Posts By: Phil

Massive fire in apartment building in Valencia, Spain. (flamable Cladding)

Sadly they are expecting 18 deaths from this fire which is detailed in the link below. (It’s now confirmed 10 persons have died)

Firefighters rescue trapped people from fire in Valencia building
Crews have been unable to enter the building in Valencia since the devastating blaze broke out just before 5.30pm yesterday and tore through cladding.
www.dailymail.co.uk

Alpha Building Group collapses. One of 2349 builders to fail in 2023

News.com.au can reveal that last Thursday, Alpha Building Group Pty Ltd went into liquidation.

All staff have been sacked and 10 homeowners across the Greater Melbourne area have been left with unfinished projects following the company’s demise.

Brent Morgan of insolvency firm Rogers Reidy, the appointed liquidator, told news.com.au that more than 100 creditors are owed $3.5 million.

About $2.5 million of that is from material costs while sub-contractors are owed just under a million and consultants are owed “a small amount” of between $15,000 to $20,000.

Three days before Alpha went bust, on January 15, news.com.au understands that a staff member tried to attend their workplace but were turned away as the company had ceased trading.

Blake*, a dad-of-three, has been left devastated by the news, with fears his plans for a $1.8 million dream home have gone up in smoke.

“Me and my wife have been saving for six years, we’ve just started a new business, it’s really come at a terrible time,” the 39-year-old homeowner told news.com.au.

To date, the family have paid $350,000 to Alpha by way of progress payments, causing him to lament “all we have to show for it is a slab of concrete”.

All that has been built on Blake’s site. Picture: supplied to news.com.au

All that has been built on Blake’s site. Picture: supplied to news.com.au

The email that spelled the beginning of the end for the builder. Picture: supplied to news.com.au

Looking back, Blake can see some signs that all was not right with the builder.

Around Christmas time, Alpha Building Group informed customers they would be returning from the end of year break on January 8.

But when Blake sent them an email once this period was up, he received a bounce back saying they would be returning on January 22.

“There was sort of doubt in my mind (after that),” he said.

Blake said he had been emailing the construction firm for months after paying them a progress claim in late November.

He said after the payment, no more work happened on his site.

The young dad, with three kids under the age of nine, also said in the days leading up to the liquidation appointment, the company’s phone number became disconnected.

The liquidator, Mr Morgan, said the reasons behind Alpha’s collapse “tells the story we’ve been hearing for some time”.

That includes rising costs of labour, increasing prices of materials, onerous government taxes and a general lack of profitability.

He said in June last year, Alpha had seven staff but this had dwindled down to just one, aside from relatives of the directors, by the time it went under.

The Victorian-based construction firm, headquartered in the Melbourne suburb of Camberwell, has been a registered business for nearly two decades, since 2005.

It was directed by Dean Amendola and Bruno Merlino. News.com.au attempted to contact the directors for comment.

Do you know more or have a similar story? Get in touch | alex.turner-cohen@news.com.au

An Alpha Building Group home. Picture: supplied to news.com.au

An Alpha Building Group home. Picture: supplied to news.com.au

Alpha Building Group has gone bust. Picture: supplied to news.com.au

Alpha Building Group has gone bust. Picture: supplied to news.com.au

Alpha Building Group is one of the first large building companies to go bust in 2024, after a hellish two years for the construction industry.

Last week, news.com.au reported on another Melbourne builder, Montego Homes Pty Ltd, plummeting into voluntary administration.

A staggering 2349 construction firms have collapsed in the past year — with fears more may fall soon.

In times of economic hardship and inflation, building companies are usually the first to feel the pinch as they run on such small margins.

Indeed, of the 8471 business collapses for 2023, almost 28 per cent were in the building and construction industry, according to data put out by the corporate regulator.

The alarming trend has been blamed on a “perfect storm” of factors, including fixed price contracts, escalating costs, supply chain disruptions and tradie shortages.

The previous Morrison government’s HomeBuilder grant, which was introduced in June 2020 and handed out $2.52 billion to owner-occupiers who wanted to build or substantially renovate a home, turbocharged the sector.

More than 130,000 customers signed on for the program, with many tradies agreeing to the work under fixed-price contracts that soon became unsustainable as prices began to soar.

Shamefully, in 96 per cent of cases where small and medium sized businesses go under, only between zero and 11 cents is recovered for every dollar owed to out-of-pocket creditors.

Last name withheld over privacy concerns*

alex.turner-cohen@news.com.au

Read related topics:Melbourne

Darwin Builder Meeting

The builders meeting held on the 11th July attracted both builders and consumers, and was successful considering the blanket advertising blitz undertaken by the Master Builders.

Whichever way the Fidelity fund is presented nothing alters the fact that it is a LAST RESORT product with a narrow claims criteria of only four triggers that will not deliver to our clients/consumers a responsible consumer protection regime.

Remember builders pay for every cent of compliance and consumer protection and we want a say in what is provided.

We want a regime that will protect our consumers, manage our industry, and deliver the intended benefit and not embarrass our Government and our industry.

Government have a responsibility to us to deliver an appropriate regime on our behalf and not abrogate their responsibility to the expensive secretive private sector last resort scheme that will not deliver as “CHOICE” has stated in the past, and are now currently reviewing at our request.

The State of the Nation

Every State except Tasmania is undertaking a review of their consumer protection-warranty insurance regimes because of the constant critisism from consumers and the legitimate building industry associations however the one association being the Housing Industry Association (HIA) that has enjoyed the ear of Governments over the past decade considers the Last Resort Warranty Insurance concept they introduced back in 2002 that still manages our industry is appropriate today. HIA also enjoy the support of MBA Victoria.

(more…)

Conflict and anger

“Conflict and anger”

Describes the warranty insurance regime in the states where Last Resort insurance exists and is inflicted on both the consumer and builder when a dispute arises.

The Baillieu, O’Farrell, and Barnett Governments all know the issues as they have conveyed them to their parliaments on behalf of builders and consumers over their years in opposition. (more…)

The Age

Builders Warranty Insurance — the great “scam”

These stories were on the front page of the AGE newspaper and one would hope they will prick the conscience of the Baillieu Government as this matter is now well beyond a joke and hurting Victorians in the extreme.

There is more to life than money and this insurance can be dropped with a stroke of a pen by your Government right now! (more…)

Today Tonight

Today tonight presents a Consumer’s home as their biggest financial investment of a lifetime and asks is their new home protected by any warranty at all?

The answer is “No” (more…)

Government and insurers face class action over dodgy warranty scheme

EXCLUSIVE: HUNDREDS of small family owned Australian builders are facing extinction because of Builders Warranty Insurance, according to a survey of over 1000 builders by PropertyReview.com.au conducted over the past month.

Builders in both Victoria and NSW are facing the increasing dilemma of not being able to get warranty insurance because thousands don’t meet new exacting insurance companies criteria. Insurance companies take none of the risk on warranty insurance and in fact are ‘illegally’ making builders sign indemnities where they personally face the total risk of the worthless insurance. (more…)