Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre goes into liquidation

Staff shocked as MAAC goes into liquidation

Just a week after spruiking a $1.3 million cash splash, the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre has gone into liquidation.

The notice of liquidation was published on the ASIC site on Thursday, the same day the Moree Plains Shire Council received a confidential "legal update" during closed council at their extraordinary meeting.

The information on the ASIC site stated: "Notice is given that at a general meeting of the members of the Company held on 29 July 2021, it was resolved that the Company be wound up and that Morgan James Chubb be appointed liquidator(s)."

The Champion believes staff were unaware of the situation and shocked to hear on Friday morning, they had lost their jobs.

It comes after Mr Marshall joined council representatives at the MAAC only last week to announce funding to continue a major redevelopment of the complex.

When the Champion contact the council, they directed us to the "receivers, WilliamsonBarwick" for comment but no-one was available for comment at the time.

But in a statement late on Friday, the council explained the centre was facing a situation where no revenue would be coming in, while remedial works were taking place.

Since 2013, Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre Ltd (MAAC), a public company limited by guarantee, has operated the region's premier health and wellness centre.

Council is MAAC's sole member, owning the asset from which MAAC trades, underwriting its financial position, and ensuring it provides a valuable service to the Moree community.

An independent engineering assessment commissioned by Council, has identified structural faults in the asset that need rectifying.

Council will be undertaking remedial works across major components of the infrastructure which will result in sections of the centre being closed for different lengths of time.

As a result, there would be no or limited revenue from the centre and no meaningful employment for MAAC staff while the proposed works are underway.

The statement from the council said after careful consideration, on Thursday, the Board of MAAC, and council as its sole member resolved to voluntarily wind up MAAC and appoint Morgan Chubb of Clout Advisory as liquidator.

It is important to know that the liquidation is a solvent winding-up because MAAC will be able to pay its debts in full within 12 months of starting the winding-up, noting that council guarantees its obligations.

This means that all staff will be paid their full entitlements, and creditors will be paid in accordance with their usual trading arrangements.

"The exciting prospect is that following the completion of the works, the artesian aquatic centre will re-open better than ever, offering improved benefits to the Moree community," the council statement said.

Council said it was looking forward to providing updates as the works progress. In the meantime, the council statement said it would be exploring ways to minimise the disruption to the regular pool and gym users.

Workplace relations law firm WilliamsonBarwick has been appointed to respond on its behalf to enquiries regarding the winding up of Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre Ltd (in liquidation).