A former building company director has been fined $40,000 in the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) for hiring a group of men to threaten and intimidate five clients in Perth’s western suburbs.
Talbot James Le Page was also ordered to pay $2,000 in costs and declared ineligible to be an officer of a building contractor for the maximum period of three years.
The SAT also ordered cancellation of the building contractor registration held by Mr Le Page’s Mount Hawthorn business, Turquoise Developments Pty Ltd.
The SAT matter was finalised in 2018, but could not be reported by Building and Energy until a separate criminal court case concluded this month.
In its decision, the SAT found that Mr Le Page and Turquoise breached WA’s building registration laws when they engaged in “harsh, unconscionable and oppressive” conduct.
The Tribunal accepted evidence that during 2016 at least five men operating under the name Regal Corporate Solutions repeatedly approached five clients. The men used intimidating and threatening tactics to demand payment of money allegedly owed to Turquoise or Mr Le Page for residential building projects in Trigg, City Beach, Mosman Park, Floreat and Claremont.
The men also displayed similar behaviour when they arrived uninvited at the home of an independent adjudicator overseeing a subcontractor payment dispute involving Mr Le Page.
Turquoise went into liquidation in June 2017 but, due to the serious nature of the allegations, Building and Energy obtained a Supreme Court order to reinstate it as a company to seek a disciplinary sanction against Turquoise and Mr Le Page.
The Building Services Board had already refused to renew Mr Le Page’s personal building contractor and practitioner registrations on the basis that he was not a fit and proper person.
Building and Energy A/Executive Director Saj Abdoolakhan welcomed the SAT’s decision to impose the largest fine to date for proceedings commenced by Building and Energy, as well as declaring Mr Le Page ineligible for the maximum time period.
“This significant penalty reflects the seriousness of these incidents, which have caused great distress to the clients involved as well as their families and associates,” he said.
“The conduct by these men, under Mr Le Page’s authority as found by the SAT, was deplorable. It simply has no place in the Western Australian building sector – or any other industry.
“This outcome sends a clear message that we will take action against building industry participants who act against the public interest and tarnish the integrity of the building sector.”