Media Release

16 July 2018

The Berejiklian Government is finally going to provide some help for North Coast subcontractors who are owed more than $7 million for work on upgrades to the Pacific Highway.

It is atrocious that it has taken this long to get any assistance from the government.

The sub-contractors undertook work to dig and grade the road but have not been paid because the company they were directly contracted to, Ostwald Brothers, went into liquidation in August 2017.

Between them they are owed $7.3 million.

Acting NSW Opposition leader Michael Daley said Pacific Complete – the State Government appointed consortium responsible for the project’s delivery – had promised for more than a year that all subcontractors would be paid – but did nothing until NSW Labor raised their plight back in May.

It raises the real possibility this is just political posturing from a do-nothing Minister for small business now that the small business party has launched.

Shadow Industrial Relations Minister Adam Searle said the government now needs to make it clear what it is putting in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again. And it should also outline what work these workers have been given since they lost their contracts due to the Ostwald collapse. What are they going to get going forward?

Quotes attributable to Acting NSW Opposition Leader Michael Daley:
“If all the recommendations of the Collins Inquiry had been implemented these workers would have been protected.’

“Why won’t the Premier do what’s right and make sure this can never happen again, by implementing these necessary changes – as they had promised to do.

“The Berejiklian Government has billions to spend on Sydney stadiums but didn’t lift a finger to help these families struggling to make ends meet.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Adam Searle MLC: 
“It’s all well and good to pick up some of the pieces afterwards, let’s stop it happening in the first place!’

“The solution is implementing the recommendations of the Collins Inquiry. The Coalition government promised to do this years ago but did nothing.

“We will enact new laws to ensure sub-contractors can get all moneys they are owed. We will also ensure the Office of Industrial Relations, Safe Work and the Building Industry Committee of the Long Service Leave Corporation work together to deal with all regulatory and compliance issues in the construction industry.”