Comments from Bronwyn Post, Managing Director, ALDI Queensland
ALDI’s plans to open in Rockhampton have been delayed due to the unfortunate collapse of local building company, JM Kelly. To ensure the City of Rockhampton is aware of the facts and the steps ALDI will be taking, I thought it most appropriate to explain our short term and long term plans to support the community and those impacted by the events.
Our goal is to work with as many local building and construction suppliers as we can to complete and open our first ALDI store in Rockhampton. As of Wednesday 17 October, JM Kelly appointed administrator, PwC, who took control of the site and locked the gates. This action has understandably left many local sub-contractors, who worked for JM Kelly, concerned about payments. The last invoice we paid to JM Kelly was on Thursday 11 October for $772,000, and this took ALDI’s total payments to over $3.1 million.
Whilst ALDI are respectful of the due legal process to be followed with the administrator, we are making urgent arrangements to access the site in order to complete civil works to rectify issues that impact other businesses and the general flow of traffic in the area. We are working to immediately award a contract to a local civil works firm to complete this part of the project.
In the coming weeks we will work as closely as possible with PwC to do what we can to ensure subcontractors are dealt with in a timely manner.
We will be appointing a new builder in the coming weeks and plan to make warm introductions to local sub-contractors that have been part of construction to date. We sincerely regret this circumstance and our thoughts are with everyone impacted by the closure of JM Kelly. With the support of the Department of Main Roads, our short term goal is to complete works to restore the smooth flow of traffic and access to neighbouring businesses. Our longer term goal is to recommence construction and work towards the opening of ALDI in Rockhampton. We estimate this delay will push our opening to mid-2019.
On behalf of ALDI, I want to express our concern for everyone impacted by the closure of JM Kelly and reassure the community that we will continue to operate with the interests of the people of Rockhampton as our top priority.