Failed Coast company director to front court

THE director of a failed Gold Coast company has been asked to explain why $600,000 was transferred from his day tour business to pay for personal loans.

According to Federal Court records Bernhard Weibel and wife Tamara Weibel have been ordered to appear in Brisbane on March 6 to face questions from liquidator Timothy Michael over withdrawals from the accounts of Scenic Hinterland Day Tours (SHDT), a company which operated tours to Springbrook National Park and other tourist spots.

Mr Michael told the Bulletin it would be alleged the $600,000 was used to pay Mr and Mrs Weibel's personal loans that arose from the purchase of hot air balloon company Balloons Aloft in 2015. SHDT went into liquidation in September, 2018.

Scenic Hinterland Day Tours, which trades as Scenic Day Tour Group, went into liquidation in 2018. Picture: Tim Marsden
Scenic Hinterland Day Tours, which trades as Scenic Day Tour Group, went into liquidation in 2018. Picture: Tim Marsden

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He alleges Mr and Mrs Weibel wanted to own Balloons Aloft in their own name and had SHDT pay for it from company funds.

He said the money would otherwise have been used to pay creditors to the business, which when it collapsed included the Australia Tax Office (owed $895,736), Capital Finance Australia (owed $11,724) and FlexiRent (owed $96,930).

SHDT ran day tours between Noosa Heads and Byron Bay and acquired Balloons Aloft in 2015 reportedly for $1.5 million.

According to the liquidator's report from December, 2018, close to $600,000 in payments between Mr Weibel, Proflex (the former owner of Balloons Aloft) and other individuals in 2017 and 2018 were loans owed by the director to the company.

Tamara and Bernhard Weibel are due to appear in Federal Court in Brisbane next month.
Tamara and Bernhard Weibel are due to appear in Federal Court in Brisbane next month.

Mr Weibel yesterday didn't return multiple calls from the Bulletin.

Public examinations of company collapses are very rare owing to the immense cost of bringing legal action.

In this case the action is being bankrolled by a litigation funder.

Mr Weibel has been summoned to appear today in the Federal Court in Brisbane for questioning on outstanding financial documents requested by Mr Michael for the examination.

Scenic Hinterland Day Tours operated tour groups to tourist spots including Springbrook National Park.
Scenic Hinterland Day Tours operated tour groups to tourist spots including Springbrook National Park.

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Mr Michael said there had been a "paucity" of documents so far delivered by Mr Weibel, including insurance policies, loans and other financial records.

SHDT had no cash in the bank and just $76.19 in receipts from a Transurban account credit when it failed in March, 2018. The company was placed into liquidation in 2018 following court action brought forward by the ATO.

It continues to trade under the name Scenic Day Tour Group, which was registered in 2008, and the former employees of SHDT have been moved to Scenic Hinterland Holdings (SHH), of which Mr Weibel is the sole director.

Mr Michael in a report to creditors last year said the company had failed due to poor financial record keeping, the company's funds being loaned to the director and related entities and the phoenixing of the company's assets and business to a related entity (SHH).

Mr Weibel denied the claims when contacted by the Bulletin last year.



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