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Trying week for construction

THE past week has been one of mixed emotions for major construction projects in WA.

On the downside, HIH Constructions – a company unrelated to stricken insurance giant HIH – is headed for likely liquidation after voluntary administrators PPB Ashton Read closed down about 20 building sites around the State.

On the upside, FAI Property Services’ $300 million Mounts Bay Village project will continue with receivers PPB Ashton Read recommending that construct-

ion recommence as soon as

possible.

HIH Construction went into voluntary administration on Tuesday, March 27, after it ran out of resources.

PPB voluntary administrator Simon Read estimated HIH Construction’s debt at about $5 million and the number of creditors about 400.

“We (voluntary administrators) could not complete our work… the business is now likely to go into liquidation,” Mr Read said.

“In this situation everyone loses …creditors are not likely to be paid a great deal of what they are owed.

“The company does have significant assets but it will take a long time to recover them.”

HIH Construction is responsible for the Wells development, on the corner of King Street and Wellington Street, the Lakeview Apartments, Joondalup, and a number of retirement village and unit development projects in Broome and Mandurah.

Construction is expected to restart next week on stage three of FAI Property Services’ Mounts Bay Village project after liquidators KPMG pulled out and receivers PPB Ashton Read found the project solvent and recom-mended it go ahead as planned.

With the recent disintegration of HIH, village project financiers St George’s Bank requested the project be evaluated.

FAI Property Services national managing director Avi Rubenstein stressed the company was not in liquidation.

“The liquidators looked at the company and the project and found it was in good condition,” Mr Rubenstein said.

“Two of the four buildings have been completed and the remaining two will be finished around July or August this year.”

Mr Read said the project would go ahead and all contracts would be honoured.

“It’s all systems go,” he said.

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