Stirling Homes, Payless Shoes, John Buckley Electrical and Ri-Con Contractors are some of the high profile Gympie region businesses to have moved into liquidation, sometimes with devastating results.
Stirling Homes, Payless Shoes, John Buckley Electrical and Ri-Con Contractors are some of the high profile Gympie region businesses to have moved into liquidation, sometimes with devastating results.

Why these 10 Gympie businesses went under in past 4 years

FOR every successful Gympie business there is another fallen by the way side - and some have collapsed in the most spectacular ways, occasionally leaving financial wreckage in their wakes.

Here are some of the most prominent and longstanding business to have fallen into liquidation over the past five years, whether through mismanagement, bad timing, or - in one case at least - questionable state laws.

 

United Project Partners

Gene Farrelly, director of United Project Partners Pty Ltd.
Gene Farrelly, director of United Project Partners Pty Ltd.

THE 2017 collapse of the Gympie and Toowoomba developer became embroiled in controversy, including allegations company funds were used for home renovations servicing a fleet of vintage cars at a time it was strapped for cash.

The company owed more than $13 million to creditors when it went sideways.

Liquidators put the company under a public examination; allegations made alongside the renovation projects included claims the company inflated building contracts to secure money from Westpac.

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Stirling Homes

Stirling Homes director Peter Bazzan.
Stirling Homes director Peter Bazzan.

THE collapes of one of Gympie's highest-profile companies left the region with a $6 million black hole of debt.

The building company's collapse left dozens of homeowners in the lurch, with the QBCC revealing 26 insurance claims were lodged, including 18 for non-completion.

Liquidator reports lodged with ASIC alleged embezzlement and insolvent trading as two of the reasons why the company collapsed.

No charges have ever been laid.

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Smart City Vocational College

The former campus of failed vocational training organisation Smart City.
The former campus of failed vocational training organisation Smart City.

THE 2017 shutdown of the Sunshine Coast-based college's administration arm was a nightmare for staff, who were reportedly owed up to $2.6 million in annual leave and entitlements at the time.

Revelations soon followed that director James Spong gave almost $9 million in bonuses to Spong family members and associated businesses less than two years before the staff were sacked.

The college was a popular place for Gympie residents to upskill.

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Ri-Con Contractors

Ri-Con director John Jenkins.
Ri-Con director John Jenkins.

THE collapse of the Gympie council-favoured builder has left the community with more questions than answers, including some about the council's role in protecting subcontractors.

Ri-Con was engaged to work on some of the council's largest projects, including the $2 million Kilkivan Equestrian Centre and the $2.8 million youth hub and skate park.

However, when it collapsed in January it owed more than $4.7 million to businesses across the country.

Gympie businesses, owed more than almost $400,000, have been calling for an investigation into claims the company had handed Gympie and Sunshine Coast council's signed declarations saying subcontractors had been paid for their work.

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Payless Shoes

Payless shoes.
Payless shoes.

POPULAR Goldfields shoe store Payless shut its doors back in 2016 after its parent company hit the wall.

The Gympie shop was one of 132 Australian stores to wear the Payless brand.

Administrator Jim Sarantinos said the decision to close the doors was made after the business failed to sell.

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John Buckley Electrical

CLOSURE: John Buckley Electrical before it went into liquidation.
CLOSURE: John Buckley Electrical before it went into liquidation.

THE popular 37-year-old Gympie mainstay shut its doors for good in 2018, leaving more than 20 staff and apprentices in the lurch.

Established by John and Carolyn Buckley in 1981, the business was well-known and respected across the region.

Liquidator Paul Nogueira said at the time the company's insolvency was caused by a few projects the shop took on that did not work out.

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Gympie Friendly Grocer (Heilbronn's)

Gympie Friendly Grocer (known in the region as Heilbronn’s).
Gympie Friendly Grocer (known in the region as Heilbronn’s).

THE century-old business fell victim to the struggles of its owner's Sunshine Coast shop last month.

Abid Australia, which ran the Gympie grocery as well as Foodworks Birtinya, collapsed under the weight of a $600,000 debt owed to more than 60 creditors.

Liquidator Paul Nogueira said the Gympie store was breaking even when it shut.

However, it was not considered profitable and as such will not reopen.

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Dimmeys

Dimmeys Gympie
Dimmeys Gympie

A MAINSTAY in the CBD was brought down earlier this year when the 166-year-old national company collapsed into liquidation.

Gympie's Dimmeys store was one of only four in Queensland, along with those at Maryborough, Childers and Logan Central.

The department chain had been announced as closing in November last year, but the COVID-19 outbreak sped things up.

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Cooloola Waters Retirement Resort

Cooloola Waters Retirement Resort.
Cooloola Waters Retirement Resort.

AMENDMENTS to Queensland law have been blamed for the liquidation of this Tin Can Bay retirement resort.

Director Rodney Lohse said the company did not have any debt when it wound up; unfortunately, state legislation requiring unsold properties be bought back after 18 months meant it was staring down the barrel of a $2 million spend within the next two years.

The resort had been running for more than 30 years.

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Anytime Fitness

Larissa Petersen at Anytime Fitness.
Larissa Petersen at Anytime Fitness.

THE 24-hour gym shut its doors in June last year after only three years of trading.

It was opened by business partners Joey Christie and Larissa Petersen, who shared more than 20 years industry experience between them.

The gym had proven to be a popular exercise hub in the time it was open.

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Gympie Times


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