MONDAY, DECEMBER 8: Builder taken to VCAT
BENDIGO-based Reuben Beazley Builders has gone into liquidation, owing creditors more than $600,000.
Chartered accounting firm SellersMuldoonBenton was appointed liquidators last Friday, the same day Reustructure Pty Ltd – trading as Reuben Beazley Builders - closed the doors to its office and display home at Imagine Strathfieldsaye Amenities.
Partner Justin Howlett said it was too early to determine the scale of Beazley’s debts or what returns creditors could expect.
“We do not know a whole lot about the circumstances – at this stage we are compiling a list of creditors,” he said.
“It doesn’t look good early on.
“There is a lot of anger and a lot of emotion, especially at this time of the year.”
Mr Howlett said a report would be prepared this week ahead of a likely creditors meeting in Bendigo, possibly late next week.
He said the intial meeting would be an opportunity for the liquidators to introduce themselves and detail the liquidation process.
The Bendigo Advertiser this week reported a private builder had filed legal action against Reuben Beazley for $8000 in unpaid wages. The case will be heard by VCAT in Bendigo on Thursday.
Several building business, sub-contractors and former employees have stepped forward with claims of large sums of money being owed by Beazley.
Debt collection agency Central Victorian Mercantile has confirmed it was acting for at least six creditors owed a combined $130,000.
Managing director Leigh Stevens said there was no guarantee any of the creditors would get what they were owed.
“There’s not much you can do with a debt collection agency when there is no money to chase,” Mr Stevens said.
“As all of them are unsecured creditors they are at the bottom of the line.
“We’ve had a couple more phone calls (Tuesday) morning.”
CVM is representing the creditors on a pro-bono basis.
Beazley’s office and display home remained closed yesterday and his mobile phone disconnected.
Reports have continued to emerge of monies owed by Reuben Beazley Builders.
Paul Brennan Kitchens owner Paul Brennan said he was owed $35,000 for work.
He said the saga had put some pressure on his business.
“You feel like you have been contributing to something that you are not,” said Irish-born Mr Brennan, who has operated his business since 1998.
“I’m not the first person this has happened to and I won’t be the last.
“It’s disappointing but I feel sorry for the younger guys starting out – a few of the tradies are only in their 20s.
“I read about it all the time in the building industry – it’s the first time for me.
“A few of the other boys have been affected a lot more than me and I am more disappointed for them.”
Mr Brennan said his predicament was similar to that of Laser Plumbing Bendigo owner Adam Redmond who was owed $50,000.
Mr Redmond had worked for Beazley for the past three years, but had not been paid since June.
He said he and Beazley had agreed to a payment plan, but no payments had been made.
Mr Redmond was part of an initial group of five people spoken to by the Advertiser who say they are owed between $3500 and $72,000 by Beazley.
Far from bitter, Mr Brennan declared himself “fortunate” to be working in Australia.
“This is an amazing country,” he said.
“It’s really only the last six months this has kicked up.
“It’s a shame in a way that it’s all come down to the average working bloke being left to carry the can.”
Editor's note: The original story referred to SellersMuldoonBenton as an administrator, which is incorrect. It is the liquidator.