Luxury golf club in the hole: ATO launches legal action

Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club at Luddenham. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has commenced legal proceedings against Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club, claiming the facility is insolvent, as it owes close to $2.5 million in debts.

The troubled club at Luddenham faces a hearing in the Federal Court of Australia in February, after the ATO filed an application claiming that it should be placed in liquidation, while stating that the company that runs the club should be wound up.

Court documents obtained by the Weekender show that Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club Limited owes the ATO a total of $2,495,752.13.

Over $1.5 million of the debt is made up by goods and services tax (GST), income tax and fringe benefits tax instalment provisions.

Close to $1 million is also owed for superannuation guarantee charges, along with interest and penalties for late payment of retirement contributions for workers which go back as far as 2017.

A statutory demand was served on the club in August, stating that the creditor required the company to comply with the requirements within the statutory period.

“To pay to the creditor the total of the amounts of the debts; or to secure or compound for the total of the amounts of the debts, to the creditor’s reasonable satisfaction,” the document said.

“The creditor may rely on a failure to comply with this demand within the period for compliance set out in subsection 459F(2) as grounds for an application to a court having jurisdiction under the Corporations Act 2001 for the winding up of the company.”

This application was then made stating: “The Defendant failed to pay the amount of the debt demanded or to secure or compound for that amount to the Plaintiff’s reasonable satisfaction within 21 days after the demand was served on the Defendant.”

It is requesting that the company be wound up, a liquidator be appointed and the costs to the ATO be paid out of any assets.

A spokesperson from the ATO said it cannot comment on the tax affairs of any individual or entity due to its obligations of confidentiality under the law.

It cannot comment on matters that are before the court either.

Twin Creeks was purchased by Chinese interests in 2015, with new directors appointed including businessman and media entrepreneur Tommy Jiang.

The Weekender understands that Mr Jiang left the Board in 2019 but remains involved as the Chief Executive Officer.

The Australian newspaper reported this week that a winery and two radio stations owned by Mr Jiang have been placed in liquidation after his business Ostar International Media Group collapsed late last year in millions of dollars of debt.

An Operations Manager at Twin Creeks was contacted by the Weekender for comment, but said he was advised to say “no comment”.

The club promotes itself as being one of Australia’s top 100 golf courses.

It regularly hosts weddings and private events.

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