A former Porter Davis worker has shed light on the day employees discovered they were soon to be out of work as one of Australia’s biggest home builders collapsed.
Lottie found herself suddenly out of a job when turned up to work at the business on Friday, March 31 and for the first time ever saw ‘men in suits’ standing out the front of the company Melbourne showroom, World of Style, in Southbank.
About 1,700 homes across Victoria and Queensland were left unfinished and their owners in limbo when the major home building firm went into liquidation last month.
Lottie told Daily Mail Australia she was ‘devastated’ to discover that the job she loved had come to such an abrupt end.
Former Porter Davis employee Lottie has revealed the details of the day employees discovered the company had collapsed
‘Basically, we rocked up to work like any other day,’ she explained.
‘As I approached the door, I was like ‘what’s going on?’ as no one was allowed in.’
Lottie said she initially thought it was a ‘crime scene’ and that someone had died.
However, she said staff had ‘no inkling’ of anything being wrong at the firm before that morning.
Lottie said another staff member asked one of the suited men: ‘How bad is it?’
‘He replied, ‘worst case scenario’,’ she said.
Lottie explained that staff waited out the front of the building with ‘crippling anxiety’.
Lottie told Daily Mail said she was ‘devastated’ at discovering the company she worked for had gone bust
Once workers were finally allowed inside the building, Ms Griffin described the mood as being ‘weird’, and she spotted managers ‘in the boardroom crying’.
Lottie, who didn’t at that point think she would be made redundant, recalled how the CEO told staff to attend a meeting on Microsoft Teams.
‘The address from the CEO was basically him bawling his eyes out and apologising,’ she said.
‘It was the grimmest thing I’ve ever seen.’
It was at that moment she found out that she would be losing the job she loved forever.
Lottie said she still has ‘a lot of respect’ for the company and it had been a ‘great place to work’.
Porter Davis homes Group , Australia’s 12th biggest home builder, was handed to liquidators Grant Thornton on March 31
Hundreds of families who had contracts with Porter Davis found that despite paying a deposit, which included an insurance premium, the company had not lodged the insurance policies with the state’s Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA).
The company, Australia’s 12th biggest home builder, was handed to liquidators Grant Thornton on March 31.
The liquidators confirmed a combination of factors had contributed to the firm’s collapse.
‘Rising input costs, supply chain delays, labour shortages, and a drop in demand for new homes in 2023 impact[ed] the Group’s liquidity,’ a Grant Thornton spokesperson said.
A recent report filed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission found the company had amassed $32,939,409 of debt with the Commonwealth Bank.
As well as worked halting on 1,700 homes, another a further 779 signed contracts that are yet to start.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has committed about $15million to pay out the deposits for a group of nearly 600 families affected by the collapse.
The state government will allow 560 families who paid for a deposit on a build that Porter Davis never commenced to apply for compensation.
Andrews said the payouts would average about $25,000, with a full refund of up to five per cent of the purchase price.