To address the recent and false media allegations made surrounding St Hilliers and The Oaks Resort property development at The Entrance, NSW, we wanted to provide the following information and facts:
- The purchasers of the properties at The Oaks Resort contracted with the developer, Austcorp. St Hilliers was a contractor only to the developer Austcorp, and was required to build to Austcorp’s specifications. This was NOT a St Hilliers development so we had no influence over the terms that investors engaged in the development.
- In 2000, St Hilliers completed the building contract with Austcorp, in compliance with its contractual obligations – which included rectifying all defects notified to St Hilliers by Austcorp during the 12 month Defect Liability Period, post completion. Our security retentions were returned at the conclusion of this process signifying that all defects had been rectified to Austcorps’s satisfaction.
- Unbeknown to St Hilliers, some of the owners of the properties at The Oaks Resort instituted an action against Austcorp, lodged in 2006, ultimately resulting in the Federal Court finding in the owners favour in 2009. The judgement centred around misrepresentations by Austcorp, specifically the failure to honour representations in respect of rental returns, and failure to discharge maintenance obligations and upkeep under the serviced apartment operating lease.
- St Hilliers was not mentioned in the claim put forward by the owners, and was not joined in those proceedings or considered in the judgement.
- St Hilliers was not made aware of any material defects until circa ten years after the development, when Austcorp went into liquidation in 2010 without honouring the findings of the federal Court decision. At this time, the Body Corporate and owners sought to transfer complaints and liability to St Hilliers Construction and commenced proceedings against it, which St Hilliers vigorously defended.
- In 2012, St Hilliers went into voluntary administration. This was due to a project in Victoria, at Ararat Prison. It was in no way related to the issues at The Oaks Resort project.
- This was a difficult time for the company and our many subcontractors, and it was resolved through standard business practices around voluntary administration. St Hilliers stringently and diligently went through the correct and legal processes.
- It is important to note all subcontractors and suppliers, were all paid in full to the current construction payment cycle, as at the date the company entered into administration. This included all staff payments, including all salary and superannuation.
- During the administration, Tim Casey, sold a number of personal and property related assets to fund the continuing operations and meet the obligations to staff and creditors. All staff were paid their entitlements in full.
- St Hilliers emerged from the administration process in July 2014, after completion of all its obligations under the Deed of Company Arrangement as approved by creditors.
- St Hilliers continues to have an excellent working relationship with many branches of the Federal, State, and Local Government agencies in both development and construction projects and provides high quality services across Australia.
We want to assure you that St Hilliers has always been and will always be committed to building and developing quality projects for our clients. St Hilliers has a strong reputation built on 30 years of integrity and the ability to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations. We stand by our work.