Family First senator Bob Day says he may see out his parliamentary term if an investor can “revive” his housing group, which owes almost $38 million to creditors.
But Senator Day also said in a statement if there was no positive outcome to the liquidation of Home Australia, his resignation would proceed and he would devote himself to assisting those affected by the closure.
The South Australian senator said he would attend the parliamentary sitting starting on November 7 to support bills to allow a same-sex marriage plebiscite and reinstate the building industry watchdog, as well as “fix” the backpacker tax.
Senator Day appointed McGrathNicol on October 17 to take charge of the Home Australia group, which has left more than 200 people with incomplete homes.
Figures released by McGrathNicol ahead of creditors’ meetings next week revealed $19.6 million owed to unsecured creditors – ranging from hardware stores to young couples – and $18.2 million in secured debt.
On the same day, he declared he intended resigning as a senator for South Australia to devote his time to helping home owners and contractors.
He said an investor had expressed interest in reviving the group and had been in regular contact with McGrathNicol. Other offers had also been received.
“If new investment revives the company, if houses are being completed and trade contractors and others are being paid, then I may continue as a senator,” he said.
“If not, my resignation will proceed and I will devote myself to assisting those affected by the group’s closure.”
Creditor meetings have been scheduled for November 3 and 4.
Senator Day said he was “deeply sorry” for the anguish the situation is causing many people.
“I am doing all I can to assist.”
Labor and the Greens have called for Senator Day’s immediate resignation but the government says he is entitled to make his own decisions.
Labor leader Bill Shorten said the prime minister needed to explain how Senator Day could one week declare his position “untenable” and the next be “irreplaceable”.
Under the constitution, anyone who is insolvent or bankrupt cannot sit in parliament.
Senator Day has provided a crucial vote for government legislation and motions since he was first elected in 2013.
HOW MUCH DO BOB DAY’S COMPANIES OWE?
- Home Australia: 18 creditors claiming $30.5 million, NAB owed $11.4 million, assets $34.1 million
- Newstart Homes: 195 creditors claiming $2.876 million, assets $2.259 million
- Ashford Homes: 320 creditors claiming $9.6 million, assets $3.81 million
- Collier Homes: 255 creditors claiming $4.39 million, assets $6.35 million
- Huxley Homes. 324 creditors claiming: $3.3 million, assets $7.47 million
- Homestead Homes: 210 creditors claiming $5 million, assets $10 million
- Nationwide Australian Investments: Nine creditors claiming $6.6 million, assets $5.8 million
- Smart Road Property Rentals: No claims, assets $3.7 million.
SAMPLE OF CREDITORS, LARGE AND SMALL:
- Internode Systems (SA) $42.45
- Bunnings Building Supplies (Mansfield, Qld) $1188
- A&L Windows (Qld) $57,908
- NSW Office of State Revenue $75,768
- Pro Set Plasterboard Contracting (Qld) $338,816
- Trevor and Judith Tope (WA) unquantified
- NAB $11.4 million.