Home NewsAustralia Embattled Kimberley prawn farm project faces multi-million-dollar stumbling block as workers fight for payout

Embattled Kimberley prawn farm project faces multi-million-dollar stumbling block as workers fight for payout

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Embattled Kimberley prawn farm project faces multi-million-dollar stumbling block as workers fight for payout

Reignited plans to construct one of many world’s largest prawn farms on a distant Northern Territory cattle station has been disrupted by a federal courtroom case.

A fee dispute between Seafarms, the embattled mother or father firm of the formidable $2 billion prawn farming venture Project Sea Dragon, and Canstruct, the contractor that managed works on the prawn grow-out facility has turn into the newest stumbling block for the ASX-listed firm.

Venture Sea Dragon entered voluntary administration in February following an order from the Royal Establishment of Chartered Surveyors to pay the contractor $13.9 million of unpaid charges.

A month later, Seafarms introduced a transfer that may restrict the quantity it might pay Canstruct to about 10 per cent of what it believes it’s owed.

The Federal Court docket has since granted an injunction on the transfer till it will possibly make a ruling on the case.

The farm intends to breed black tiger prawns.()

The proposed Venture Sea Dragon, which might have resulted in 100,000 tonnes of black tiger prawns being produced, is because of face courtroom subsequent month following the federal courtroom order to halt the corporate from distributing funds.

Thousands and thousands of {dollars} of presidency cash has been put into supporting Project Sea Dragon, significantly on surrounding roads.

The federal authorities contributed $63 million on close by street infrastructure, whereas the NT authorities spent $56 million and the WA authorities allotted $15 million.

Turbulent begin to the 12 months

Canstruct chief govt Damien Cavanagh mentioned venture Sea Dragon entered administration, saying that Seafarms had withdrawn funding for the prawn venture at Legune Station, which is at odds with the corporate’s newest push to forge forward.

A month later, Seafarms director Harley Whitcombe mentioned in a press release to the ASX {that a} deed fund contribution of $3.5 million was to be made by the PSD’s mother or father, Seafarms Group, to pay out collectors in a Deed of Firm Settlement (DOCA).

“[Seafarms] has been suggested that the DOCA discharges the claims towards Venture Sea Dragon by Canstruct,” Seafarms director Harley Whitcombe mentioned within the ASX announcement.

“[Under that DOCA] Canstruct would solely obtain about 10 per cent of the quantity it’s owed,” Mr Cavanagh mentioned.

Seafarms’ plan to proceed Venture Sea Dragon

On March 24, in an ASX letter, Seafarms introduced that, “because of entry into the DOCA, management of Venture Sea Dragon has now returned to the administrators.”

“The administrators count on that [Seafarm] operations will now return to regular and they’re going to proceed to evaluate advancing Venture Sea Dragon together with interim funding.”

The proposed prawn processing plant at Kununurra was attributable to make use of round 120 individuals throughout stage 1 of Venture Sea Dragon.()

On March 27, Seafarms Group Restricted (SFG) recommenced buying and selling on the ASX.

However the expectation of returning to regular was quick lived, lower than two weeks later Venture Sea Dragon was served with federal courtroom proceedings by Canstruct, looking for a termination of the DOCA and a liquidator to be appointed to the corporate.

The next week noticed the primary Venture Sea Dragon director resignations for the reason that announcement of voluntary administration in February, as Hisami Saka and Terutaka Kuraishi stepped down.

The place to subsequent?

On Might 3 the Federal Court docket granted an injunction that restrains Venture Sea Dragon from distributing the $3.5 million deed fund to its collectors till it lastly guidelines on whether or not the DOCA needs to be terminated or not.

“Venture Sea Dragon is looking for authorized recommendation in relation to the proceedings and intends to vigorously defend the proceedings,” the corporate mentioned in an ASX announcement.

Seafarms selected not to reply to the ABC’s questions, stating the “matter is topic to courtroom willpower and as a consequence it might be inappropriate to remark.”

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