast branch,” she said.
“We are owed well over $118,000 as it stands today, but that figure will be close to $200,000 by the time we’re finished, because it will take us three weeks to pull it all down.
“If they do go into liquidation and the job gets locked up and if our scaffolding is still sitting there, there’s a chance we could lose it, or it could be sitting there for years.”
Ms Hambly said although GCB Constructions has its own scaffolding company, they contracted locals East Coast Access to provide scaffolding for the Uniting project.
“The scaffold isn’t coming down because we’ve been asked to pull it down because they don’t need it anymore, its coming down because we haven’t been paid,” she said.
“They won’t talk to us at all, we have had zero correspondence from GCB and Uniting know our situation.”
East Coast Access aren’t owed as much by GCB Constructions, Ms Hambly said, as Grafton based concreter Nat Sewell Concreting, who are owed more money and haven’t been paid since December 2022.
“It would be close to $1 million that us subcontractors are owed for that job, and they are all local small business owners with families that are suffering,” she said.
Ms Hambly said East Coast Access won’t be doing any more work on the site once their scaffold is removed and they had engaged a solicitor to chase payment for their contract.
“Our case is pretty simple, we had a contract to build the scaffolding and the monthly hire, it is all a contract and there’s nothing over or under, they just haven’t paid,” she said.
The CV Independent has contacted GCB Constructions three times in the last three weeks asking questions, including if the company is in financial trouble, when will construction recommence, when will trades be paid what they are owed, how many trades are engaged on the site and when will the project be finished, but GCB hasn’t responded.
A Uniting spokesperson said Uniting has worked closely with GCB Constructions to support them through these challenging times to ensure the timely completion of work at Uniting Yamba.
“Disappointingly work on the apartments and clubhouse remains on hold for now.
There are a variety of buildings within the village all at various stages of completion.”
Uniting previously said it has paid all certified progress claims from GCB constructions.
“We are continuing discussions and exploring how to expeditiously complete the clubhouse and apartments.
While it’s expected that there will be a delay, Uniting is committed to completing all the planned works, including the apartments, and building a vibrant welcoming community.
It is Uniting’s utmost priority to make sure the comfort and wellbeing of its current and future residents continue.
Uniting is committed to updating and supporting all residents during this time.”
This article appeared in the Clarence Valley Independent, 5 July 2023.