South Australian Family First senator Bob Day has confirmed he is leaving the Senate as his building company goes into liquidation.
Senator Day has confirmed his departure is related to his troubled building company, Home Australia.
Senator Day told the ABC that “it has been a privilege, but would be untenable to stay in parliament”.
“I will start again and repay all debts,” he said.
Home Australia was placed into liquidation on Monday with more than 200 homes in five states still under construction.
All construction has ceased.
It is understood the group has been in financial trouble for some time – financial reports published by the company show it recorded losses of $1.2 million in 2013 and $3 million in 2014.
In a letter to Home Australia staff, Senator Day apologised for causing “pain, stress and suffering”.
“As I have always agreed to sign personal guarantees to creditors, this closure also has serious implications for me and my family,” he said.
“Creditor liabilities greatly exceed our assets, so we will also lose our family home.”
Full statement that was sent to the Australian newspaper regarding their Home Australia stories. I stepped back in to help out. pic.twitter.com/cFhzNZ54wY
— Bob Day (@senatorbobday) September 28, 2016
Home Australia’s liquidator McGrathNicol said its main priority was making sure construction would be completed on all properties by other builders.
In a statement, McGrathNicol encouraged Home Australia customers to contact their insurer.
“In cases where no insurance certificate has been issued, customers may have a claim against the relevant Home Australia entity which they contracted with,” the company said.
Section 44 of the Constitution disqualifies anyone who is bankrupt or insolvent from serving as a Senator or Member of the Parliament.
Senator Day further stated that one of his mistakes was “going into politics without putting in place a proper management structure for the business”.
Last month, Senator Day stated that he had been “personally seeking solutions” to the company’s problems.
“When I became a senator, I left the building business,” he said.
“I only stepped back in to help after others’ poor management decisions affected some customers and suppliers”.
Senator Day, who was re-elected to a three year term in July, was given a leave of absence last week “for personal reasons”.
Family First’s national branch will meet in coming days to select a successor, and the appointment will then be ticked off by South Australia’s Parliament.
The ABC has been told Senator Day’s chief of staff Rikki Lambert will nominate for the vacancy, and he has Senator Day’s blessing.