13/08/2021 - 15:39

Construction still paused at Jaxon's Forrest Hall

13/08/2021 - 15:39

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Jaxon’s Forrest Hall project was nearly empty today despite the company's hopes earlier this week that contractors would be back to work within days.

The Forrest Hall site today. Photo: Matt Mckenzie

Jaxon’s Forrest Hall project was nearly empty today despite the company's hopes earlier this week that contractors would be back to work within days.

Three workers were in the construction site after 12:30pm, none of them on the tools, while a handful of others were at the site office.

A source told Business News the site was empty at 3pm.

Earlier this week, Business News reported that some subcontractors were owed two weeks’ pay, after it had been reported that work on the Crawley project was halted due to financial concerns.

Forrest Hall stage two is a $35 million project, funded by a Minderoo Foundation donation to the University of Western Australia, as part of the Forrest Scholarships program.

On Wednesday, Jaxon said some workers had been on site completing tasks during the day, and that the majority of subcontractors had now been paid.

The company also said it hoped more would return to work in the coming days.

Yesterday, the company said the project was continuing at Forrest Hall, and that it was continuing at other sites.

Business News can also reveal two key executives have departed Jaxon this year.

Chief financial officer Tony Morganti exited the company in May, according to his Linkedin profile, and has since acted as a consultant for Pindan Group.

General manager Russell Perkins will leave the business at the end of next week, Business News understands, although that move was made long prior to the Forrest Hall issue this week.

Business News understands Mr Perkins has been serving out an extended notice period of two to three months.

Representatives of the company responded to an enquiry later on Friday afternoon.

"Jaxon Construction can confirm its financial situation has unfortunately been impacted by the ongoing pandemic, shortages of skilled labour and rising costs," a spokesperson said.

"We are working on a number of options so that all projects can be successfully delivered, and our subcontractors and employees supported.

"We will continue to work towards an optimal outcome to reduce the impact to our partners and provide updates on the progress of worksites and our efforts to find a solution."

Jaxon is part of DoricJaxon Consolidated, which had 81 employees and revenue of $221 million in the 2020 financial year, a fall of 34 per cent, according to its latest annual report.

The company has been pursuing a recapitalisation, although there is as yet no detail on where it is seeking that funding, or how much is needed.

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