A MYSTERY SYNDICATE – Including a former Politician – STUMP UP $1M IN UNPAID SUPER TO STAFF

HOW about this … the Robb Family business being sold off having owed the ATO $860,000

… AND now it’s been revealed many staff also underpaid … and still owed?

Were 457 Visa workers employed because they won’t complain?

Former Liberal minister Andrew Robb helped buy out his daughter and her husband Andrew’s cafe and pub empire as part of the mystery syndicate.

Boathouse Group stump up $1m in unpaid superannuation to staff

Troubled cafe and pub empire Boathouse Group has stumped up $1 million in unpaid superannuation to employees at its seaside eateries. It comes after a former staff member raised concerns about unpaid entitlements.

Clarissa Bye and Danielle Gusmaroli, The Daily Telegraph

August 2, 2019

Andrew and Pip Goldsmith were forced to give up their dining empire.
Andrew and Pip Goldsmith were forced to give up their dining empire.

Exclusive: The beleaguered Boathouse Group has dramatically stumped up more than $1 million in unpaid superannuation to staff in the past 48 hours.

The chain of eight ritzy ocean-side eateries stretching from Mosman to the Central Coast has just been sold, amid a sea of tax debt.

The new owners, a family syndicate including property developer brothers from the Isaac family promised it would be “business as usual” and insisted all entitlements were up to date and would be “paid in full”.

Former federal minister Andrew Robb was part of a syndicate which bought the group. Picture: David Crosling
Former federal minister Andrew Robb was part of a syndicate which bought the group. Picture: David Crosling

A former employee had flagged concerns about unpaid superannuation, advising former and current hospitality staff to check their details when filing their tax returns.

One former chef said when he visited his tax accountant, he was told he was not paid the correct amount of superannuation by the former owners, run by Spring Sands Pty Ltd.

But a Hostplus spokesman today told The Daily Telegraph payments had been made.

“I can confirm that Boathouse Group have recently made a payment of superannuation monies to Hostplus members,” the spokesman said.

The industry super fund for hospitality workers Hostplus urged members to contact them.

“Hostplus is happy to provide assistance to any Boathouse Group employees who believe they still haven’t received their superannuation entitlements.”

“If any Hostplus member has any concerns they should contact our call centre,” a spokesman said.

The Australian Taxation Office has commenced legal proceedings against Spring Sands in the Federal Court, for unpaid BAS debts of more than $860,000.

BAS statements or business activity statements, normally include GST and PAYG taxes that companies owe to the Federal Government.

The newly renovated Patonga Boathouse Hotel.
The newly renovated Patonga Boathouse Hotel.

*It comes as The Daily Telegraph revealed former Liberal minister Andrew Robb helped buy out his daughter Pip Goldsmith and her husband Andrew’s cafe and pub empire as part of the mystery syndicate.

Apart from Mr Robb and his wife Maureen, the other buyers in Palm Group Holdings, the syndicate which bought out the eight up-market beachside eateries, include Sydney property developer brothers Ben and Jono Isaac, their mum Ann, and two accountants.

*Mr Robb, and his wife were previously part-owners of the restaurant chain.

*Court documents revealed the Australian Taxation Office has asked the Federal Court to wind up their company “on grounds of insolvency” over the debt, accrued from unpaid BAS, or business activity statements. These payments, which would normally include GST and PAYG taxes, are owed to the government.

New owner Ben Isaac said the tax debt remained with the previous owners, and pledged to customers that it was “business as usual”, with Mr and Ms Goldsmith continuing to run the eateries’ day-to-day operations.

In a statement, the Isaac family said all employees had been offered positions in the new company on the same terms as their existing contracts, with all wages and super “up to date”.

“Our family live locally, we have enjoyed the Boathouse venues over the years and we wanted to ensure the community continued to experience what the Boathouse offered,” Jono Isaac said.

Isaac Property Developments has a history of building more than 100 large shopping centres across Australia, including petrol stations, 90 Coles shopping centres, Kmarts and Oporto stores and Lithgow’s Hungry Jacks.

Mr and Mrs Goldsmith would not answer questions about how the tax debt was accrued.

Neither did Mr Robb, who bought a Cremorne house for almost $4 million a year ago.

The Boathouse, Governor Phillip Park, Palm Beach for Signature Dish.
The Boathouse, Governor Phillip Park, Palm Beach for Signature Dish.
The Boathouse, Governor Phillip Park Palm Beach.
The Boathouse, Governor Phillip Park Palm Beach.

The Goldsmiths have previously stated a “simple administrative” error of failing to redirect mail had led to an earlier misunderstanding with the tax office and they had missed the notifications.

“Andrew is the hardest working restaurateur I know, up at 5am and working until midnight every day,” family friend Harold Scruby said.

“He’s generous to a fault, he’d give away to his friends and people who’d book weddings and special occasions at the restaurants — perhaps that was the problem, creative geniuses rarely have the same business genius.”

Ben Isaac.
Ben Isaac.
Jono Isaac.
Jono Isaac.

Mr Goldsmith, who studied horticulture and landscape design at TAFE but launched his first business, The Point Deli at age 21, became the face of the brand.

Mrs Goldsmith, a successful interior designer, took a quieter role recently working from home while caring for their children.

According to business searches, the Boathouse Group’s original company Spring Sands sold its share to Palm Group Holdings on July 23. Palm Group was created on June 11.

The Boathouse Group has released a statement addressing the $1 million super payment.

“From the outset the Boathouse Group has been determined to ensure that all of the staff superannuation and entitlements are fully met and up-to-date and despite the difficulties faced by the Group we are proud to have achieved that objective,” it said.

“In regards to the tax office, there is a legal process in train and we will comply with the outcome of that process.”

The Boathouse, Governor Phillip Park, Palm Beach for Signature Dish.

SOURCE: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/jobs-secured-as-sinking-boathouse-group-snapped-up/news-story/2c2629a4d57a5efe961bb566849ad8d2

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