Angry subbies tell liquidator to ‘**** off out of Qld’

Liquidators of failed Cullen Group have been accused of wasting money by subbies caught up in the $18m collapse of the Gold Coast building company.

Menzies Advisory liquidator Michael Caspaney came under personal attack at a recent meeting of creditors including from one subbie who told him to "**** off out of the state". Mr Caspaney denied the liquidation process was being wasteful and said that the personal attacks on him were unjustified.

The dispute comes as Mr Caspaney received funds from the Federal Government for a public examination into the collapse of Cullen Group in December 2016.

But there is growing concern among some creditors that they will see no return from the ongoing investigation that has now dragged on for more than three years.

Subbie John Goddard of Aaromat Fencing & Balustrade said the company should be immediately wound up in order to maximise return to creditors.

Wayne Cullen of Cullen Group Australia Pic Tim Marsden
Wayne Cullen of Cullen Group Australia Pic Tim Marsden


"Why put us all through more misery?" said Mr Goddard, according to the minutes of the meeting lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). "Here is my opinion, you can **** off. Right off out of the state."

Mr Goddard said the fear was that "no one is going to end up with anything." Another subbie creditor Tom Caelli of SEQ Formwork and Hire said the liquidator was now more than half a million dollars in the red.



"By technically winding up now would actually save people money," said Mr Caelli. "In the last two years you've gone backwards half a million dollars and you've got more loans then you've actually got money in, and you're spending all the money."

Hayden Quaife, of Summit Roofing Holdings, said the liquidators remuneration to date had been "absolutely disgraceful."

Liquidator Michael Caspaney. Photo: Supplied
Liquidator Michael Caspaney. Photo: Supplied


However, Mr Caspaney defended his conduct of the liquidation stating it was not an option to stop his investigations now.

"The financial position at the end of the liquidation is the most important one on which the liquidator would be judged," he told the meeting.

"It would be irresponsible to reverse out and stop the liquidation with a number of outstanding issues still not resolved." Mr Caspaney said he had to seek Supreme Court approval to proceed with the public examination after creditors voted against it.

He said there was a public interest element in having the public examination in the Federal Court proceed. "The Federal Attorney General is doing it because there is public interest in bringing to account the people who did the wrong thing by the company," he said.

The long-term aim was to garner more funds that could be returned to creditors, including millions of dollars allegedly owed to the company by developers and people who had received preferential payments.

A similar public examination into the collapse of Rockhampton-based JM Kelly Group was held last year.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) contributed funds to that public examinations amid rising concern about insolvencies and a lack of corporate transparency in the construction industry.

More than 1400 companies in the state's construction sector have entered administration in the past five years with subcontractors and others losing hundreds of millions of dollars.


Originally published as Angry subbies tell Cullen liquidator to '**** off out of Qld'