Hardy Bros Mining & Civil Construction Pty Ltd (HBMCC), which is now in liquidation failed to pay its subcontractor, Coopers Earthmoving & Haulage Pty Ltd  $337,070.29 on time or at all on a Commonwealth-funded project, the Ellerton Drive Extension project in Queanbeyan, NSW.

HBMCC’s failure to make payment of money owed to Coopers under NSW security of payment legislation breached s 11D(1)(a) and (b) of the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016.

ABCC Commissioner, Stephen McBurney, has published details of non-compliance to:

  • ‘call out’ behaviour that constitute serious Code breaches
  • deter others from similar non-compliant conduct
  • enable building industry participants to make informed decisions about who they choose to engage to perform building work.

HBMCC engaged Coopers to supply plant and equipment with operators on the project. Coopers worked on the project for eight months, however, Coopers invoices from September to December 2018 went unpaid. Those invoices totalled $337,070.29.

On 11 April 2019, liquidators were appointed to HBMCC. The liquidation is continuing.

To date, Coopers has not received any of the outstanding amount from HBMCC. According to the liquidators, no creditors in the liquidation are expected to get any money.

Director of Coopers, Sally Cooper, described the dispute with HBMCC about the outstanding money as:

Extremely stressful. We did everything we could to come to some arrangement.

We are responsible for not only the wellbeing and welfare of our family but also that of the families who work for us. We are not a big company and to have over $300,000 owing to us coming up to Christmas 2018 was horrendous.

What we wish to see happen is justice and for the owners of HBMCC to be held accountable for what they inflicted on others through their greed.

The Code applies to Commonwealth-funded building work tendered for on or after 2 December 2016, and requires Code covered entities to comply with security of payment laws and pay on time.

ABCC Commissioner, Stephen McBurney, stated he determined to publish details of HBMCC’s non-compliance with the Code for the following reasons:

“The breaches of security of payment obligations amounted to breaches of the Code. These had a serious and deleterious impact on Coopers who had undertaken building work for which they were not paid.

“The conduct of HBMCC, their abject failure to remediate their conduct, to demonstrate contrition or remorse, or to rectify their conduct warrants the publication of non-compliance.

“This is an important outcome, supported by the public interest, to deter others from similar conduct, to publicise the contraventions in this case and to ensure the industry is made aware of the contraventions committed by HBMCC.”

The ABCC’s full summary of the breaches is available on our Sanctions webpage.