No clear answer for Hunter houses affected by Privium collapse | western lawyer

news, national, Privium, Robert Harder, Privium homes, icare, NSW Fair Trading, homebuilder’s warranty insurance, Hunter, Port Stephens MP Kate Washington

THE BOSSEN for the crisis-stricken housing giant Privium Homes says he is ‘deeply saddened’ to have put Privium Group in voluntary administration. Privium Group’s CEO and CEO, Robert Harder, has written to ‘valued customers and suppliers’, saying that ‘by saying sorry’ does not make the situation better. Many NSW Hunter Valley-based upcoming new homeowners received the letter around noon. 20 Wednesday night, shortly before Port Stephen’s MP Kate Washington called on the state government to do more to help them along with subcontractors and suppliers who have been left in the lurch in the wake of the builder’s passing. “I understand that this is not the news you wanted to hear and that this will create real difficulties,” Mr Harder said. “For this I am deeply sorry.” He cited “recent steep increases” in construction costs and lack of supplies, saying that despite his team’s tireless efforts to provide solutions “to their customers, the best outcome for everyone was to bring in external assistance. Privium named John Park, Joanne Dunn and Kelly Trenfield of FTI Consulting as volunteer administrators on Wednesday after hundreds of constructions suddenly came to a standstill last week, with most Hunter homeowners finding out when artisans laid tools on their Privium. jobs Friday, November 12. “In recent times, like many Australian builders who have faced COVID-19-induced delivery delays and sharp increases in construction costs, Privium’s cash flow position has deteriorated,” Mr Harder said. A lack of building materials combined with the “typically slow payment cycle over the Christmas period” meant the appointment of volunteer administrators was the best way forward for all stakeholders, he said. IN OTHER NEWS: At close to 11pm in Parliament on Wednesday night, Mrs Washington called for an “urgent inquiry” into how Privium was allowed to continue trading and taking deposits after losing $ 28 million in fiscal year 2019 / 20, which as well as to pay tens of thousands of millions of dollars in dividends in the same period. “It should have been a big red flag for the NSW Building Commissioner and the NSW Government, but nothing was done,” she said. There are “serious questions” as to whether the company had acted in good faith, she said. Pty Ltd and Privium Pty Ltd. , owes trade creditors up to $ 40 million. That’s a scary number for the many subcontractors who owe money, with unpaid bills and debt rising around them. In her speech to Parliament, Mrs Washington said o The concerned apprentice has not been paid for two months and has had their work car taken back because they could not pay back. “These are honest, hard-working people who have been taken to the cleaning of that company,” she said. Workers employed by Privium are among the affected homeowners, so they have lost their jobs and wondered what will now happen to their constructions and when. Harder has denied any wrongdoing, saying the directors of Privium “had acted properly at all times” and conducted the financial affairs with “the utmost integrity”. “In fact, our fully audited financial statements are available through ASIC,” he said. “While I know this does not make it any easier for you, I beg you not to believe allegations to the contrary.” NSW Fair Trading has launched an investigation into the operation of Privium, while the icare Home Builders Compensation Fund (HBCF), overseen by the NSW Treasurer but independent of the government, says it is aware of and contacts 145 affected homeowners across NSW . Affected Hunter suburbs include Medowie, Raymond Terrace, North Rothbury, Tanilba Bay and Karuah, as well as families from Maitland, Cessnock, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and on the Central Coast. Some fear that they are on the verge of becoming homeless as they struggle to pay off mortgages as well as rent and other fees associated with their construction, which has suddenly stalled overnight. Ms Washington has pointed to a study of insolvency in the NSW Construction Industry, which presented 44 recommendations to increase protection, including keeping money in trust so that the ripple effects could be limited. “Nine years later, the government has still not implemented these changes,” she said. Until Privium is declared insolvent, families cannot begin the painful process of filing an insurance claim on a housing guarantee and completing their construction, she said. “Instead, they face delays, irreparable losses, stress and persistent heartache.”


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