Watchdog suspends Lendlease building licence
THE Queensland building watchdog has suspended the licence of construction giant Lend Lease Engineering because of concerns about its financial viability.
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission said the move came after the company, which is working on the $650 million Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade, failed to demonstrate compliance with minimum financial requirements that require licensees to have sufficient working capital for their turnover.
Lendlease Engineering's licence allows it to have a maximum revenue of over $240 million.
The QBCC last week banned more than 200 building companies from taking on new projects after failing to prove to the industry regulator they were financially sound.
"The QBCC is focused on the financial sustainability of the industry, and as a result of this focus, last year our work helped see more than $1.2 billion worth of working capital injected back into major Queensland construction companies," a QBCC spokesman said,
The regulator is cracking down on the finances of building firms after a string of insolvencies in recent years left subcontractors hundreds of millions of dollars out of pocket.
This comes as Master Builders Queensland warns of a "bloodbath" in the sector as the coronavirus pandemic hits new building projects.
That watchdog also has suspended the licence of other hundreds of construction companies in the past year after they failed to lodge proof of their financial health with the watchdog.
The licence of engineering giant Laing O'Rourke's Australian arm was suspended in March 2019 after the QBCC said it was concerned about its financial viability.
The suspension meant Laing O'Rourke was banned from doing any building work in the state. The license was later reinstated after Laing O'Rourke injected $32 million into its local operation.
Lendlease Engineering is a subsidiary of Lendlease Corporation, a multinational infrastructure conglomerate involved in constructing the Sydney Opera House, creating the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York, and restoring and renovating historic buildings such as London's Tate Britain and National Theatre.
Originally published as Watchdog suspends Lendlease building licence