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QLD construction company collapse: Solido Builders booster liquidators

Another Australian building company has bitten the dust in what has been a horror week for the construction industry, particularly in one Aussie state.

Another Australian building company has bitten the dust in what has been a horror week for the construction industry.

Over the weekend, Queensland construction firm Solido Builders revealed it had sadly appointed liquidators.

The small Cleveland-based company was founded by husband and wife duo John and Libby Hattink in 2014. They said the business was too hard to keep going amid the ongoing industry crisis, which included skyrocketing material and labor costs and long delays.

“Margins are already thin, especially for smaller builders,” Mr Hattink said, according to the Courier Mail.

“We made a loss on a few projects and decided the best thing was to wind things up. Our subbies have been paid and we have not just pulled the rug out from under people.”

The Cleveland-based company specialized in customized luxury homes. It is unclear how many builds were in the pipeline when they pulled the plug.

News.com.au has contacted Solido Builders for comment.

It comes amid a growing crisis in the construction sector, with half a dozen building companies forced to fold in the last few months.

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Queensland has been hit particularly hard by the flailing construction sector.

Just last week, Gold Coast-based construction firm Pivotal Homes also announced it was insolvent.

All 16 of its staff were fired on the spot at a company boardroom meeting and customers have been left in the lurch, with one family concerned about what will happen to their $18,500 deposit.

The boss of the collapsed Pivotal Homes, Michael Irwin, blamed savaged “gouging” traditions, who he said were taking advantage of rising supply costs to bump up their prices, which was ultimately putting builders out of business.

Just two months ago, in March, the owners of construction giant Condev fought back tears as they delivered the news that they had placed their company into the hands of liquidators.

Co-founders Steve and Tracy Marais were unable to secure a reported $25 million bailout from developers to deal with rising building costs and Covid delays.

Ms Marais said there was enough money in company coffers to pay accounts for the next three months, but the decision was made to go into liquidation earlier so as not to “hurt people more”.

Notable projects in Condev’s reported $1 billion development pipeline include the Cannes Waterfront in Surfers Paradise, The Brookes Residences in Varsity Lakes, Natura and Brake Street both in Burleigh, and the Jindi Apartments in Palm Beach.

Then in December, Queensland home builder Privium went bust. But it emerged that added to the industry’s general woes, Privium had also made an ill-advised $3 million punt on cryptocurrency.

Liquidators FTI Consulting concluded Privium had likely been trading while insolvent since late August 2021.

At the time of the collapse Privium chief executive and founder Rob Harder said he was “deeply sorry”.

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The construction industry has been badly hit by collapses this year.

An industry insider told news.com.au earlier this year that half of Australia’s building companies are on the brink of collapse as they trade insolvent, and it could see thousands of people’s homes impacted in the coming months.

Supply chain issues as well as rising prices to building materials has resulted in ballooning costs and long delays, making it near impossible to turn break even, let alone turn a profit, in this market.

Industry giant Probuild sent shockwaves around the country when it went into liquidation earlier this year.

Smaller operators like Hotondo Homes Hobart and Perth firms Home Innovation Builders and New Sensation Homes, as well as Sydney-based firm Next have also collapsed, leaving homeowners out of pocket and with unfinished houses.

And earlier this month, rumors began to circulate that Australia’s largest construction provider, Metricon Homes, had entered crisis talks.

Metricon strongly denied claims they were on the brink of collapse.

Since then, Metricon Homes has secured a huge injection of $30 million from its shareholders to shore up its balance sheet.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet also threw his weight behind Metricon last week, revealing the NSW government would consider a bailout for the company if necessary.

Metricon Homes employs about 2500 staff across Australia’s eastern states, with 4000 houses currently under construction.

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