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Bob Day's SA creditors will lose millions: liquidator

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More than 150 unsecured creditors of former senator Bob Day’s failed building company in South Australia will not be paid the money they are owed after the businessman left his companies to “run themselves” when he entered politics.

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These 157 unsecured creditors are owed a total of $4.9 million by Homestead Homes and include tradesmen and subcontractors as well as customers who have paid deposits to build homes.

“It owes people in this room and people that might not be here today about $4.9 million,” liquidator Matthew Caddy told a creditors meeting in Adelaide today.

“It is almost certain that there will be no money available for insecure creditors.

“It will essentially be a bad debt.”

Caddy said the building group Home Australia lost about $12 million in the final three years before it was declared insolvent.

When the former Family First senator called in the liquidators the companies had “no money”.

“We had to cease construction of any homes,” he said.

“We had no money to pay tradesmen.”

There are 28 unsecured creditors in SA who paid deposits on homes and 75 across the whole group, which consists of five companies.

The liquidator said when Day entered politics he did not appoint anyone else to run the business and it went downhill.

He said money was being moved between the separate businesses in SA, Victoria, NSW, Queensland and WA but they were being run without cohesion.

“They were left to run themselves,” he said.

“There was limited integration of the businesses. They were operating within their own silos.”

He said the demise of the NSW business Huxley Homes was most significant in the downfall of the group.

Among a number of resolutions on Friday, creditors voted against destroying the financial records of Homestead Homes within six months, despite the cost of storing them for longer.

Some felt uncomfortable destroying records given the significance of the insolvency, while others were worried it could leave questions unanswered.

“This is part of Australian history as well, given a senator has just resigned,” one man said.

Husband and wife Tony and Lina Calvanese, who own a waterproofing business, said they were $15,000 out of pocket.

Tony Calvanese said he has worked with Mr Day for 24 years but hadn’t spoken to him since the collapse.

“I know his family, his wife,” he said.

“He hasn’t been doing the right thing lately. It’s not fair.”

Lina Calvanese said their business would struggle but survive.

“We’ll be right. We just won’t eat for a few days,” she said.

Day did not attend Friday’s meeting.

AAP

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