No consequences for Tagara directors for breaking the law

Published: 17 Oct 2016

The CFMEU has reiterated calls for the corporate regulator to toughen its approach to companies who wilfully rip off workers and small businesses in the construction industry, in the wake of the Tagara collapse.

South Australian CFMEU Secretary Aaron Cartledge said urgent action was needed from ASIC in investigating Tagara the collapse of which left 700 small business out of pocket to the tune of $27 million.

“ASIC needs to understand that $27 million loss in a town like Adelaide is hugely significant.

"Tagara directors John Kassara and Tullio Tagliaferri were trading while insolvent.

"They broke the law and nothing has happened to them.

"In fact, it is widely known that they are shadow directors of a newly created company. This thing goes on all the time.”

Mr Cartledge welcomed the MBA’s call yesterday for ASIC to investigate.

“It’s about time they stood up for small business and had dealt with what’s happening in their own back yard. After all, Mr Tagliaferri was their president.

"The MBA has form on this. A few years ago, the director of Candetti Constructions also went broke, while he was the MBA treasurer.”

A senate inquiry was held in Adelaide last year that investigated insolvencies in the construction industry and recommended ways to protect small businesses and workers from illegal behaviour by big construction companies.

“The Senate inquiry called for much needed legislative change and we’re still waiting for that.

"We’re waiting for the Turnbull Government to do the right thing and stop the big end of town stealing from mum and dad operators.

"They are happy to fund the Fair Work Building Commission to the tune of almost $40 million to target workers and unions but ASIC is crying out for more resources to deal with the real issues hurting our industry.

"We need action from the regulator. Those who break the law can’t be allowed to get away with it.”