Genuine Print denies any debt to liquidated Waratah Group
Genuine Print Pty Ltd, a suburban printer in Oakleigh, Melbourne, will appear in the Supreme Court of Victoria (audio/video link) on March 16 for a hearing into a liquidation claim filed on behalf of the liquidators of the Waratah Group, by the firm of city lawyers Dimos Avocats. Wideformat Online spoke with Genine Thornton, owner of Genuine Print.
|Oakleigh printer Vic Genuine Print employs about five people.|
“We don’t owe them anything,” says Genine Thornton, owner of Genuine Print Pty Ltd, “It’s possible that Waratah owes us money because we traded on a quid pro quo basis. It’s slow to follow.”
|Genine Thornton, Owner, Genuine Print|
We have reported on aspects of Waratah’s liquidation HERE. Improper billing has also been claimed by Australia Post, St Vincents Hospital, Spotlight Group and World Vision, with disputed payments to liquidator Shane Deane of Dye & Company Pty Ltd.
Pursuing a small “soft target” to collect disputed debts tends to have an air of unfairness, even intimidation about it. It would also seem ill-advised since, according to Genine Thornton, her company is solvent. Liquidation orders cannot be enforced against a solvent company – it becomes a disputed debt and payment is normally sought by legal demand. If a legal claim is ignored or uncancelled for more than 21 days, a “presumption of insolvency” can be made, but if solvency is later proven, it can revert to normal debt collection protocols.
Sam Chizik, member of the Victorian Bar of Svenson Barristers, wrote: “At the hearing of the winding up application, the court has broad discretion to make any order it deems appropriate, including the power to adjourn or suspend the winding up application in order to
allow any debt dispute to be decided in separate proceedings. It can also reject the request, even if the presumed insolvency has been proven. The outcome of the hearing depends primarily on the solvency of the company.”
Waratah Group (in liquidation) owes large sums to many other printers, ATO, staff, utilities etc. Even Geon’s unsecured creditors amounted to
|Liquidator Shane Deane|
$16 million, plus about $20 million in employee entitlements that were primarily covered by FEGS. The appalling management of the Warath Group’s finances has already led to the demise of other small businesses that owed unrecoverable money. Liquidator Shane Deane has said publicly that unsecured creditors are “unlikely to see a return”. Liquidators are compelled to try to recover as much as they can from the debtors of failing businesses – so creditors can get pennies on the dollar but, if no return is likely by Deane’s own admission – why s ‘bother ? And what about disputed and potentially false invoices?
Now they are trying to liquidate a small suburban print shop which claims nothing is due and whose owner is also active in charities helping Melbourne’s homeless. Although this may be a legal right, the circumstances indicate that further inspection may be required.
The liquidation request, hearing date and contacts can be viewed HERE
Dimos’ attorneys have been contacted for comment.