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Subbies in Walton work burnt again

LAST STRAW: Subbies working on the Coles shopping centre at Nambour lost $2.9 million when Walton Construction went into liquidation last year.
LAST STRAW: Subbies working on the Coles shopping centre at Nambour lost $2.9 million when Walton Construction went into liquidation last year. Erle Levey

SUB CONTRACTORS who agreed to work for a company set up to take over projects from the failing Walton Construction company have now been burnt twice.

Lewton Asset Services, registered with ASIC in the months before the Walton collapse, took over its Victorian projects when it went into administration in early October

It has now gone into administration itself leaving a string of unsecured sub-contract creditors.

Sunshine Coast sub-contractors on the Nambour Coles project lost $2.9m when Walton went into liquidation last year. It cost Beau Hartshorn of Earthscapes his business and home forcing his young family to move in with his parents.

Ronnie Paoly of Roxy Plastering lost $260,000 when Walton collapsed and is now owed $140,000 by Lewton.

It was the fourth time the father of three, who employs 16 people, has been caught in the past 10 years for total losses of $600,000.

"I have had to ask my blokes to to take a pay cut to help me get through,'' he said.

"I'm embarrassed. I can't even look at my kids.

"I blame the government. They shouldn't let this happen to anyone.It's not fair and it's (insolvencies) got to stop.

"It jeopardises other businesses. Everything I've earned is gone."

Mr Paoly's venom is saved for Walton sole director Craig Walton and not Dan Casey, the sole shareholder and director of Lewton.

"I've known Dan for 11 years,'' he said. "He's a gentleman and I love the bloke. But now I don't know who to trust.''

But about Craig Walton he doesn't hold back.

It is an opinion predicated upon a series of events as previously reported extensively in this paper and his own financial disaster directly resulting from the Walton companies' saga.

"He has no conscience, no heart, no feeling, nothing,'' he said.

"I'm not the type of person who wants an eye for an eye. Karma is a wonderful thing. I want him to feel the way I'm feeling at the moment.''

Mr Casey said yesterdaywed that he had been approached by Craig Walton's business adviser the Mawson Group to set up Lewton when he headed Walton's successful fitout division.

"It was a successful division, I had a good team, good subbies and client loyalty,'' he said. "I was given an opportunity through Mawson. I saw it as an opportunity.

"I'm absolutely gutted about the situation. I've taken nothing from this. I can't say enough to those who have lost out. I've spoken to most of the subbies and will speak to all of them."

Mr Casey said none of the jobs that had transferred from Walton were profitable but he had expected a sum, believed to be between $800,000 and $1m to flow from Walton across to Lewton.

He said when that didn't come in December, then January nor February he had been caught out and unable to go on with it.

"I needed that money to make it viable,'' Mr Casey said.

A spokesman for Mawson Group director Pat McCurry said he would respond today to questions put by the Daily.

Topics:  employment subcontractor walton walton construction work


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