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Four states hit as major builder collapses

A group of companies linked to a major building firm with construction sites spanning across four Australian states has collapsed.


A group of companies linked to a major building firm with construction sites spanning across four Australian states has collapsed.

On Friday, three companies – Rork Projects (Holdings) Pty Ltd, Rork Projects (QLD) Pty Ltd and Rork Projects Pty Ltd – that made up the Rork Group went into administration.

Those companies have specialised in refurbishment for the past 26 years, with 63 current projects across NSW, the ACT, Victoria and Queensland.


All work has been paused and sites have been secured. The fate of its 80 staff remain unknown as no decision has been made on each of their roles.


Rork Projects worked in the commercial sector, doing refurbishments with the government, the health and aged care, hospitality and education sectors.

But on Friday, Rork went bust.


The company’s sole director, Brian O’Rourke, said with a “heavy heart” he had made the “devastating” decision to put his business into administration.


“Builders are in crisis because of high interest rates, labour shortages and material supply constraints following the pandemic,” a note reads on the Rork Group website, along with the announcement of the administration.


Anthony Connelly, Jamie Harris and Mark Holland of insolvency firm McGrath Nicol have been appointed as administrators.

In a note sent to creditors and obtained by news.com.au, they encouraged trade suppliers to visit construction sites to collect their tools.


“If you have tools or personal belongings located at a Rork Group project site, please liase with your usual Rork Group site manage to facilitate the orderly collection of items,” the message administrators sent to tradies read.

“No building materials (fixed or unfixed) nor plant and equipment are permitted to leave any site without our express permission.”

The administrators also noted that they are “urgently” looking to restructure or sell up.

“An urgent assessment of the business is underway, which includes urgently exploring transaction or recapitalisation options to determine if a solution can be found to support customers, employees, subcontractors and other stakeholders,” Mr Holland said in a statement to news.com.au.


According to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), Rork Projects (QLD) Pty Ltd had a licence to complete medium rise builds and was a category 3 builder which meant it generated revenue in the $12 million and $30 million range.


It had a squeaky clean record on the QBCC website, with no blemishes on its disciplinary record.

But a CreditorWatch report news.com.au has obtained tells a different story.


The Rork Group took an average of 21 days to pay money, compared to the industry average of six days.

The report estimated that at any one time, Rork Group had an average of $533,000 owed to suppliers, compared to the industry average of $17,000.


In the past six months, the business had three payment defaults lodged against it for failure to pay.

A $165,000 debt has been settled but two other debts, for $62,000 and $40,000, remain unpaid.


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