Bluejays loses in court over records for liquidator

Documents relating to dozens of vehicle at centre Supreme Court action

Bluejays loses in court over records for liquidator
Applications were heard in the Supreme Court of Queensland


A fleet-operator director’s application to overturn an order to supply books and records to a liquidator fails in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Justice Helen Bowskill finds against Bluejays Removals & Storage and its director in a recent decision related to nearly 30 vehicles of the removalist, storage and transport business.

Sole company director Malcolm Barry Chicken was ordered in a July hearing to supply company books and records along with a fleet of 29 vehicles and "any other asset requested by" the liquidator.

The earlier hearing had gone unattended, with the director saying he had been truck-driving at the time in regional Queensland and had been unaware.

But the court rejects the director’s argument that his being "not proficient" in the use of attachments to text messages and his poor computer ability was reason enough for his failure to attend the earlier hearing, given that he had not denied he had received a text message.

"A reasonable person in his position – namely, a director of a company in liquidation, owing the obligations under s530A off the Corporations Act and aware of the fact the liquidator had been chasing him to provide information so that the liquidator could do his job properly – would have inquired further about that message, even if he could not open the attachment to the text message," justice Bowskill states. 

Read how a truck fall led to convictions of a company and director, here

Also rejected were arguments as to whether all the records should be surrendered when some were already in the liquidator’s hands and some of the vehicles had already been auctioned off.

In the end, two further archive boxes of books and records were found under pressure of a court order.

"On the evidence, the liquidator had a sound and rational basis for forming the view that a considerable number of vehicles, not disclosed to him by the respondent, were, or at least appeared to be, the property of the company," the finding reads.

"The respondent was asked to provide information in relation to those vehicles, prior to the originating application being filed. He did not do so.

"It seems the first time the respondent properly engaged with the liquidator’s request in that regard was after the orders of 16 July 2020 had been made; which supports the appropriateness of seeking them."

A slightly complicating matter was the liquidator’s mistaken inclusion of three vehicles but the judge amended the error.

Costs are yet to be determined.


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