Painting contractor Coastgard was working on the Stockland Oceanside Retirement Village project before it went into administration.
Painting contractor Coastgard was working on the Stockland Oceanside Retirement Village project before it went into administration. Contributed

Contractor went bust while owed $750,000 in disputed debts

A COAST painting contractor who went bust was owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments being disputed by major builders over incomplete work or works requiring correction.

Liquidators provided creditors of Freestyle S.C. Pty Ltd, which had traded as Coastgard, with an update this week which revealed the painting contractor company directed by Peter Ambler had outstanding trade debts of more than $750,000.

The report by Worrells liquidator Paul Nogeuira documented the reported debts claimed to be owed by a number of major construction firms.

They included allegations that more than $440,000 was owed by McNab Developments Pty Ltd, more than $120,000 owed by Badge Constructions (QLD) Pty Ltd, more than $57,000 owed by RCQ Construction Pty Ltd and more than $42,000 owed by Evans Built Pty Ltd.

Mr Nogueira said his investigations had found many of the outstanding debts owed involved disputes over the money owed, in relation to alleged incomplete work or works that required rectification, carried out by Coastgard.

The leading Sunshine Coast painting contractor was placed into external administration in April.

The company had been sub-contracted to McNab Construction and was working on the Stockland eight-storey, 140-unit luxury Oceanside Retirement Village when it was placed in administration.

It was understood Coastgard had been contracted on the $22 million Opal Aged Care facility alongside the Stockland retirement village and also won the contract for the Youi headquarters at Sippy Downs.

The Daily attempted to call Mr Ambler but he was unable to be contacted and did not respond to emails.

Liquidators had so far been able to recover $190,000 from the Australian Taxation Office from a $252,000 payment made by Freestyle within six months of the liquidators being appointed.

Investigations into other possible preferential payments had identified a number of potential preference payments made, totalling more than $2.1 million.

Liquidators still had to investigate those payments further to determine whether there was a legitimate claim available for preferential payments.

In April it was reported Mr Ambler had paid his contractors on-time, prior to his company's collapse, and there had been no payment disputes with McNab up until Coastgard withdrew its labour from the Oceanside site.

Mr Nogueira said liquidators expected to pay a dividend from the liquidation and priority of those payments would be given to secured creditors and employee entitlements.

He said the potential preferential payments identified were mainly related to suppliers and contractors.

Mr Nogueira expected the liquidation to take until at least mid-2019 to complete.

He said the disputed outstanding debts owed to Freestyle had been passed over to lawyers to follow up.