SUPPORT: Mackay Regional Council Mayor Greg Williamson says there may be ways council can help subcontractors unpaid by Oceanic Constructions.
SUPPORT: Mackay Regional Council Mayor Greg Williamson says there may be ways council can help subcontractors unpaid by Oceanic Constructions. Emily Smith

Mackay Mayor vows to help contractors hit by Oceanic

MACKAY'S new mayor has vowed "council will do its utmost" to help local subcontractors left out of pocket by Oceanic Constructions.

The construction company hired by Mackay Regional Council to upgrade Marian pump stations last year went into liquidation, leaving 31 subcontractors unpaid.

Although the council paid most of the $1.7 million for the job before it realised subcontractors were losing money, it still holds what liquidators SVPartners believe to be a $35,000 final payment and $95,000 retention money.

New Mayor Greg Williamson said the final payment was actually closer to $14,000 and retention money was about $90,000.

But he said if the council was to release that money now, it would go straight to the administrators, not to the locals.

Instead, he urged affected businesses to "come and talk to council" when rates notices were issued and to let the council know if help was needed with legal teams.

"This is just a really, really sad situation," Cr Williamson said.

"If we release that money to administrators now, it will not go to the local subcontractors."

He said the council would see what legal paths could be pursued before deciding what to do with the money.

But he said there may be other ways council could help.

"When looking at transactional issues like rates, we will be saying (to these subcontractors) "Come and talk to us"," he said. "It will then be a council decision what we do. We've got to be compassionate here.

"We will do our utmost to see what we can do and that includes council working with legal teams if that's required."

Timeline 

April 2015: Mackay Regional Council accepts Oceanic Constructions' tender for Marian pump station upgrades at Paul Street and Kennys Road, the cheapest out of four tenders received.

December 2015: Oceanic Constructions finishes job. At this stage Mackay Regional Council has paid them almost all of the $1.7million for the job, aside from a final payment believed to be between $14,000 and $35,000 and retention money of between $90,000-$95,000.

March 2016: Oceanic Constructions are in liquidation. There are 31 local subcontractors still owed money for the job, like Bob and Mandy Wesseling, of Wes Excavations, owed $42,790 for earthworks. A creditors meeting will be held at Mackay Grande Suites tomorrow from 2-3pm.


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