The Wave 5 contractors, with Gary and Jo Fenner at front - telling their story of unpaid work for the highway.
The Wave 5 contractors, with Gary and Jo Fenner at front - telling their story of unpaid work for the highway. Adam Hourigan

Subbies hoping for a big improvement in new financial year

THE 23 local Pacific Highway subcontractors dudded after the collapse of Ostwald Bros are approaching the end of the financial year with trepidation.

A spokesperson for the Wave 5 Contractors, a group formed to chase the more than $7 million in unpaid invoices, said the prospect of declaring a loss to the tax man was troubling.

Jo Franklin, whose company Franklin Plant Hire was owed $394,000 before the collapse, said many contractors were undecided about what to do.

"For some of us, who were last paid in May last year, it has brought on a difficult decision,” Ms Franklin said.

"Some of us are wanting to declare a loss but we're not willing to do that just yet.

"But it means we're left juggling a lot of balls with our accounts.”

Ms Franklin said the 10 months since Ostwald Bros went into administration in August had been been a roller coaster.

"We've had promises of help from the government, then we're told not to get our hopes up,” Ms Franklin said.

"But when we spoke to (Deputy Premier) John Barilaro here earlier this month he instilled a lot of hope in us.”

Ms Franklin and fellow Wave 5 Contractor Vicky Riddick were invited to Sydney earlier this week to be part of the launch of the Small Business Matters party ahead of next year's state election.

Party founder Angela Vithoulkas has been an activist for small businesses affected by the NSW Government's light rail project.

She has announced she will be a candidate for the NSW Upper House at the 2019 State Election.

"Angela has taken a real interest in what's happening to the Wave 5 Contractors,” Ms Franklin said.

"She made us feel really welcome on Wednesday and said what's happened to us is going to figure her in the election campaign.”