IN THE RED: subbies reveal damage from Ostwald collapse



Jo and Clint Franklin
Jo and Clint Franklin. Adam Hourigan

WITH $394,000 owing to their business, Franklin Plant Hire, Jo and Clint Franklin's lives were turned upside down when Ostwald Bros collapsed.

The couple were suspicious that Ostwalds was in trouble but were consistently told there was nothing to worry about and they would "get their money".

"We're still clawing our way back," Ms Franklin said. "We have to beg our creditors to trust us and wait till they get their money.

"It restricts your borrowing capacity to grow your business.

"One lender has asked us specifically how we are going to recover from this."



Isobel Wolsey and Les Trengove
Isobel Wolsey and Les Trengove. Adam Hourigan

LES Trengove and his partner Isobel Wolsey came over from WA on a promise of two years' work with Ostwalds.

"I had been working as a fly-in/flyout worker in WA," Mr Trengove said.

"I brought my grader over here to do the work."

The 71-year-old said the plan was to use the two years to pay off his equipment and ease his way into retirement on the farm he and his partner have in Dorrigo.

Instead finds himself owed $130,000 and his grader is up for sale.

He's gone from being his own boss to working a casual job on a Brisbane building site.



Gary and Jo Fenner
Gary and Jo Fenner. Adam Hourigan

THE collapse of Ostwald Bros in August left Gary and Jo Fenner's business G & J Watercart Hire $84,000 in the red.

The couple, whose business is supplying and driving their two water carts on construction sites, were forced to borrow money from Gary's parents to help them recover from the loss.

Mr Fenner began working for Ostwalds in November 2016 and realised by May the company was in trouble.

"We got a May payment, but a couple of my mates didn't get theirs," he said. "We didn't get anything for June, July and August."



Trace y and Murray Hubbard
Tracey and Murray Hubbard. Adam Hourigan

THE fallout from the Ostwald Bros collapse was personal for Murray Hubbard and his business Muzzatrim Pty Ltd.

The $92,000 owed to him has forced him to sell a house he was renovating for retirement.

He was also in the middle of establishing a new relationship with his partner and the children from their former relationships when the rug was pulled from under him.

Fortunately he was able to find work almost immediately, but he does not think he will ever fully recover from the loss.

"I pay myself $80,000 a year wage from the business," he said. "Basically I have had nothing for 12 months."



Mark Mitchell
Mark Mitchell. Adam Hourigan

WITH other businesses to fall back on, Mark Mitchell found the loss of about $140,000 with his business Valley Earthworks left a bad taste in his mouth, but not much more.

"I guess I'm a little luckier than most," Mr Mitchell said.

"But there's a lot of good people here who should be paid for what they've done. There's no one saying they haven't done the work on time and to specifications, so they should get paid."

Mr Mitchell said small sub- contractors should be able to get a payment guarantee.

"There seems to be scant regard for what Ostwalds have done to them," he said.