$500k dispute puts 50 subbies out of work

A DISPUTE with a major builder left Brisbane's 'number one' earthmoving company $500,000 out of pocket, triggering its closure as debts reached $1 million.

McManaway Earthmoving, which was billed as Brisbane's number one demolition, excavation and haulage company, was formally put in liquidation on September 18.

The company had ceased trading several months earlier after selling about 95 per cent of its assets at an auction in June.

Cor Cordis partner Darryl Kirk said the collapse of the rapidly-growing company was triggered after it was not paid for work done as part of a "reasonably large contract with one of the major builders".

Mr Kirk refused to name the builder but said the subcontracting company, owned by director James McManaway, was owed up to $500,000.

"McManaway were removed from site and they wanted to be paid for all the work that had been done," Mr Kirk said.

"As far as I'm aware the (building company) principal has said no we're not paying you."

 

McManaway Earthmoving employee Ben Roche and director James McManaway.
McManaway Earthmoving employee Ben Roche and director James McManaway.

 

Mr Kirk said investigations were early and indicated there was "no clear position to who is at fault".

"It could well be the builder or the subcontractor," he said.

"In due course we'll establish whether we'll be able to proceeds with some kind of legal claim."

Mr Kirk said without the $500,000 payment McManaway Earthmoving could not continue operating.

"That was the trigger to close down," he said.

"To trade on would have been reckless and so my view is the director took the right call."

The decision put up to 50 employees and subcontractors out of work but the majority of creditors have been paid.

Mr McManaway's parents are understood to be owned money and the Australian Tax Office is

owed "close to a million dollars", Mr Kirk said.

"There's a little bit of work to do to get the bottom of what happened," he said.

It is understood Mr McManaway has returned to his birth country, New Zealand, and started another earthmoving company.