Tiwi Islands – Northern Territory

Archive for July, 2009

Tiwi Forestry Disaster Needs Fed Govt to donate 80 MILLION!!!!???

Posted by tiwiccbb on July 16, 2009

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/07/16/2627980.htm

ABC News
16 July 2009

$80 million needed for Tiwi plantations: council

By Jane Bardon

The Tiwi Land Council has estimated it would need $80 million to make the forestry plantations on the Tiwi Islands viable following the collapse of Great Southern Plantations.

The 30,000 hectares of acacia trees on the islands are owned by Great Southern’s investors, and administrators are now managing the collapsed company’s assets.

The land council says no other companies have shown interest in taking the plantation over, and the land council would like to manage it.

But the land council’s Cyril Kalippa says he has asked the Federal Government for help because Great Southern’s account estimates show substantial money will need to be found to keep it going.

“We need about $80 million for the next three years – that’s for the wages and the things that we need to operate the forest.

“And also we need $40 million to extend the wharf or the jetty so that 50 tonne ships can come in and pick up the chip wood.”

Posted in buffer, Christine Milne, environment, Global initiative on Forests and Climate, Great Southern, Indigenous, Landclearing, Northern Territory, Tiwi Islands, Tiwi Red, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

July 2009 GSL’s John Young Accused – Tiwi Forests Sacrificed – For What…?

Posted by tiwiccbb on July 3, 2009

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/07/01/2613976.htm?section=business

Senate probes Great Southern collapse
Posted Wed Jul 1, 2009 4:05pm AEST
Updated Wed Jul 1, 2009 4:03pm AEST
A former board member of the defunct Great Southern Limited has told a Senate hearing that he resigned in 2005 because of serious concerns about the company’s lack of corporate disclosure.
The Perth-based company went into voluntary administration last month with $700 million of debt.
Jeff Mews resigned as a non-executive director of the rural funds manager in 2005, after a board meeting where he learnt that the company’s first plantation would not meet the predicted harvest yield.
Mr Mews also expressed concerns about director John Young’s decision to sell $32 million worth of shares before the forestry issues were disclosed to the board.
In the same letter, Mr Mews wrote that the company should disclose that it would make a loss on the first plantation harvest.
Former chairman Peter Patrikeos also resigned in 2005 because of concerns about corporate disclosure.
He told the hearing he was torn between his obligations to Great Southern shareholders and growers.

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http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Inquiry-hears-suggestions-of-insider-trading-at-Gr-pd20090702-TJN2X?opendocument&src=rss

3:17AM, 2 Jul 2009
Inquiry hears suggestions of insider trading at Great Southern
An inquiry into the collapse of Great Southern has brought up suggestions of insider trading against former chief executive John Young, management misleading auditors, and related-party benefits not being disclosed, according to The Australian Financial Review newspaper.
The evidence, revealed at a Senate inquiry, was given by former non-executive director Jeffrey Mews, who accused Mr Young of withholding market-sensitive information from investors and the board.
The paper said Mr Mew testified that Great Southern failed to disclose losses from its 1994 forestry project that were known to management when Mr Young sold his shares as part of a capital raising by the company.
Receivers were appointed to the timber plantation and cattle project manager in mid-May after the group’s banks declined to support its restructuring plans.
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http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25594836-601,00.html

Director John Young in Great Southern debt deal
Adele Ferguson and Anthony Klan | June 06, 2009
Article from: The Australian

THE founder and former managing director of the failed $3billion Great Southern agribusiness empire could make millions of dollars from a deal completed weeks before the company was placed into administration.

The Weekend Australian can reveal that John Young, a current director of Great Southern, and his wife Sheila funded a $2 shelf company that purchased a book of loans with a face value of $25million from the group for $9million.

As part of its continuous disclosure obligations, Great Southern informed the ASX on April 8 that it had sold the loans, which had changed hands at a 62 per cent discount to face value.

It would have been more transparent for shareholders had the company revealed in the announcement the identity of the purchaser of the loans or the entity providing finance to the purchaser.

Documents obtained by The Weekend Australian reveal that a $2 shelf company called Javelin Asset Management Pty Ltd was assigned the loans on March 31, the day the company was registered. The directors of Javelin are Robert Charles Gould and Mark Drewett Kendrew, who hold the two $1 shares issued by the company.

On the day Javelin was registered as a company, a fixed and floating charge securing a prospective amount of $10million was lodged over its assets, in favour of a company called JSJA Holdings Pty Ltd, the shares in which are owned by Mr Young and his wife. The charge documents secure a convertible loan agreement between Javelin and JSJA. Such agreements customarily enable all or part of the loan to be converted into shares in the borrower at the option of the lender.

As revealed by The Australian, Mr Young, who founded Great Southern in 1991, was paid a $2.013million “retirement benefit” when he stood down as managing director in February last year. In the year to September, Great Southern reported a $63.8million net loss, a 15 per cent drop in revenue and a 24 per cent fall in managed investment sales to $444million.

The company was swept into receivership last month owing 43,000 mum and dad investors more than $2billion. Mr Young floated Great Southern in 1999 at about $2 a share. Those shares reached $5 in 2005.

The fortunes of Mr Young, an accountant, peaked in 2006 at $200million, according to BRW’s Rich 200 list.

Javelin’s Mr Gould refused to comment on whether his company had purchased the $9million of Great Southern debts, or who had financed the deal. Mr Gould also refused to comment on any involvement by Mr Young, or to say whether he knew Mr Young.

“I have no comment to make,” Mr Gould said. “We make no comment about the affairs of the people we deal with. We work for all sorts of people.”

Mr Gould joked that the phone calls he had been getting from journalists were reminiscent of State of Play , the new film starring Russell Crowe, who plays an investigative journalist.

“It’s a great movie,” he said.

A website indicates that Javelin Partners is a private equity company. It says Mr Gould and Mr Kendrew are chartered accountants.

“Javelin Partners conducts all engagements under strict confidentiality arrangements,” the website says.

The phone number listed on the site is disconnected.

Mr Kendrew did not return calls to his mobile phone.

Repeated attempts to contact Mr Young were unsuccessful.

Great Southern director Mervyn Peacock declined to comment when contacted by The Weekend Australian yesterday.

“I can’t comment,” Mr Peacock said. “You are going to have to direct any questions to the company.”

Deloitte confirmed that it organised the sale of the deeply discounted debts to Javelin. It is understood Deloitte was aware of the link between Great Southern director Mr Young and the purchaser of the discounted debts, Javelin.

Javelin wrote a letter to Great Southern investors on May 6, the day before Great Southern went into a trading halt, informing the agribusiness empire that it had to pay its loans to Javelin.

If the investors pay these loans in full, the scheme that involves the purchase of the loans at 38c in the dollar will result in a profit of more than $15 million to Javelin.

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http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=3&ContentID=142993

Great Southern bosses harvested nearly $44m
21st May 2009, 6:00 WST

Great Southern’s bosses have pocketed nearly $44 million since the failed company’s 1999 float.

The company’s annual reports show its top executives — initially classified as those paid more than $100,000 a year — received close to $44 million in base salary, bonuses and scrip in the 10 financial years to September 30 last year.

Aggregate executive pay for the 1998-99 year was just $550,000, but pay levels rose as the company expanded its management team and ramped up its business.

The past five years were particularly lucrative, with combined executive payments totalling $34.7 million as Great Southern sold $1.8 billion of MIS products.

The executive team, made up of executive directors and specified senior managers, peaked at 10 last year when they shared $5.7 million, down from a record $9.3 million in 2006.

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the company’s rapid-fire expansion was co-founder John Young, who established Great Southern with microbiologist Helen Sewell in 1987.

Mr Young took home less than $180,000 in 1999 but the pay packet rose to $586,099 in 2002 and then skyrocketed to $2.4 million in 2004 with the help of a $1.4 million bonus.

However, Mr Young has lost out on his 8 per cent shareholding in the company, which is worthless in the wake of Great Southern’s collapse at the weekend.

His shareholding was valued at $249 million when the group’s shares peaked in March 2005.

The company’s fall comes despite the impressive credentials of Great Southern’s seven-member board, which boasted well-known corporate players with backgrounds spanning investment banking, funds management, superannuation, taxation and law.

Mr Young stepped down as chief executive in February last year after holding the top job for 20 years but retained a non-executive directorship.

His replacement, long-time executive director Cameron Rhodes, is a former director of Pricewaterhouse-Coopers’ business services division, while Phillip Butlin — the other executive on the board — helped float Great Southern while with Macquarie Bank.

Chairman David Griffiths is also a former divisional director of Macquarie, Alice McCleary is a member of the Takeovers Panel and Merv Peacock is a former investment officer at AMP Capital and a one-time member of the Australian Stock Exchange’s corporate governance committee.

Former Freehills Perth managing partner and one-time West Australian Newspapers chairman Peter Mansell rounds out the board.

Mr Mansell is also a director of the cash-strapped base metals miner, OZ Minerals, which is being taken over by Chinese group Minmetals.

RACHEL DONKIN

Posted in Christine Milne, environment, Global initiative on Forests and Climate, Great Southern, Indigenous, Landclearing, Northern Territory, Rudd, Tiwi Islands, Tiwi Red | 2 Comments »