Pacific Highway GM Bob Higgins, Page MP Kevin Hogan, Deputy Nationals Leader Bridget McKenzie and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack on a tour of the construction site of the new Harwood Bridge.
Pacific Highway GM Bob Higgins, Page MP Kevin Hogan, Deputy Nationals Leader Bridget McKenzie and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack on a tour of the construction site of the new Harwood Bridge. Jarrard Potter

Deputy PM 'has confidence' in Ostwald collapse investigation

DEPUTY Prime Minister Michael McCormack has confirmed the NSW Small Business Commissioner is conducting an investigation into unpaid sub-contractors as a result of the collapse of Queensland construction company Ostwald Brothers, but stopped short of backing calls for the NSW Government to step in and pay out the money owed.

Mr McCormack, in Harwood on Thursday, said after running his own small business and not being paid for work, he had empathy for the contractors who were left out of pocket since Ostwald Brothers went into administration in August last year.

"I met a couple of them (sub-contractors) this week who at the moment don't have the hundreds of thousands of dollars that they've invested in their workers in the project that they were required to do as sub-contractors," Mr McCormack said.

"I've got every faith in (NSW Small Business Commissioner) Robyn Hobbs and her inquiries, and I've also got every faith in the RMS processes to make sure that this inquiry ends up with ... closure.

"We've provided 80 per cent of the funding but as far as the running of the project and the administration of the project, that it isn't the Commonwealth's responsibility."