Axe falls on debt-ridden Roadmaster Interstate


A broke and debt-ridden Roadmaster Interstate will be liquidated, owing thousands of dollars to trucking operators

Axe falls on debt-ridden Roadmaster Interstate
Axe falls on debt-ridden Roadmaster Interstate

By Brad Gardner | April 29, 2011

A broke and debt-ridden Roadmaster Interstate has been forced into liquidation, owing trucking operators and a host of other businesses thousands of dollars.

The Supreme Court of Victoria has appointed PPB Advisory to dissolve the refrigerated freight transporter, which is a subsidiary of the Roadmaster brand, after Melbourne-based firm Frew Melton petitioned to wind it up.

Vehicle manufacturer Volvo has already moved in to repossess more than $900,000 worth of equipment, as documents obtained by ATN reveal a litany of unpaid bills and a company with no realisable value.

A report by BRI Ferrier, which was appointed administrator last month, says Roadmaster Interstate owes $726,034 to unsecured creditors.

The list of those chasing money from the failed company includes Don Watson Transport, Big Fresh Logistics, Andrew’s Refrigerated Transport, McAlpine Freightlines, Fleetworx, Ryans Refrigerated Transport and Telstra.

SupplyChain Review's sister title ATN has made repeated attempts to seek comment from Roadmaster, while BRI Ferrier has not yet responded to a request for an interview.

PPB Advisory could not comment when contacted by ATN, with communications manager Lyn O’Dwyer saying: "We’ve just started our investigation.".

The BRI Ferrier report, prepared by BRI Director Andrew Cummins, points to an asset shortfall of more than $36,000 due to an inability to recover outstanding funds from trade debtor Bibby Financial.

Cummins’ report says Big Fresh Logistics is owed $68,114.62, with Andrew’s Refrigerated Transport chasing $31,386.50.

Frew Melton is owed more than $28,000, while Queensland-based McAlpine Freightlines has been left out of pocket to the tune of $34,378.30.

Roadmaster has an outstanding bill of $48,236.09 to Fleetworx. Although significantly less, Ryans Refrigerated Transport and Don Watson Transport are owed $8,744.51 and $5,695.38 respectively.

Roadmaster Interstate was listed as a separate division under Roadmaster as part of the company’s plans to break into three different trading entities.

According to its website, Roadmaster Interstate operated services into all capital cities, with Roadmaster Contracts focused on specific customer requirements and Roadmaster Canberra delivering goods to the nation’s capital from Sydney and Melbourne.

UNSECURED CREDITORS UNLIKELY TO SEE A CENT
Sub-contractor Azzopardi Transport is listed as being owed $1,310, but has contested the figure.

Kylie Azzopardi, who runs the company’s finances, claims Roadmaster Interstate has a debt of $27,000 to the family-owned business.

Azzopardi Transport brought in debt collector Independent Recovery Services to recover the funds. Associate Clinton Rawstorn says the firm spent three months chasing Roadmaster to no avail.

"Once a company’s liquidated you can’t pursue the matter any further. The likelihood of recovering any funds is minimal," he says.

Azzopardi Transport owner Paul Azzopardi says he spent seven years as a sub-contractor to the Roadmaster brand, but decided to leave at the end of 2010 because he was not being paid correctly.

"Just before Christmas they were mucking around with their pays," he says.

"I chased them up a few times and nothing happened."

Kylie Azzopardi says the company is owed about seven and a half weeks worth of wages, which Rawstorn says Roadmaster has continually disputed.

"What they’re doing, it’s morally wrong. You can’t expect people to work 60, 70, 80 hours a week for you and at the end of the day not pay. That’s what they’ve done," Kylie says.

"It just doesn’t seem right."

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook