News

Businesses on brink of ruin

Veronica Hansen (far left) and George Howland (far right) run Howland Truck Hire, employing Alison Hansen and Pete Hansen. they have been forced to leave Gladstone as they have not been paid for contracts completed since February. Photo David Sparkes / The Observer
Veronica Hansen (far left) and George Howland (far right) run Howland Truck Hire, employing Alison Hansen and Pete Hansen. they have been forced to leave Gladstone as they have not been paid for contracts completed since February. Photo David Sparkes / The Observer David Sparkes

SUBCONTRACTORS in Gladstone are being pushed to the brink of ruin as a major company has fallen behind on millions of dollars in payments.

AJ Lucas, a major engineering and infrastructure company, has been contracted by Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) for a project to construct water and sewerage pipelines from the mainland to the LNG projects on Curtis Island.

Contractors and sub-contractors in Gladstone claim AJ Lucas has fallen behind on payments for work done as far back as January. 

The Observer understands AJ Lucas owes a sum of money in overdue payments - amounting in the millions - to contractors working on the project.

The Observer yesterday spoke to several contractors, all of them small businesses, who fear their businesses are on the verge of being wiped out if AJ Lucas fails to make full payments soon.

Most contractors declined to be named.

AJ Lucas did not answer most of the questions asked by The Observer yesterday, but a spokeswoman said the matter would be resolved within the next week.

"AJ Lucas is aware of the concerns of subcontractors and is liaising with many of them on a daily basis," she said. "All contractors will receive monies owed. While we can't disclose details surrounding the situation due to commercial confidence, we can confirm we are working closely with the client to resolve the situation, and this should be finalised within the next week."

Some contractors, including John Ingham, owner of KJ Ingham Water Trucks, said the State Government needed to find a solution to ensure subcontractors were not left unpaid, especially since GAWB is a government-owned corporation.

He said the situation was hurting small businesses and families and GAWB had a "duty of care" to subcontractors working on its projects.

Mr Ingham, who on legal advice did not say how much money he was owed, said he has employee, as well as four subcontractors working under him. He is now desperately worried about meeting his financial commitments to them.

The Observer was made aware that Barlow Civil, a Gladstone-based earthworks and pipeline business contracted by AJ Lucas for a large amount of work on the project, held an emergencey meeting with its staff yesterday morning.

Barlow Civil declined to comment.

Topics:  business, subcontractors


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Demolition crew tears woman's home down while she's inside

A Coolum resident has found herself stranded in her own home after demolition crews arrived at her unit block and started tearing down the asbestos filled building around her. She was told to stay inside as men in bio-hazard suits worked just outside her back door.

Workplace Health and Safety investigation into demolition site

Treasurer supports plans for medicinal cannabis hub

Adam Benjamin of Medifarm wants to supply medicinal cannabis and hopes to transform the canelands of the Sunshine Coast into Potlands. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily

Curtis Pitt has positive response

Bomb scare accused to face drug trial in Supreme Court

DISPOSAL: A bomb squad officer investigates the discovery of a device at Peregian Beach on April 20.

David John Ogden was allegedly found with 28g of meth in July

Latest deals and offers

Dog squad and POLAIR helicopter assist in Coolum arrest

AROUND 3.15pm on Sunday, May 22 officers from the Sunshine Coast Dog Squad located a stolen Toyota Camry in the Coolum Beach area.

Demolition crew tears woman's home down while she's inside

A Coolum resident has found herself stranded in her own home after demolition crews arrived at her unit block and started tearing down the asbestos filled building around her. She was told to stay inside as men in bio-hazard suits worked just outside her back door.

Workplace Health and Safety investigation into demolition site

Treasurer supports plans for medicinal cannabis hub

Adam Benjamin of Medifarm wants to supply medicinal cannabis and hopes to transform the canelands of the Sunshine Coast into Potlands. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily

Curtis Pitt has positive response

Bomb scare accused to face drug trial in Supreme Court

DISPOSAL: A bomb squad officer investigates the discovery of a device at Peregian Beach on April 20.

David John Ogden was allegedly found with 28g of meth in July

Aggression the wrong expression

News

A series of forums will be held educating against violent behaviour.

The best retro movies of the week? May 27 - June 3

Gregory Peck Photo Contributed

This week TV fan get to see Tom Cruise in a 1980s classics

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Billy Slater talks Origin Team

Queensland Origin great Billy Slater.

Queensland Origin great Billy Slater talks about this years team and his return to...

Road rage caught on Dashcam

Attack with a baseball bat caught on Dashcam

Video of a violent road rage incident in Orange last December.

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked