No cash for creditors

MORE than 600 creditors are yet to see a cent of money owed by collapsed Gippsland construction company Kirway Constructions, almost a year into the company’s liquidation.

In an update from Pitcher Partners, appointed to reclaim more than $5 million owed on behalf of former Kirway contractors and suppliers, head liquidator Gess Rambaldi said there appeared to be a major shortfall in reclaimable funds.

The company’s sudden collapse last March took Gippsland’s building industry by surprise, however the latest update from Pitcher Partners has only confirmed creditor’s dire suspicions held since soon after the collapse.

Despite selling off five properties, construction equipment, and pursuing hundreds of thousands through maintenance contracts, and building contracts worth “in excess of a million”, Mr Rambaldi said even Kirway’s priority secured creditor, the ANZ bank, owed about $1.5 million, faced a likely shortfall.

“There are some loose ends relating to contracts which were on foot at the time, to see if there was any money payable still under those contracts, however at this stage it appears a dividend is unlikely for unsecured creditors,” he said.

One of Kirway’s hardest hit creditors, Sale landscaper Liz Filmer, who said she had lost $250,000 in the collapse, said she has tried to mentally move on from the incident.

“We had eight workers last year, now we’ve only got four; we didn’t thankfully have to retrench people, because they were already a bit worried considering what had happened and found other work themselves, knowing how much trouble we were in,” Ms Filmer said.

“The situation was quite bad; when we lost money we didn’t have much work at the time to keep the cash flowing – work was very slim.

“I don’t know if we will ever regain the lost (market) territory; it’s a slow process because it’s so competitive out there… hopefully the industry will eventually pick up and the cowboys will be lost in the wash.”