This project in Burleigh Heads is one of 18 that will be stopped in their tracks. Image: Condev Facebook.
  • Major Queensland construction company collapses
  • Follows a failed attempt on Monday to secure $25 million bail out from developers
  • This is the second collapse of a major construction company in recent weeks

Queensland based construction company Condev has officially announced that it has entered liquidation, making it the most recent casualty in what some are describing as a crisis in the industry.

The decision was made following a failed attempt on Monday to secure $25 million in advance payment from developers to keep the company afloat.

Condev is one of Queensland’s biggest construction companies with the company currently responsible for 18 projects across Queensland worth close to $1 billion.

Last year, Condev undertook over $66 million in Brisbane projects during the 2021 financial year alone and was ramping up projects in the lead up to the 2032 Olympics.

Tracy Marais who owns the company with her husband Steve Marais sent an email to employees on Tuesday night advising them that there is no requirement to come into work the following day.

The announcement will leave 125 employees out of work.

“It is with the heaviest heart that we advise that we have not been able to achieve the outcome from yesterday’s [Monday’s] meeting with developers that we’d hoped and the decision to proceed to the liquidation of Condev Construction is now a matter of course,” Ms Marais wrote in the email.

While some subcontractors have raised concerns regarding money owed to them by Vondev, Mrs Marais has said that developers had agreed to pay subcontractors what they were owed based on the company’s invoices.

A perfect storm

The liquidation of Condev follows the recent collapse of construction company Probuild.

Australian Apartment Advocacy (AAA) head, Samantha Reece, believes there is reason for concern in the construction industry with potentially hundreds of builders throughout Australia being caught out by a “perfect storm” created by labour and material shortages along with other rising costs.

Condev estimates that their costs have inflated 25% in the past 18 months with the impacts of the pandemic and more recently the floods.

“The problems now confronting Condev has further highlighted how fragile this industry is, when the construction sector has never been busier.

Samantha Reece, Australian Apartment Advocacy Founder

“No one saw this perfect storm coming and with interest rates tipped to rise and
the enormous costs of fuel, it is not likely to end soon and in fact, could get worse,” she warns.

Ms Reece has raised concerns that some state governments are not doing what they can to prevent this from reoccurring.

“New South Wales has taken a proactive stance with checking builders and developers’ financials and then conducting audits and on that basis, they are considering insurance packages for buyers that go beyond the three-storey limit. The question is if New South Wales can do it – why can’t the other States?”

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