'Chase the bastards': Advice to tradies to stop rip-offs

"CHASE the bastards."

That's the simple guide company director Bob Milicevic stands by to secure payment from builders.

His company Rovera Scaffolding Queensland was left $38,324 out of pocket when Cullens Group collapsed in December 2016.

The sharp-shooting scaffolding director was left to rebuild his company after Cullens left 500 creditors owed more than $18million across the nation.

Mr Milicevic is experienced with the damage done to tradies after a building company collapses.

"I've had a couple of guys go under and not pay," he said.

Rovera, a Wacol company, has since grown to become a significant one in the building industry.

Mr Milicevic said not only did building companies go under, but builders often failed to pay for smaller jobs.

He was yesterday preparing to call a client and demand $2000 payment for a job.

The director said it was vital builders couldn't get away with failing to pay.

"Little debts build up but you've just got to chase the bastards," he said.

"You've got to be tough on them."

The director said he was happy to spend $10,000 on legal fees to chase down a $2000 debt.

Mr Milicevic acknowledged spending thousands on legal fees was not an option for many smaller businesses.

"For the smaller subbies you've got to pay lawyers and it can be really tough," he said.

"They could be paying $15,000 for a $5000 debt.

"I feel sorry for them because there's not much they can do.

"They've got to make that process of getting paid more simple."

Mr Milicevic said the State Government must do more to protect sub-contractors from greedy builders.

"The system has to change to a degree," he said.

"It has to be regulated.

"How do you do it, I don't know."