Living in a shed, buying food on credit and the death of an IVF dream: Electrician is left destitute after claims he is owed more than $1 MILLION for work done on a government airbase
- Civil electrical company Civex claimed it is owed money for work on an airbase
- Civex scored two big contracts worth $3 million for Amberley Airbase at Ipswich
- Owners Dan and Lesia Tobin claimed their contracts were unfairly dismissed
- The pair spent $250,000 on legal fees and now live out of a shed because of cost
An electrician claims he is still owed more than a million dollars two years on for work done at a government airbase.
Dan and Leisa Tobin took on two big contracts worth almost $3 million for work on the Amberely Airbase at Ipswich, Queensland in 2016, Gold Coast Bulletin reported.
While work began smoothly and the pair were paid on time for their work, several months later Mr Tobin said things went south.
He said weeks from completing one of their jobs their civil electrical company Civex was accused of multiple safety breaches.
The contract was subsequently terminated in what Civex claims was a tactical move to avoid having to pay for their work.
Dan and Leisa Tobin (pictured) took on two big contracts worth almost $3 million for work on the Amberely Airbase at Ipswich, Queensland in 2016
While work began smoothly and the pair were paid on time for their work, several months later Mr Tobin (pictured) said things went south
The Tobins say they have already poured $250,000 into legal fees, fallen into debt and had to move into a shed. The pair even have to buy food on credit (stock picture)
‘We went in fairly tight on that job and every scrap of material we’ve put in the ground they’ve claimed,’ Mr Tobin said.
The Tobins say they have already poured $250,000 into legal fees, fallen into debt and had to move into a shed, with the couple saying they have to buy food on credit.
What’s more, they’ve had to downsize their business from 30 to five staff.
‘It’s impacted every area — our home life and business life,’ Mr Tobin said.
In a letter to the Attorney-General Christian Porter, Ms Tobin said the financial strain meant she and her partner could no longer afford to pursue IVF treatment to start a family.
The letter also revealed the pair had been close to taking their own lives.
Mr Porter’s office said a response had been made to the letter, though the matter was not for the Attorney-General’s office.
The Tobins say the Department of Defence, Australian Federal Police, Queensland Building and Construction, Attorney-General and Queensland Police Service have also either ignored or rejected their pleas.
Even so, the Tobins are determined to see their case through.
‘We can’t just write it off or we’ll go bankrupt — it’s my whole life’s earnings,’ Mr Tobin said.
The Australian Building and Construction Commission and the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission are investigating the case.
The Tobins say Fredon Qld Pty Ltd had subcontracted Civex for the job.
The Australian Building and Construction Commission and the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission are investigating the case (stock picture)
Fredon Qld Prty Ltd is a subsidiary of national building giant Fredon Group – a subcontractor to Lend Lease and Laing O’rourke for two RAAF base jobs.
Civex was taken on as part of a $1.5 billion Defence Department expansion of the Ipswich airbase.
The electrical engineering company claimed its contract was terminated via a ‘convenience’ clause – Fredon also cancelled the second air base contract.
If that were so, the contractor would have to pay the subbie any outstanding payments.
The Tobins added claims were lodged before the contract was terminated and were not paid.
Fredon Qld denies all the claims from Civex and said it was driven to terminate the contract because of safety breaches.
‘Fredon denies that it has exaggerated or fabricated safety breaches, or that the issue by Fredon of nonconformance reports identifying safety breaches is frivolous or constitutes harassment,’ lawyer Christopher Rowden said.
Mr Rowden went on to say Fredon did not believe Civex was owed any more payments.
Fredon Qld denies all the claims from Civex and said it was driven to terminate the contract because of safety breaches (stock picture)