Queensland Brickworks Enters Administration Amid Market Headwinds


A Queensland brickworks company formed in the 1800s has entered voluntary administration, the latest collapse in an industry contending with high energy costs and a rapidly slowing property market.

Claypave, which operates a brick manufacturing plant in Ipswich, has appointed insolvency firm Worrells as administrators.

Up to 50 employees risk losing their jobs at the business, which exports to Japan, Europe and the United States.

Headwinds in the housing market has weighed heavily on Australian manufacturing, with Brickworks’ chief executive Lindsay Partridge predicting more pain for the industry at the recent release of his company’s financial results.

Partridge said that the building products manufacturer would be seeking opportunities in the United States, as the company’s earnings were affected by high energy prices and market declines.

Brickworks operates Austral Bricks along with other building product brands and owns a 43 per cent interest in investment house Washington H Soul Pattinson as a “stabiliser to its often volatile building products earning stream”.

Related: Queensland Construction Companies at ‘High Risk’ of Insolvency

Brickworks CEO Lindsay Partridge (pictured) said his company was investigating acquisition opportunities in the US due to a slow Australian market.
Brickworks CEO Lindsay Partridge (pictured) said his company was investigating acquisition opportunities in the US due to a slow Australian market.

Worrells’ Adam Ward said that Claypave’s voluntary administration was underpinned by cash-flow issues, a declining market and increased overseas competition “offering cheaper pricing”.

“While the administration is in its infancy, it appears all creditors will be paid in full from the sale of assets or sale of the business based upon information from the directors and pre-existing valuations,” Ward said.

Ward said that while the administration is in its infancy, all creditors look to be paid in full and employee liabilities, including superannuation and taxation requirements are up to date.

Meanwhile, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission has issued a warning to construction companies with an annual revenue of more than $30 million to return their financial reports to the commission or risk court action.

The building commission revoked Laing O’Rourke’s licence earlier this month after the British building giant failed to meet Queensland’s minimum financial requirement laws.

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