Empire constructions director launches another company
THE director of a Gold Coast building company under a cloud for alleged illegal phoenix activities has co-launched another construction company.
Company records show Amber Callender, whose husband Paul is the sole director of collapsed builder Queensland One Homes, owns a half share of Jimboomba-based SEQ Fencing and Landscaping, which was created on January 7.
The new company is directed by Jimboomba resident Christopher Moule, who also holds the other share.
Cosmetic nurse Ms Callender, 38, remains the sole director of Empire Constructions, which took on contracts of Queensland One Homes after it collapsed in July 2017 owing more than $5 million to subcontractors and the tax office.
The Bulletin has approached Ms Callender and Mr Moule for comment on their new business.
Empire's Queensland builder licence was cancelled in May after the Gold Coast Bulletin exposed repeated defects in the company's work and raised questions over the involvement in the company of bankrupt Mr Callender, who is an excluded person.
Mr Callender was photographed working at an Empire job site after arriving in a ute registered to Empire Construction, but rebadged with the new company name Phoenix Rural Fencing and Landscaping.
The Phoenix Rural company is owned by another company, Callingle, which has Ms Callender as its sole shareholder.
A website for the new SEQ Fencing business has been registered in Mr Moule's name using a Phoenix Rural Fencing email address.
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission fined Empire more than $5000 for failing to rectify defective structural work last year.
Empire's NSW builder licence was cancelled - a week after the NSW Government was contacted by the Bulletin.
The demise of Q1 Homes is set to be picked apart in a State-funded Supreme Court examination, along with the collapse of Cullen Group, at a date yet to be set.
Fencers, roofers, electricians and painters are named in the Q1 creditors report, which also includes details of two creditors purportedly owed more than a million dollars each.
Liquidator Michael Caspaney has been slowly selling off property and other assets owned by the couple, whose assets were frozen.
Q1 customer Dave Adams, whose first home build was drawn out over more than two years and left him more than $100,000 out of pocket, said he was more angry at the regulators than the builders for allowing people linked to failed companies to continue making new ones.
"My anger is not directed at (the builders) anymore - it's the QBCC that are allowing this to happen," he said.
In a previous submission to the Supreme Court, Mr Caspaney said "a commercially unrealistic business model" and "a systematic drawing down of the company's liquid assets in favour of related parties" had caused the insolvency of Q1.
The court was told important company records had been water damaged when computers were left in the back of a ute and that phone records were lost by the previous liquidator.