Tradies owed thousands as Ipswich home builder goes bust

SUB-CONTRACTORS are fighting to survive after one of Ipswich's largest home builders was put into liquidation, owing thousands of dollars.

Tradies are owed more than $200,000 after G.J. Gardner Homes at North Ipswich was put into liquidation.

G.J. Ipswich's customers and contractors were informed last week of the development.

Calls to managing director Pieter Burghout have remained unanswered and a sign on the door of the North Ipswich office asks people to call Worrells, a company specialising in insolvency matters.

Design-All Cabinets owner Richard Jones is owed about $80,000 from Mr Burghout's company.

"I'm a bit peeved," he said.

"Pieter was taking payments for fix out claims and we weren't seeing any money."

G.J. Gardner. Homes.
G.J. Gardner. Homes. Cordell Richardson

Mr Jones estimates he finished up to 30 homes for G.J. Gardner last year.

Now he is not sure whether the business will survive.

"I don't even know if I'll scrape through yet," he said.

"We are just trying to move along, steady as she goes."

A G.J. Gardner Homes staff member said the North Ipswich franchise would be absorbed by another.

Liquidation of the franchise does not affect other G.J. Gardner Home sites.

Mr Jones said electricians and plumbers were owed money, and believed a concreter was owed about $160,000.

"They're in the same boat," he said.

"Basically there's a lot of outstanding money.

"He's gone into liquidation so the chances of us getting any money is very very slim."

A sign on the door of G.J Gardner homes directs people to an insolvency company.
A sign on the door of G.J Gardner homes directs people to an insolvency company. Cordell Richardson

At least one customer who has paid out more than $100,000 for the final fit-out of their new home has been left with nothing.

They were due to move into the home in the coming months but it has been left unliveable.

The customer said they knew of a number of subcontractors who had done work and not been paid since as far back as October last year.

Customers weren't informed of the closure on Tuesday and have been unable to contact Mr Burghout.

Mr Jones cornered Mr Burghout in G.J's office on Wednesday.

"I said to him why did you get all these jobs put in full knowing you didn't have the money?"

"First thing he said to me was sorry.

"Sorry doesn't cut it."

The cabinet-company owner has survived big companies going bust before, but said this one was tough.

"I've had a few go for me a couple of times and this one has just hit home for me," he said.

"The building industry needs a big shake-up."

A spokesman for the Queensland Building and Construction Commission confirmed the building license had been suspended.

"The QBCC has been in contact with the franchisor, GJ Gardner Homes, and the liquidator to discuss a way forward for homeowners," he said.

"We are also contacting affected owners to explain the process of lodging a non-completion claim for assessment under the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme.

"Claims cannot occur under the scheme until a company's licence has been cancelled, or a contract has been legally terminated."

"Sub-contractors and suppliers who believe they are owed money should contact the liquidator, Adam Ward of Worrells in Toowoomba, at toowoomba@worrells.net.au." 

Have you been affected by this closure? Contact hayden.johnson@qt.com.au.

Note: An earlier version of this story said the building license had been cancelled. This was incorrect. It has only been suspended. 



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