LNP promises inquiry into builders, banks and developers
THE LNP would hold a Commission of Inquiry into the Queensland building industry if it achieved government at elections due in October 2020, but subbies say they should not have to wait that long.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the commission of inquiry would have the same powers as a Royal Commission.
"It will also investigate how developers are gaming the system with the support of banks to protect both their self-interests and the role of senior government figures who were warned of major collapses and failed to act," she said.
Subcontractors left unpaid more than half a billion dollars since 2013 by builders whose companies were liquidated, have welcomed the commitment by the LNP leader.
"We would welcome an inquiry and would welcome prosecutions even more," Subcontractors Alliance head Les Williams said.
"None of us in the industry can understand why our allegations are being ignored.
"Why do we have to wait for a change of government when the Premier could do it now.
"The perception is terrible as if the government is hiding something. It needs to do something now. This will impact the State Government at the next election."
Ms Frecklington said more than 50 building companies have collapsed in Queensland on Annastacia Palaszczuk's watch.
"The Premier promised the world when she was elected but after more than four years she has failed to deliver," Ms Frecklington said.
"Builders are falling over, subbies aren't getting paid and homeowners are being left devastated.
"7000 sub-contractors have been left empty-handed to the tune of half-a-billion dollars and more developers risk closing their doors for good.
"Hard-working Queenslanders aren't being paid what they're owed.
"The system is broken and we need to restore confidence in the Queensland building industry.
"There is no easy fix, but this inquiry will allow people to tell their story, with the key focus on sub-contract payments.
Shadow Minister for Housing and Public Works Michael Hart said businesses had gone bust, sub-contractors were out of pocket and dream homes have turned into nightmares for families.
"The LNP has also given in principal support for the establishment of a dedicated police taskforce to fully investigate and prosecute under existing laws," Mr Hart said.
"Industry experts have been demanding greater enforcement and compliance.
"A Royal Commission is the best way to clean up the industry to safeguard the future of sub-contractors who only want what they're owed."
Ninderry MP Dan Purdie, a former police officer with fraud squad experience said following his 2017 election he had been quickly briefed by Mr Williams about issues in the industry.
"We need to shine some sunlight on the industry and hold people to account," he said.
Mr Purdie said the QPS lacked the time and resources to fully investigate allegations.
"That's why we need to stand up a commission of inquiry with the time and resources to get to the bottom of it," he said.
"There's no capacity to give this what it rightly needs without a properly funded inquiry to address systemic issues in the industry."