ALL SMILES: Gympie builder Jacob Buhle considers himself
ALL SMILES: Gympie builder Jacob Buhle considers himself "lucky” he hasn't fallen victim to building company collapses, but welcomes news the State Government will launch a Special Joint Taskforce into the issue. Troy Jegers

Gympie subbies, tradies celebrate taskforce announcement


GYMPIE region subcontractors have reacted with both optimism and doubt to the State Government's announcement of a "Special Joint Taskforce” to investigate the repeated collapses of Queensland building companies.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the "forensic examination”, headed by retired supreme court judge Justice John Byrne would target the "bigger operators who too often leave their subbies in the lurch” in the statement, released late Wednesday night.

Martin Griffith, a Sunshine Coast-based sole trader who lost almost $15,000 in unpaid plumbing work in the $6 million overall Stirling Homes collapse last October, said the taskforce's success would be "monumental” for subbies.


- Stirling collapse: 'Couldn't give my boys a good Christmas'

- 'They have devastated this town': Stirling subbies speak out

- Gympie subbies reveal toll of Stirling Homes collapse

- $6M BUILDER COLLAPSE: Ex-wife labels claims 'utter rubbish'

- Dreams ruined as major home builder collapses

- First glimpse at fallout from Stirling Homes' collapse

- STIRLING HOMES COLLAPSE: $1.4m owed to 107 businesses

"It's fantastic if they can pull it off,” Mr Griffith said.

"It's a massive task. Trying to roll out a program of that size will be tough. It's a mind-blowing amount of money and accounts on the go, and so many builders are trading insolvent.

"You have to think positive.”

Mr Griffith, the director of Griffith Plumbing and Drainage, said he had also been left with his own half-completed house when Stirling Homes went under.

He is owed $14,502.40 as one of 113 unsecured creditors listed on a Stirling Investments Qld Pty Ltd statutory report, lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission by liquidator Chifley Advisory.

"It sucked not getting paid, I've got a young baby at home,” Mr Griffith said.

"The personal strain has probably been worse, it put a lot of strain on myself and my pregnant wife. We were supposed to move to Gympie before our baby was born, but (the Stirling collapse) left us without a house.”

Mr Griffith said he still considered himself "one of the lucky ones” compared to other subbies left in ruin.

Other locals considering themselves "lucky” were Jacob Buhle and Paul Weinert of Ally Homes, who said they never felt at risk of being left in limbo during previous contracts they had been involved with.

The LNP has accused Labor of doing too little too late, and called for a Royal Commission.

Housing Minister Mick De Brenni said the State Government would be continuing its rollout of "landmark building industry reforms” to ensure everyone was "paid on time, in full, every time” in future.