John Murphy will be excluded from the Queensland construction industry.
John Murphy will be excluded from the Queensland construction industry.

Murphy rejects claims of wrong-doing by JMK directors

JM KELLY director John Murphy last night responded to claims made in yesterday's creditors' meeting at Rockhampton, rejecting PricewaterhouseCooper's allegations that the JM Kelly Group had been trading insolvent since 2017.

"PwC have by their own admission undertaken a preliminary investigation only and assume that date from some emails. It is impossible to be insolvent and trade for a further 22 months," he said.

He also welcomed any police investigation into claims surrounding 78 statutory declarations and alleged outstanding superannuation payments.

"A review of alleged unpaid superannuation and any implication on statutory declarations is welcomed. It will prove no wrong-doing by directors," he said.

He called on PcW to reconsider its view on pushing for a multi-agency task force to be formed.

"Without a proper review of subcontract agreements, any amended agreed terms, payment schedules or the like, PwC should not be relying upon proof of debt forms to come to this view, particularly when they have already proven to be incorrect and even today at the creditors' meeting, certain proxy's were not accepted," he said.

He rejected PcW's view that JM Kelly's organisational chart and financial dealings were convoluted.

"PwC do not understand how a Corporate Group like JMK operated and the treasury function within a group like JMK, hence the view by PwC that it is convoluted," he said.

"There is not 43,000 inter-company loans or 100,000 inter-company transactions, there is 43,000 transactions that the JM Kelly Group made totally, internal and external. The source is just wrong for this comment and given that each company within the Group contracted works with each other this is not unusual."

He said if a public examination was held it would be fruitless.

"PwC have not identified the reasons for any public examination and have in any event noted that their investigations at this point are preliminary," he said.

"A public examination would be encouraged but will ultimately find no wrong-doing.

"PwC's enthusiasm was for the benefit of ensuring they were not replaced by Jirsch Sutherland (yesterday) rather than anything else.

"Whether QBCC have the powers to provide funding for such a public examination is a separate issue to be addressed."

He agreed that there were significant transactions taking place in the days before and after deadline dates to satisfy the QBCC licence, but said that was the nature of the industry.

"In the construction industry the cash flow fluctuates wildly. As money comes in one day it goes out the next, that's how the industry operates," he said.