16 May 2012

St Hilliers goes into administration

| johnboy
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The Business Spectator has a story on construction group St Hilliers shuffling off this mortal coil:

“The administration of St Hilliers Construction Pty Ltd is due to exposure under guarantees for debts of St Hilliers Ararat Pty Ltd relating to the Ararat Prison project in Victoria,” the company said in a statement.

The administration does not involve St Hilliers Property, the arm responsible for the St Hillier Group’s funds management, property development and asset management.

The ABC reports on the local impacts this will have:

The construction arm of the property firm St Hilliers Group has placed itself in voluntary administration, throwing into disarray building projects in Canberra, regional New South Wales and Victoria.

It was awarded the ACT Government contract to build the $64.4 million Bonner Primary School last year.

The school is due to open at the start of next year.

The company is also behind a $7 million government housing development in Phillip and the $45 million Harrison Secondary School.

A new building for Air Services Australia on Constitution Avenue is also under a cloud until the company’s financial situation can be assessed.

UPDATE 16/05/12 13:05: Andrew Barr has announced the ACT’s response:

It is important to note that the problems affecting St Hilliers Construction have arisen from a project in Victoria, not from work done here in the ACT.

It is unfortunate that St Hilliers Construction is entering into voluntary administration.

The Government is concerned about the effect this will have on the projects that St Hilliers Construction have been undertaking in the ACT and on their workers and subcontractors here in Canberra.

The Government is working proactively to ensure that St Hilliers Construction’s ACT projects are delivered, whether through St Hilliers Construction continuing projects under administration, or whether it is under a new project manager.

Wherever possible the Government will ensure that the same contractors are reengaged on each project. This will give workers continuity of employment, and help ensure the project is completed with as little delay as possible.

The Government will continue to work closely with subcontractors and the ACT branch of the CFMEU

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There is no way the ACT Government will indemnify the sub contactors for work they have done or supplies they have delivered to the sites. The “best” they will offer will be “preferential consideration” on future ACT Government procurement but given the state of ACT’s finances there won’t be much in the way of new projects for a while (apart from ongoing stuff at the Epicurial Arboretum)

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