In Changing Times by Clyde Mooney

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A well-known Ballarat pub has closed its doors again, after a second tenant, connected with the first, has had liquidators take over.

The Royal Mail was operated by Royal Mail Hotel (Ballarat) Pty Ltd under a vendor finance agreement, until default on the agreement saw the company wound up around October 2015, the landlord believed to be owed around $130,000.

ASIC reported debts to the Australian Tax Office of $256,000, ‘Nominees’ $130,000 and Origin Energy $2112. PPB Advisory was eventually appointed to manage the affairs and creditors of the company, which listed John Damien Burns as director and secretary.

In November 2015 the operation business was taken on by RMH Sebastopol, boasting a “new six-year lease” purchased for $1.05 million.

But less than three years in, the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation has filed an application to wind up the business, and this week 11 staff and two managers were called in to the venue to be told they no longer had jobs and that the 1924 pub would be closing.

Potential buyers of the business were reportedly present, hearing sale could not proceed due to outstanding debt.

Some staff told The Courier they fear superannuation has not been paid, and suspect income taxes have not been properly managed.

And further clouding the picture, RMH Sebastapol lists Tanya Melanie Farrell as director and secretary. Farrell is partner to Burns, director of the defunct RMH Ballarat P/L, and also director and secretary of Opulance live music venue, also in Ballarat, which she operates.

Stakeholders are eagerly investigating the inter-connections and debt liabilities. Further news as it emerges.

Royal Mail Hotel Ballarat