The Berejiklian-Barilaro Government has once again failed to come up with any solutions or answers for the stranded North Coast subcontractors waiting to get paid $7.3 million for work done on a State Government roads project.
Hot on the heels of a visit to State Parliament on Sunday by 11 members of the 23 families affected by the collapse of Ostwald Brothers in August 2017, the NSW Labor Opposition piled the pressure on the Government to come up with answers.
NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley accompanied by Shadow Small Business Minister Jenny Aitchison and Small Business Matters Party founder Angela Vithoulkas heard how families are being torn apart by financial stress as a direct result of not being paid for the work they have done on the upgrade of the Pacific Highway between Ballina and Woolgoolga.
Today in Parliament Mr Foley asked the Premier, who last week dismissed their plight in Question Time, why she had failed to implement the recommendations of an inquiry into construction industry insolvencies which would have saved the 23 families from financial hardship. Independent Inquiry into Construction Industry Insolvency conducted by Bruce Collins QC was delivered in 2013.
The Premier said that reforms had already been made but that there was “more work to do”, without going into further detail, before her answer descended into political point scoring.
Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley
“For these families this money is the difference between staying afloat and going under.
“The Liberals and Nationals have been sitting on a report for five years that would have saved these people from ruin but this Government has done absolutely nothing to help them; the Government’s heartlessness is matched only by its complete disinterest in helping out small businesses.
“The Premier and her Roads Minister should hang their heads in shame. They should do the right thing and pay these people for the work they have done, otherwise it’s tantamount to daylight robbery.”
Quotes attributable to Shadow Small Business Minister Jenny Aitchison
“This heartless Government has failed to help these struggling subcontractors.
“The Berejiklian-Barilaro Government is happy to spend billions on Sydney stadiums and cost blow outs on Sydney light rail, but nothing to help families who have been severely impacted by the terrible management of this project.”
Quotes attributable to Small Business Matters Party Leader Angela Vithoulkas
“A Government project, with Government oversight robbed 23 families of millions – shame.
“How does the Roads Minister sleep at night after driving on parts of the Pacific Highway in her electorate, knowing it was built on the sweat of these 23 families?
“Why does the Premier constantly cough up money to foreign companies, and ignore the very families that put her into Government?”