There is without a doubt, we are in tumultuous times within the construction industry, with many builders finding it difficult. Rumours have been swirling around about different companies for the past few years, but the actions in the past fortnight by the media have taken it to another level and it has to stop.

When I first heard the rumours that Metricon was going under and the liquidators were coming in, I immediately contacted our rep at CreditorWatch to get the facts. I found it hard to believe and after talking to Jamie at CreditorWatch, he confirmed there was no evidence to suggest they were in trouble, and it was simply rumours.

The following day the media reports were flowing quick and fast with dangerous headlines claiming the volume builder was on the brink of collapse. They ignored the pleas from the new CEO that everything was fine and continued to run with their scaremongering headlines.

But I ask you, if the Metricon Founder and former CEO Mario Biasin had died from cancer, rather than by his own hand, would the media have run the same headlines?

On one hand we are trying to educate society that it’s not weak to speak, and that it’s important that we all take mental health seriously. However, when a CEO takes their own life, everyone immediately thinks the worse.  We cannot sweep this under the carpet, as a society we must address mental health and talk about it to save lives.

I’m concerned the medias actions will result in people once again hiding the truth about suicide and mental health, as the damage these unfounded headlines could be crippling.

I was disappointed to hear that one insurer (not associated with FTMA), contacted their clients to give them the heads up, the day before the media ran with the story.

If there was any evidence to support the claims, I’d be the first to applaud this insurer for getting a head of the game and keeping their clients informed. But when there is no evidence, all you are doing is causing future damage to the business.

FTMA Australia joined Creditor Watch to keep an eye on the market, to help our members avoid being caught out by builders going bust and to base our actions on facts. Creditor Watch were the first, possibly the only credit agency, which had warning ratings for Pro-Build before their collapse.

Rumours are dangerous. As an industry, we do not want to see any builders go under, and unfounded rumours, especially when carried out by the media have the potential to ruin a business.

If any FTMA member has builders with continued outstanding debts, please let us know, so we can check on the CW system, and if evidence indicates there is cause for concern, we shall let our members know.

FTMA sends their deepest sympathies to Mario’s family and the Metricon family.

For more information, please give me a bell on 0418 226 242.

Kersten Gentle

FTMA Australia CEO

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