Australian building giant Probuild has been placed into voluntary administration with hundreds of jobs set to be lost and thousands of contractors left hanging.
Worksites around the country have been locked down, with many tradies unable to even access their tools trapped inside.
The shutdown comes after its South African parent company pulled further funding after costs blew out on projects.
Probuild raked in $1.3billion in revenue last year – but made just $4million profit, and is now said to be facing losses running into hundreds of millions.
In a statement, the company said accounting company Deloitte will serve as administrators after parent group WBHO withdrew financial assistance.
A Probuild spokesman said: ‘We are caught up in a set of circumstances not of our making.
Australian building giant Probuild is on the verge of collapse after a disastrous high rise project in Brisbane dragged it into millions in debt
The 264 high-quality residential apartments (pictured) has haemorrhaged as much as $120million
‘We are working closely with the administrator on a number of plans to protect our clients, subcontractors and employees.
‘The Probuild brand is strong and we intend to keep it that way. We have several options for raising the necessary capital to continue as a premium Australian building company. These will all be pursued.’
Victoria Police HQ (46 levels)
CSL global HQ Melbourne
Exchange at Curtin University
Greenland Centre, Sydney’s tallest residential building
VUT Building (29 lev) Melbourne
UNO Melbourne (65 lev residential)
The Ribbon Darling Harbour – W Hotel and Imax
443 Queen Street Brisbane
Western United Stadium, Tarneit
Tradies were told to stop work at the 443 Queen Street construction site in Brisbane on Wednesday afternoon when the company called in administrators in a last-ditch attempt to save itself.
The project involved 264 high-quality residential apartments but has haemorrhaged as much as $120million.
Workers at the site said construction has been plagued by delays for the past two years and contractors were owed unpaid bills of up to $250,000.
Tradies were seen packing up and taking their equipment off the site on Wednesday after being told it would be shut down at 5pm.
‘We were just told to pick out tools up because Probuild were pulling the pin on all their projects across Australia,’ one told the Courier Mail.
A tradie said the company he works for is owed at least $250,000, while other sub-contractors are believed to be owed significantly more.
‘It is going to run into the millions what tradies are owed,’ he said.
Probuild is reportedly contacting administrators as a result of the extreme financial hardship with hopes of saving the project.
The future of the build in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD is in doubt.
Touted as the nation’s first subtropical designed building, the riverfront complex has cost the company’s Queensland arm, PCA QLD, more than $28million, with sources estimating it could be up to $120million.
Tradies were seen packing up and taking their equipment off the site on Wednesday after being told it would be shut down at 5pm
Pictured: An artistic impression of the 443 Queen Street construction project
Probuild Constructions (Aust) reportedly injected $15million into the company last year as part of a recapitalisation to combat the Queensland division’s losses.
The company, which operates in Victoria, NSW, Western Australia, and Queensland, has more than 520 employees and thousands of apartments currently under construction.
The bulk of the projects, which also includes more than 370,000 square metres of retail work, are in Melbourne where the head office is based.
Probuild is currently developing a new 18-storey block in Melbourne’s Elizabeth North, which will be the new headquarters of biotech giant CSL.
It is also the firm behind the 1000 Latrobe office tower in the Docklands and a build-to-rent development at Caulfield Village.
In Sydney, the company is building W Hotel on Darling Harbour and an apartment complex in Macquarie Park.
Construction is also underway in Perth for The Towers at Elizabeth Quay.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Probuild for comment.
The riverfront complex has been touted as the nation’s first subtropical designed building