Walton decision looms for ASIC

A BID by the Australian corporate watchdog to dismiss the liquidators of failed construction company Walton is now in the hands of three Federal Court judges.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission on Monday appealed an earlier court decision this year to reject its bid to have liquidator PKF Lawler dismissed because of a perceived conflict of interest.

ASIC claims the liquidator failed to properly inform creditors it had been referred a substantial amount of work by Walton's business advisor the Mawson Group.

Subcontract creditors are also concerned that the liquidator failed to act to secure access to Walton records before they passed into the hand of Peloton (Tantallon) in Queensland and Lewton Asset Services in Victoria.

The two companies, both of which have Mawson executives as their directors, were set up in the months before Walton collapsed, to take control of its profitable projects.

In Queensland Walton's assets transferred to Peloton (Tantallon) which started operating from Walton's 190 Montpelier Road, Bowen Hills, premises leased from LNP fundraiser Altum Pty Ltd immediately the construction giant was placed in administration.

Walton went broke owing $69m including nearly $30m to Queensland subcontractors.

Walton Subcontractor Alliance spokesman Les Williams, whose company WK Civil is one of several Sunshine Coast subcontractors who lost a combined $2.9m on the Nambour Coles project, has also been concerned about the liquidator's failure to answer questions and provide detail about its progress.

The Queensland Government has provided money to fund a public examination of all those involved in events preceding Walton going into administration and subsequently liquidation.

That process is expected to begin as soon as Judges Jessup, Robertson and White deliver a judgment on the appeal. If the appeal is upheld some time may lapse before a replacement liquidator is brought up-to-date with all matters relating to the collapse.

Topics:  asic federal court walton construction

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