Legal action looms for shire

SUBCONTRACTORS who worked on the Bridgewater Caravan Park may take legal action against Loddon Shire Council.

The contractor behind the project, Global Contracting, is alleged to have failed to pay subcontractors for work undertaken at the site.

Acting chief executive Ian McLauchlan recently said at least three subcontractors and one supplier were owed money by Global.

More than $200,000 is owed to at least one subcontractor.

The council has been unable to contact the company and is looking to continue works with subcontractors. 

Mr McLauchlan said any money owed to workers was a matter for Global.

“We’re looking at how we can work with those contractors and the supplier to establish new agreements to finish work at the site, provided they’re willing to work with us,” he said.  

“We certainly won’t be paying them money that is owed by Global.

“They will need to recover any debt from the primary contractor they’re owed money from.”

Mr McLauchlan said council had paid Global for the work it had completed and the business had failed to pay subcontractors.

But a person close to the matter said the council did not properly research the company before awarding the $1.8 million contract.

“In their eyes, they’ve paid Global, but they did not do their due diligence,” they said.

“They were fully aware no-one had been paid by Global but they still gave them the money anyway.”

The person, who asked not to be named, said subcontractors had received their last payment from Global several months before the company stopped work.

A former Global staff member said the company had left employees in limbo.

“As it stands right now they’re technically not in administration or insolvency, according to ASIC,” she said.

“But the fact is they haven’t paid employees since the first week of December.

“They won’t pay out termination pay, entitlements and leave and they haven’t been responding to phone calls.”

They said the business employed more than 100 people. 

The council hopes to have the caravan park open by Easter following several delays.  

Global directors did not return calls. 

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