It is cold comfort to those Eurobodalla subcontractors, suppliers and workers who have been stung at the hands of two out-of-town building companies to know they are not alone.
This week, hundreds of subbies and workers in NSW and Victoria who pinned their trust on St Hilliers Construction Pty Ltd - and its government contracts - are wondering what the future holds.
Too many Eurobodalla traders have been pondering that Damocles sword for quite some time.
The baylink centre opened to great fanfare on Monday, but there has been little good news for several subcontractors since the firm who won the contract to build it, century-old building company Kell and Rigby Investments Holdings, went into voluntary administration earlier this year.
In April, creditors voted to liquidate the company and some Eurobodalla subbies and suppliers who took on work on the site in good faith worry now they will receive a pittance for their efforts.
It seems at least $170,000 owed to shire contractors is outstanding, but the total may be higher.
Meanwhile, at least one subbie who worked on a social housing site in Moruya has given up on seeing $20,000 it says it is owed by another out-of-town firm, Nebax Constructions Australia. Others fear the same.
The baylink centre will continue to bring wages into our community and tenants who have already moved into their new homes are better off, but some subbies, their employees and families are suffering.
Surely, when government and community money is at stake, officials must look twice at even the most apparently sound firm, before committing.
Many in our community are wishing Eurobodalla building companies were awarded tenders for these major projects. More money would be circulating right now in our community if this had occurred.
There are many advantages to small towns, including the fact that if a local is likely to go bust, others are likely to know about it.
When a big out-of-towner is in trouble, the locals are the last to know – and we pay a terrible price.