16 April 2024

Court grants Project Coordination administrators more time

| Ian Bushnell

Project Coordination managing director Gavin Murphy. The next report to creditors will be delivered on or before 30 June. Photo: Project Coordination.

Administrators in control of ACT building company Project Coordination have won more time to restart paused projects, pursue and realise company assets and possibly find a buyer for the 50-year-old firm.

RSM Australia partner Jonathon Colbran has advised creditors that the administrators’ application to extend the convening period of the administration had been granted by the Federal Court.

Mr Colbran said the extension of time meant the administrators’ report to creditors would now be delivered on or before 30 June, and the second meeting of creditors would be held on or before 5 July.

“Importantly, this extension allows us time to deal with asset, liability and building project-related matters before we shift our focus to completing our investigations as administrators and issuing a comprehensive report to all creditors that will include recommendations on the company’s future,” he said.

“It also gives us a chance to identify any potential parties who may wish to put forward a deed of company arrangement to continue the company in some form.”

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Mr Colbran said the administrators had been in regular contact with the principals of the 16 projects underway in the ACT and NSW at the time of their appointment.

“The majority are heading in the right direction. We anticipate within the next few weeks more than half will have taken steps to recommence works,” he said.

The administrators have not formally identified the 16 projects, but in the ACT, they include a $12 million government project to build a conservatory at the Australian National Botanic Gardens that was due to be completed by the middle of the year, the almost complete Gungahlin College expansion, a noise remediation project at the Nishi building in NewActon and a townhouse development in Narrabundah.

A refurbishment of the Fitzroy pavilion at Exhibition Park was at the design stage.

The four NSW projects include a new $16 million police station at Bega, two small households, a cafe, and improved connections between the inside and outside spaces at Banksia Lodge aged care at Broulee.

The last update said RSM Australia had received about 200 formal creditor claims valued at more than $25 million.

Mr Colbran said the number of creditors and value of claims would continue to evolve during the administration.

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The father-and-son directors of Project Coordination, chairman Paul Murphy and managing director Gavin Murphy, have said they made the “soul-destroying decision” to call in administrators after failing to find the capital needed to keep going despite ongoing projects and a solid pipeline of work.

Project Coordination, which has offices in Canberra and Wollongong, is one of several building companies in the ACT to go bust this year.

Others are Rork Projects, Cubitt’s Granny Flats and Home Extensions, and Voyager Projects. The PBS Group went under last year.

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