JM KELLY
JM KELLY

J.M. Kelly exec’s X-rated password

THE financial controller of J.M. Kelly Group has blamed the Queensland Building and Construction Commission for the company's collapse, and admitted she created a computer password that was "f--kqbcc."

Elizabeth Murphy told the Federal Court that she picked that password because the QBCC drove the company into liquidation when it told the State Government's Building and Asset Services (BAS) division to remove it from a tender list for public works.

Barrister Craig Wilkins, acting for liquidator Derrick Vickers of PwC, asked Ms Murphy whether the password "fairly represented what you thought about the QBCC." "The truth is you hate the QBCC don't you?" Mr Wilkins asked Ms Murphy.

Ms Murphy said the QBCC was "destroying the industry and I'm not the only person in the building industry who has that view."

Ms Murphy was giving evidence in the Federal Court into the $50 million collapse of the Rockhampton-based construction company last year,

Earlier the court heard that Ms Murphy allegedly falsified and backdated a haulage contract to benefit a transport company run by her brother in law.

JM Kelly financial controller Elizabeth Murphy leaves court with her lawyers. (AAP Image - Richard Waugh)
JM Kelly financial controller Elizabeth Murphy leaves court with her lawyers. (AAP Image - Richard Waugh)

Mr Wilkins said that Ms Murphy allegedly backdated the contract to mislead a prospective purchaser of the group's dredging business Pink Lily Sands that a long-standing written contract was in place with a company called RMR Transport. Ms Murphy's brother-in-law Brett Rewald is a director of RMR Transport.

The contract stated that J.M. Kelly Builders had a five-year agreement with RMR Transport for Pink Lily Sands that had been purportedly signed on July 1, 2016.

Mr Wilkins said the contract had in fact been created in 2018 as the group prepared to sell Pink Lilly business to Rockhampton-based quarry business Hopkins Brothers.

Ms Murphy denied she had created a false document to mislead Hopkins Brothers, adding that the prospective purchaser knew RMR Transport was the freight and cartage contractor for Pink Lily Sands. "The purpose of creating it was to put in writing the verbal agreement so it was clear what RMR had to do and not do and what they paid for and didn't pay for."

JM Kelly financial controller Elizabeth Murphy leaves court with lawyers this week. (AAP Image - Richard Waugh)
JM Kelly financial controller Elizabeth Murphy leaves court with lawyers this week. (AAP Image - Richard Waugh)

Mr Wilkins said the purpose of backdating the contract was that Ms Murphy wanted to "lock" in RMR's position as the haulage contractor. "If Hopkins Brothers were to buy Pink Lily Sands ... its position would be entrenched as the transport contractor," he said.

"You wanted... Hopkins Brothers to understand that there was a written contract on foot which would run for a long time and which would involved RMR Transport in providing services to Pink Lily Sands for the period of the contract."

A public examination in the Federal Court into the $50 million collapse of Rockhampton-based J.M. Kelly Group is in its third week and comes as the liquidators sue Ms Murphy and her brother John Murphy for more than $9 million in damages.

The hearing continues in October.