Geoff Lobegeier is staying positive about St Hilliers' Camp Kerr contract.
Geoff Lobegeier is staying positive about St Hilliers' Camp Kerr contract. Renee Pilcher

Camp Kerr job reopens

PAT Hogan Electrical's Gympie branch manager Geoff Lobegeier is in the middle of a waiting game to see if assurances from St Hilliers Construction administrators come through.

As news broke that St Hilliers' Tin Can Bay Camp Kerr project was due to reopen yesterday, Mr Lobegeier was somewhat relieved.

"I'll be happy on Thursday after (a third of) the money is deposited," he told The Gympie Times yesterday. In total, PHE is owed $1.2 million.

Mr Lobegeier said he received a letter from the Moore Stephens Sydney Corporate Recovery Group on Sunday after being told on Thursday afternoon the job would continue.

Three of PHE's Gympie staff returned to work yesterday.

Mr Lobegeier said he remained positive about the contract which saw about 12 PHE staff employed and about 30 other Gympie workers on a subcontract basis.

Mr Lobegeier said he was confident the Camp Kerr project would continue.

"Either way the government will finish (the job) somehow," he said.

PHE Gympie was the major local contractor hired by St Hilliers Construction to undertake work for the Department of Defence contract, worth millions of dollars.

The project was just one that stopped when associated company St Hilliers Ararat, part of a consortium contracted to undertake a $350 million expansion of the Ararat Prison in Victoria, had been placed into liquidation. It ran out of money when an extra $150 million to finish the job could not be secured.

PHE, as well as its four sub-contractors, was locked out of the army training base last week after the voluntary appointment of administrators to St Hilliers Construction.

The Tin Can Bay job is just one of four Defence worksites being reopened - the others are training facilities at Watsonia, north Melbourne, Bandiana, near Albury and Greenbank, south of Brisbane.

Four other worksites were reopened on Thursday and the company has issued a statement saying it was working on getting all of the sites opened.

Gympie Times


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