Claims Jewel bosses late on $26m payment

A construction union official claims the Jewel triple towers developer is late with a megabucks progress payment to its head contractor but the developer disputes that.

Construction, Forestry, Engineering and Manufacturing Union (CFMEU) Gold Coast official Scott Vink said he had been told Jewel developer Yuhu Group was due to pay $26 million to major site contractor Multiplex two days ago.

Aerial view of Jewel worksite after workers walked off the job today. Picture Glenn Hampson
Aerial view of Jewel worksite after workers walked off the job today. Picture Glenn Hampson

"I can tell you I believe the progress payment for works completed and materials was due to Multiplex.

"I believe that was not forthcoming from Yuhu Group - and now there is more uncertainty around the job."

Mr Vink said he had heard about the delayed payment from multiple subcontractors, some of whom are now claiming to be out of pocket for pre-ordered materials.

Aerial view of Jewel worksite earlier this year — the ground floor areas featuring bars, pools and restaurants will be a showpiece of the crystalline towers. Picture Glenn Hampson
Aerial view of Jewel worksite earlier this year — the ground floor areas featuring bars, pools and restaurants will be a showpiece of the crystalline towers. Picture Glenn Hampson

The claim comes after similar fears were raised two months ago about the timing of a separate $36m progress payment from Yuhu Group to Multiplex. At the time, Yuhu Group maintained it paid it on schedule.

Asked about the status of the $26m payment, a Yuhu Group spokeswoman yesterday said: "We have always acted in strict accordance with our construction contract and payment schedule, as demonstrated in our track record."

The claim about the latest alleged $26m progress payment hold up comes after a horror week for the $1.4b Jewel project at the Surfers Paradise beach edge. Just over a week ago, three workers were hospitalised after a falling metal beam struck them on site.

CFMEU member Scott Vink claims Jewel developer Yuhu Group is behind a major payment to head contractor Multiplex. Picture: Jerad Williams
CFMEU member Scott Vink claims Jewel developer Yuhu Group is behind a major payment to head contractor Multiplex. Picture: Jerad Williams

Earlier this week, it was revealed some of the 600-strong workforce feared looming job cuts on the ambitious project in the lead-up to Christmas.

In yesterday's Bulletin, a subcontractor claimed he was awaiting payment for millions of dollars worth of invoices and Mr Vink said he did not believe the forecast mid-2019 completion date would be met.

Sydney-based Yuhu Group director Jimmy Huang - the son of the company's Chinese billionaire chairman Huang Xiangmo - hit back earlier this week saying it was disappointing some had lost sight of the big picture and were talking down Jewel.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate and Yuhu Group Australia director, Jimmy Huang, enjoying the Jewel International Kite Festival at Surfers Paradise earlier this year. Picture: Jerad Williams
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate and Yuhu Group Australia director, Jimmy Huang, enjoying the Jewel International Kite Festival at Surfers Paradise earlier this year. Picture: Jerad Williams

"It is a massive and complex project and it would be unrealistic to think every aspect runs smoothly and to plan."

The three towers, at 41, 47 and 34 storeys topped out in August. It features a 169-room hotel and 512 apartments.



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