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Families in limbo as Bob Day launches last-ditch bid to keep company afloat

Senator Bob Day’s business empire is falling apart.Family First senator Bob Day has launched a last-ditch bid to keep his NSW building company afloat, denying certainty to dozens of desperate families as his national empire continues to crumbles.
Nanjing Night Net

Fairfax Media can reveal that Senator Day’s Huxley Homes has applied to have its licence renewed – even though the company last week ceased all work on the homes of its 61 clients because it has no cash.

Huxley is also about to be evicted from its Sydney offices after falling months behind on rent, as staff members continue to quit and the senator refuses to answer questions about the company’s solvency.

Senator Day has also disappeared from Parliament, turning up for just three of the 11 sitting days since the election as he tries to keep Huxley from dragging his other companies across the country into oblivion.

Day’s Victorian company, Ashford Homes, is also experiencing difficulties and there is new evidence his South Australian arm, Homestead Homes, is also in trouble after it suspended work on a number of sites.

The micro-party senator – who won the 12th and final South Australian Senate spot in July – said he has been away from his $200,000 a year taxpayer-funded job for “personal reasons”.

“Almost every sitting day, senators are excused for personal reasons.  Nobody asks them to divulge the personal reasons for their absence,” he said. He would not comment on anything to do with Huxley.

If Senator Day’s financial woes end up in insolvency or bankruptcy he could be disqualified from the Senate.

He has put his own home up as security and has repeatedly been fined for failing to heed rectification orders.

A spokeswoman for NSW Fair Trading confirmed Huxley had submitted a renewal application, just before last Friday’s deadline.

“The application will be assessed in line with NSW Fair Trading’s usual processes under the Home Building Act,” the spokeswoman said.

Fair Trading has previously said a building licence cannot be renewed if a company has outstanding tribunal orders against it. The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal’s website shows there are at least six outstanding orders against Huxley, suggesting the renewal will be rejected.

But that process could take weeks or months.

In the meantime, families must continue to pay mortgages on unfinished homes they can’t live in that are in some cases years overdue.

Many of them cannot exit their contracts with Huxley or make insurance claims unless the company officially goes under.

Sydney woman Samantha Baker and her family were meant to move into their new Huxley home in August 2015 but it’s still nowhere near finished; there is no electricity, plumbing, kitchen, flooring, driveway or retaining walls.

She says Senator Day’s decision to go for a renewal – which allows the company to keep operating while Fair Trading assesses the application – leaves families like hers in continued limbo.

“It’s just been so stressful and time-consuming and financially draining. I have been getting so worried that it’s affecting every part of my life,” she told Fairfax Media at the weekend. “My kids have seen me in the last few months just burst into tears at times as it all washes over me.”

Ms Baker called on Fair Trading to make its decision as quickly as possible.

Fairfax understands Huxley has been calling clients and unpaid tradies telling them it was not currently in a position to order any labour or materials. But staff were instructed not to put that in writing.

Huxley will be evicted from its Baulkham Hills office by midday on Monday. That is expected to leave the half-dozen remaining Huxley staff members with nowhere to go amid uncertainty about their jobs.

One source very close to the company said: “Fair Trading should not be approving that licence.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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