Laing O’Rourke Wins Reprieve After Licence Suspension


Construction giant Laing O’Rourke has had its building licence reinstalled by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission with conditions, less than a week after the watchdog revoked its licence.

Laing O’Rourke launched an appeal in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Monday, after an investigation revealed that the group had not met Queensland’s minimum financial requirement laws.

The suspension was lifted after Laing O’Rourke demonstrated an increase of $32 million in equity held by the business.

A QBCC spokesperson confirmed that it had reinstated Laing O’Rourke's licence with the condition that the company provide internal management accounts on a monthly basis until its next annual report.

Laing O’Rourke Australia managing director Cathal O’Rourke welcomed the QBCC decision.

“We have undertaken internal restructuring to better demonstrate our asset base to the QBCC,” O’Rourke said.

“We have also demonstrated our improving business profitability, achieved through increased productivity and project performance.”

Related: Laing O’Rourke Appointed to Deliver $955m Central Station Revamp

The fiscal health of Britain’s largest construction company has been under the microscope after the late release of its financial results earlier this year, reporting a loss after tax on its Australia operations of £14.6 million (A$27m).

Laing O’Rourke abandoned the massive Ichthys LNG project in Darwin after a contract dispute left it $187 million in the red. In its annual report, Laing O’Rourke points to incurring “exceptional legal costs” of nearly $6 million on the project in 2017-18.

O’Rourke said the company has no outstanding creditors and a strong cash position.

“We invest millions of dollars into the state’s economy every year and employ hundreds of people locally, and remain committed to our Queensland operations.”


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