Callum Lowe in his unfinished Rosewood home following the G.J. Gardner collapse. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Callum Lowe in his unfinished Rosewood home following the G.J. Gardner collapse. Picture: Cordell Richardson Cordell Richardson

'They gutted our home': Ripped off tradies strip build bare

A YOUNG couple has been left thousands of dollars short after out-of-pocket tradies gutted their newly-built home after the G.J Gardner collapse.

Callum Lowe and his partner were two weeks away from moving into their first home at Rosewood when G.J Gardner North Ipswich went bust on January 22.

That afternoon the young couple visited their shell of a home to find the lights, shower screens and cupboard doors installed just days earlier had been taken.

They were thrown further into hardship when, one day later, Mr Lowe discovered the front door, oven, carpet and hot water system had also been removed.

The 26-year old will be about $10,000 out of pocket because the Queensland Building and Construction Commission is treating the item removal as theft.

Mr Lowe is convinced the tradies who worked on his home decided to take the fittings, knowing the G.J collapse would hurt their business.

More than 50 subcontractors are owed about $1.5million along with $20,000 in employee expenses and up to $400,000 to secured creditors, according to Adam Ward of Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants.

Mr Lowe is not frustrated with the tradies' actions.

"I feel like we're in the same boat with them," he said.

"How can you steal something that's already yours.

"We understand why they did it, especially if they haven't been paid for it."

Mr Lowe said he was angry at the building system that offered little support to home owners or tradies when a builder went bust.

The trade fitter was enjoying building his first home right up until the phone call that G.J Gardner was going under.

"On Monday afternoon and we thought everything was coming along well," he said.

"We thought what is everyone going on about?

"This is awesome."

G.J Gardner North Ipswich boss Pieter Burghout has stayed silent since the collapse.

Mr Lowe now wants the QBCC to step up and help out.

"Everyone we've spoken to from the QBCC has given us different information and nobody's been consistent," he said.


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