Western Australia-based construction firm Cooper & Oxley has suspended its trading as a financial crisis looms over the major regional commercial building firm.
However, the company’s decision to lock a building site has sparked an angry backlash from its subcontractors, many of whom attempted to retrieve their tools from the property.
Cooper & Oxley has previously worked on several private and government multi-million dollar contracts but was compelled to advise its subcontractors to cease all current work as the company was not in a position to pay them.
After receiving the news, several workers returned to the 500 Hay Street site in Subiaco, a partially built hotel, office space and restaurant precinct, only to find they were locked out and unable to claim their tools and equipment from inside.
In another twist, the project’s owners Singapore-registered firm Dradgin they were unaware that the shutdown would occur and even offered financial assistance to the troubled construction firm.
“All payment terms and conditions of the contract have been met by Dradgin Pte Ltd,” said the owner in a statement.
“In fact, Dradgin offered financial assistance to Cooper & Oxley to help Cooper & Oxley meet its obligations, unfortunately this was not accepted.
“Dradgin’s priority is working with all parties involved — including subcontractors — so that the project may be completed as soon as possible.”