THREE Bendigo businesses associated with prominent Bendigo hospitality identity Paul Moran and his family have been placed in voluntary liquidation.
The Green Olive Pty Ltd, Bath Lane Café Pty Ltd and Café Au Lait (Vic) Pty Ltd were placed in liquidation on Thursday, March 22 after a series of back to back meetings urgently convened to consider their respective futures.
Yesterday, Bath Lane Café and The Green Olive continued to trade, and the Bendigo Weekly wishes to highlight, Bath Lane Café and its current owners are not associated with Bath Lane Café Pty Ltd, or the decision to wind up the latter entity.
The Green Olive also continues to trade, and the Weekly also stresses, this business is not related to the entity now in voluntary liquidation.
A sign on the door of Finders Keepers, the Mitchell Street premises once known as Café Au Lait under Mr Moran’s ownership, advises customers that the business is closed until further notice.
The Bendigo Weekly also wishes to highlight that this business is not related to Café Au Lait (Vic) Pty Ltd, now under external administration.
Paperwork lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in support of the application for the voluntary winding up of The Green Olive Pty Ltd and Bath Lane Café Pty Ltd includes details of separate special meetings of members, held at the Nathalia District Hospital and Banawah Nursing Home in Nathalia last Thursday.
It’s understood the Green Olive Pty Ltd’s sole director, Gillian Claire Brown, is a 76-year-old resident of the nursing home. The sole shareholder of the company is listed as Helen Louise Moran, her daughter, and Mr Moran’s sister.
Ms Brown is also listed as the sole shareholder and director of the Bath Lane Café Pty Ltd.
Mr Moran was this week named by the ABC as having allegedly failed to pay superannuation entitlements for some of his staff, who claimed he told them he had allocated funds to a building development he was associated with, located on Marong Road.
The general meeting of members of The Green Olive Pty Ltd considered a waiver of the statutory notice period for the calling of a members’ meeting, as required under the Corporations Act 2001, which was agreed to, before Ms Moran informed the Green Olive meeting of concerns about the company’s solvency “which required immediate discussion and resolution by the members.”
It was then agreed to place the business into voluntary liquidation.
According to the ASIC documents, another meeting was convened at 12pm, regarding Bath Lane Café Pty Ltd and similar concerns for that company’s solvency.
Sandwiched between these two meetings, Café Au Lait (Vic) Pty Ltd sole shareholder Paul Moran attended a general meeting of shareholders where he was the only attendee. Just as was the case with the meetings at 11am and 12 pm, a resolution to appoint
Richard Rohrt, of the firm Hamilton Murphy, located at 237 Swan Street, Richmond, as liquidator, was accepted.
The cafés, located at 11 Bath Lane, 13 Bath Lane and 20 Mitchell Street Bendigo, in the heart of Bendigo’s bustling care precinct, were sold by former owner, Paul Moran in 2014. Shortly after this, Mr Moran placed the three businesses his group of hospitality venues were associated with, into liquidation.
The businesses owed more than $200,000 to creditors, and consultants JP Downey and Co were subsequently appointed liquidator for Moran Investments Group Pty Ltd, Moran Hospitality & Leisure Pty Ltd and Morcorp Cartel Pty Ltd.
The companies traded as Bath Lane Cafe, Cafe Au Lait and Green Olive Café, and the Australian Tax Office was noted as the largest creditor.
In February this year, Mr Moran applied to the City of Greater Bendigo for a permit to utilise the property at 158 Condon Street, Kennington for the sale of consumption of liquor, and council records show the application was approved on March 15. This is also the site of the former Hashtag bar operated by Corey Scoble, which closed in late 2016.
Mr Moran yesterday said he looked forward to the opportunity to “reinvigorate such a fantastic venue”.
He also hit out at the City of Greater Bendigo for a perceived decline in the Bendigo CBD general amenity, an explosion in the number of cafes in the past few years, and the anti-social behaviour problems associated with the Hargreaves Mall seen as impacting on city traders.
On March 22, an application was lodged with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation to transfer the licence held by the Green Olive Café at 11 Bath Lane, to Morcorp Holdings Pty Ltd. Mr Moran is also a director of this company, whose principal place of business is listed as being at Avonmore.
On the same day, the authority received an application for a restaurant and café licence at the Condon Street premises. That application was made by Optima Appointments Pty Ltd, a company also operated by Mr Moran, who is listed as the sole director.
The application for the former Hashtag site shows the new café and bar to be operated by Mr Moran will be known as Solsbury Hill.
Solsbury Hill is the name of former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel’s breakout 1977 single, and has been described by Billboard magazine as a story of personal epiphany, of hard decision making, and of breaking free. – Peter Kennedy