Liquidator’s cash hope for tradies

CRAIG Walton was personally liable to sub-contractor creditors on the Nambour Coles project because he had allowed his construction business to trade, knowing that it could not pay for the work.

Liquidator Lawler Draper Dillon told Waltons Sub-Contractors Alliance representatives at a meeting in Brisbane on Wednesday that the failed builder was insolvent but had continued to trade.

Alliance spokesman Les Williams said Coles had provided about $600,000 to the Supreme Court for distribution to creditors.

It is thought the money will be paid out on a proportional basis according to monies owed.

Mr Williams said creditors would treat the money as a deposit on the full amount to which they were entitled and would continue to pursue full settlement.

He said the finding that Walton had traded while insolvent opened the way to consider what knowledge about the builder's financial position was held by other parties but not shared with creditors.

He said that following an audit report of the company in early 2013, the NAB had referred business advisors, the Mawson Group, to Mr Walton.

Profitable projects were transferred to a business controlled by Mawson directors while the Nambour Coles project was left with Walton Queensland which, along with Walton Construction, was placed in administration on October 4 before going into liquidation with debts totalling $49 million.

Mr Williams is working with the liquidator and representatives of Queensland Building and Construction Commission - formerly the QBSA - to ensure that all relevant issues are included in the terms of reference for the proposed public examination of Walton.

Included in those terms of reference will be identification of who gave the QBSA financial information to support Craig Walton's builder's licence renewal.

The Sub-Contractors' Alliance also will seek examination of arrangements reached with Walton Queensland by Coles and its project manager Savills Australia which saw its performance bond returned.



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