14 March 2024

Griffith freight business wound up in insolvency, alleged to owe ATO $850,000

| Oliver Jacques
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Dunfast Pty Ltd has been wound up. Photo: Frogman1484.

Transport business Dunfast Pty Ltd, which trades under the name Griffith Fast Freight, was wound up in insolvency by the Federal Court on Friday (8 March), ending a decade in operation.

According to court documents obtained by Region, the wind up motion was lauched by the Australian Tax Office (ATO), who alleged it was owed $859,713.32.

On 21 September 2023, ATO official Chris Anderson wrote to Dunfast Pty Ltd demanding payment of this money.

“I believe there is no genuine dispute about the existence or amount of any of the debts,” he wrote.

READ ALSO Griffith winery Warburn seeks delay in court battle with billionaire’s packaging empire over allegedly defective bottles

According to his description of the debt, $473,713.86 of the alleged amount owed was under Business Activity Statement (BAS) provisions such as GST, Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding provisions and instalment provisions, the fringe benefit tax instalment provisions, administrative penalties, and general interest charges.

The remaining amount allegedly owed related to Superannuation Guarantee charges.

On 16 January 2024, the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation filed its insolvency application to the Federal Court, alleging Griffith Fast Freight did not comply with its statutory demand for payment.

Under Australian law, an organisation can apply to a court to wind up another company that owes it money and fails to pay after it issues a statutory demand for payment.

A business that is forced to wind up in insolvency ceases its operations while an appointed liquidator sells the company’s assets, with proceeds from the sales (if any) going to those owed money.

On Friday, Judicial Registrar Timothy Luxton ruled that Dunfast Pty Ltd be wound up in insolvency and that Henry McKenna be its appointed liquidator.

According to documents filed with the federal business regulator, Griffith Fast Freight had been in operation since 2014. It’s understood the company primarily provided freight services between Wagga and Griffith.

Region has exclusively reported on two other Griffith businesses to have collapsed due to alleged tax debts in recent times.

The winery Sans Pareil Estate went into liquidation in October 2022 and allegedly owes the ATO $32 million.

READ ALSO Griffith winemaker’s multi-million dollar ‘personal’ expenses scrutinised in liquidation hearing

The former owner of the Zambrero Griffith restaurant was sued by the ATO and wound up in insolvency with an alleged debt of $133,936.72 in June 2023. A new franchisee took over the store in December 2023 and the fast-food chain remains open.

Longstanding winery Warburn Estate has also faced wind up court action, though not due to tax debts. Global bottle maker Orora Group alleges the Griffith company owes it just over $1 million, a claim disputed by Warburn.

Original Article published by Oliver Jacques on Region Riverina.

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