Waratah says business as usual with ATO claim resolved

UPDATE: The Waratah Group says it is business as usual at its Melbourne commercial print business with an offer made to pay outstanding debts to the Australian Taxation Office.

The notice of application for winding up order was published on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission website this week with the case set to be heard in the Federal Court in Melbourne on May 3.

Waratah Group chief operations officer Brett Chalmers has told ProPrint it is business as usual at the large commercial printer with the business having been on the front foot with its suppliers and insurers. Chalmers confirmed contact had also been made with ATO lawyers Hunt and Hunt to pay the money in full but said the case would still be going ahead.
"It has to happen, it has to run its course," Chalmers told ProPrint.
"There was a slight anomaly in communications between accountants and a few people so we did miss the deadline but we can't do anything about that now as the wheels are set in motion so we go into court, we pay the money and it is done and dusted and we go on.
"We've contacted Hunt and Hunt to pay the money in full but dealing with them is not a quick process so we are waiting to hear back."
In a statementy also issued by Waratah Group said the issue was now resolved.
"Waratah Group acknowledge an outstanding bill with the ATO.  In conjunction with our solicitors the management of Waratah have been in discussions with the ATO to resolve the issue at hand.  We are pleased to report that the issue has been dealt with resulting in a positive outcome for both Waratah and the ATO. Business as usual at Waratah," the statement said.  
Lawyer Charles Bavin of Hunt and Hunt, representing the ATO, earlier Thursday confirmed the case would go ahead in court on May 3.

“They owed money to the tax office and that is why the winding up application has been commenced,” Bavin said.

“A winding up order may be made on that date, the matter may be adjourned or if the debt is dealt with it may be dismissed.”

Chalmers also confirmed the company is now looking to consolidate its three sites under one roof.

"We are working with the support of our landlord to relocate Waratah to more suitable location. The primary driver for the move is to consolidate all our services under the one roof.  We are committed to provide the best possible service to our clients at the most competitive market rates.  Unfortunately we cannot achieve this in Port Melbourne," the statement said.
"Waratah management has started the process of looking for suitable locations but have not decided on anything as yet.  There are many factors to consider, most importantly ensuring we can accommodate for our staff."
Last year the Waratah Group moved its mailing house business, Waratah Direct Communications into its main Port Melbourne premises from Preston, consolidating it with Waratah Digital and Commercial Brand Communications, under one roof.

Direct, formerly known as Data Direct, transferred all 20 odd staff and equipment over to the site.

Following the purchase of Data Direct, Waratah made significant investments in its kit, and is understood to have around 200 staff.


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