Jewel boss unleashes epic spray at critics
THE developer of the embattled $1.4 billion Jewel towers is telling critics to get real as fears linger about unpaid subcontractors and potential completion date blowout.
A subcontractor on the shimmering triple high-rises at Surfers Paradise beach yesterday claimed he was $3m out of pocket for materials ordered during the retender confusion.
Construction union official Scott Vink said new photos of unfinished apartments and lack of clarity on work to be retendered meant he did not believe Jewel would be done by mid-2019 as scheduled.
Chinese developer Yuhu Group is yet to say who will do final fit-out work.
The original main contract with major builder Multiplex was severely altered months ago to omit certain work and retender it, the Bulletin revealed via a leaked email. At the time, sources estimated $200m worth of work would be retendered.
Yuhu Group director Jimmy Huang hit back at critics yesterday saying it was disappointing some had lost sight of the big picture and were talking down Jewel.
"It is a massive and complex project and it would be unrealistic to think that every aspect always runs smoothly and to plan," Mr Huang said.
"We took the decision to make very serious levels of investment in this project and the city because we think it is a wonderful place with a very bright future. It should be seen to others as a major vote of confidence in the Gold Coast, when you consider nationally it is a very challenging market.
"A company such as ours has options and we chose to invest here," Mr Huang said.
"We are very proud of the fact that Jewel is supporting hundreds of jobs on a daily basis through construction and this will continue long into the future following completion."
The out-of-pocket subbie called himself "fortunate" he was able to cancel or return $1m of materials already.
But other than what he had read in the Bulletin, subcontractors had heard nothing about reimbursements.
"As I'm aware nothing has happened," he said. "We've not received anything in writing."
In response, a Yuhu Group spokeswoman said it was not involved in the subcontracts: "But we understand an inventory reconciliation process is underway between subcontractors and our head contractor. This will result in payments being made."
Mr Vink said of photos showing the current incomplete apartments: "If they want to completely finish that building on time there is not a hope in hell. A tender process takes a bit of time, then people have got to get more materials."
Yuhu's spokeswoman said of the photos: "Believe it or not, it's a construction site, with things being built."