Victoria’s Richstone Group Collapses, Leaving 150 Unemployed and Millions Owed

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Victoria, Australia – A once-thriving plumbing company, Richstone Group Pty Ltd, has crumbled under mounting debts, forcing 150 employees into immediate unemployment.

According to documents filed with the corporate watchdog, Richstone Group had a mere $61 in its bank account when it folded, leaving creditors with an outstanding debt of a staggering $22 million. Administrator David Coyne from BRI Ferrier attributed the company’s failure to debtors not paying their dues in full.

Peter Krejci, another administrator for the company, had previously expressed optimism about facilitating a successful restructuring. 

“I am delighted to have facilitated a restructure of the Richstone Group, Victoria’s largest privately owned plumbing contractor, saving 150 jobs and averting the chaos, delay, and costs to its customers that would have inevitably ensued had it ceased trading without a sale,” Krejci wrote in March.

The collapse has had devastating consequences for staff, who are believed to be owed up to $816,000 in unpaid wages and superannuation. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) also ow a substantial $14 million.

Richstone Group was renowned for its work on high-rise apartment blocks and other building developments across Melbourne. They were actively engaged in the $12.6 billion Metro Tunnel Project, showcasing their commitment to plumbing sustainability.

The company blamed worsening market conditions and the Covid pandemic for a sharp revenue drop from $65 million to $25 million in the past financial year, leading to its downfall.

Director Shannon Egglestone expressed sympathy for Australians’ challenging circumstances but emphasised that the collapse was due to factors beyond their control. 

“We know how hard all Australians are doing it right now, and we are also aware of the possible ripple effect an event like this can have on our industry,” he said.

The collapse has sent shockwaves through the industry and highlights the vulnerability of businesses during uncertain times.

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