Dino Travaglini (left) and Jeremy Nipps have been appointed to administer the collapsed Builton entities. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Builton failure a costly housing hit

The collapse of yet another Western Australian residential builder appears set to further upset the delicate state of the sector, with financiers, insurers, 350 trade creditors and as many as 130 home owners facing losses.


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And how is this a surprise to anyone, or even news? Anyone who had anything to do with this outfit anytime in the last two years could see that the rip, tear and bust approach to project planning and building was only going to have one inevitable conclusion. And this is perhaps an extreme case but not far from typical, so watch for others to come. Every time a building company goes bust everyone looks baffled about how it could happen. It is the riskiest game in town, being run by the least capable but most cunning. What else can be expected?

What now, apply more vigorously the same suggestions that have been tried before? People will now suggest that the answer to this is more regulation, or better regulation, or prosecution, or more action by the Building Commission, or more insurance, or even exotic remedies like project bank accounts. It's all been tried before and it continues to fail as it has always failed before. Is this really the best we can do, or does anyone have an original idea?

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