If I have this straight, and I think I do. Then all you had to do was register as a builder of some kind or another, get onto the preferred contractors list with the Governments ‘Building the Education Revolution’. Get a nice, fat, juicy contract awarded to your building company. Then falsify a statutory declaration, or two, saying that you, the builder, have paid out monies to sub-contractors that never were paid, then use the money paid out by the state governments Building Management Authority to feather some other nest, then go into bankruptcy. Thus liquidating all responsibility to those sub-contractors to be paid what they are owed. Then you get the bonus of the Premier, Colin Barnett, to run interference for you by stating under Parliamentary privilege that it is purely a commercial matter with no responsibility sheeting back to the Governments BMA who literally gave the money away in the first place without any proper due diligence.
Now, when I drill down into these statements I find I have a few questions myself that I would like answered. Such as how did these these characters of dubious pedigree get to be on this list of builders to be awarded these contracts in the first place? Were there any public notices placed on line or in the local and national papers stating that these contracts were being let? I certainly never, ever heard a thing. All I saw were the buildings being constructed.
At the time I thought that it was the usual cartel behaviour at work with only the selected few being allowed into the inner sanctum of government largess. It would seem that I was right except that some of the people/companies that actually did the work were placed there as window dressing to make the process look fair……until the wholesale rip-off of those people/companies gave the lie to the fact that it was another cartel taking out some of the opposition by using the cover of legitimate government work to lure the naive into the scam… Hmmmmmm……
Watching Barnett making the case that tradespeople aren’t worth paying for the work they do makes me think that the government itself is the biggest cartel of all. Certainly I have been told that tradespeople are ‘ten a penny’ by a client or two in the seven years I have been an independent contractor in this state. With people with the apparent authority of Barnett making the meaning of worthlessness applicable to the trades, I guess we can all expect to be devalued to the point where it will become pointless to have any trade qualifications in this state/country. You’ll get a better wage collecting trolleys at a shopping centre. Probably more respect as well.
The second point I would like to drill down to, is what was the criteria for considering these recipients of government tax dollars as builders? Did they in actuality have to have a builders licence? Or was it just that they could make a statutory declaration (another one) claiming that they were. I know that it took a fair bit of money, time and training for me to become an electrical contractor and it is a licence that I have pride in possessing and am mindful of the responsibilities that come with that licence. To have it tarnished in such circumstances as bankruptcy would seem to me to be the end of my business! People/companies who would look to using my services would be repelled by having that knowledge as there could be no trust that I would complete any job awarded to me.
I was always under the impression that trust is of paramount importance to being able to carry out business in a fair and equitable fashion.
Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe it doesn’t matter if I go bankrupt. It certainly didn’t seem to matter to the likes of Colin Barnett, the Premier of WA and now ‘Minister for Getting Away with It’. He seemed quite comfortable with the way things have turned out for the state now that he has effectively declared open season on WA’s tradespeople.