Consolidated Rail Leasing
Ray is indeed a talented man. Downfall was running a business, trying to still be an engineman and not listening to advice early in the piece to allow outside investment in El Zorro. Not to mention trying to be everyone's mate.
It is a shame that this company went this way,because at one stage they had the big players worried.
I’ll end by saying there is a lot that has not come out in the wash-YET and just possibly when it does come out a few of you on here may be a little more charitable.
But when well respected management team offer advice and point you in a direction that will involve massive cash flow to a business that will minimize debt in the early stages it pays to listen.
I might just get back in my box and say nothing.
Setting aside recent events with El Zorro, I’d like to concentrate on areas that nobody has commented on to date.
I started in the rail industry in 1979, and have worked in several depots, and for several operators. My last job was with El Zorro in Parkes, where I started my railway career, so the wheel has truly turned full circle. Some on this site have taken great delight in putting down El Zorro and Ray Evans & their employees since day one, but then I've seen the same with LVRF/IRA, so it’s always seemed to me to be fashionable to have a crack at the smaller operators trying to have a go. I don’t know Ray Evans, but I’ll say one thing- El Zorro as a company have provided long term work for hundreds of people, myself included and out of all the operators I have worked for in my career, they were by far the best and fairest to work for.
The next point I would like to address concerns the claims that El Zorro workers are receiving preferential treatment in re-employment with other operators. I can assure you that there are many former El Zorro drivers still out of work, again myself included.Sadly, I'm sure this will make some people happy - it shouldn't.
[...] all companies have had their good and bad points, and some could be dead set bastards, but in respect to El Zorro I’ve never worked for a fairer employer. A pity people on here who have been critical don't know about things such as the employees who were unfortunate enough to be struck down with chronic medical conditions, life threatening disease or family tradgies that have been supported by EL Zorro while they recovered, where other companies have shafted their employees in similar situations- something I am very well aware of as one of those people concerned, and I’ll say here and now that this was far and above what El Zorro had a legal obligation to do, and for that I thank them. OK, so I'm now owed some pay and entitlements, but without El Zorro where would I have been?Thankyou very much for taking the time to write this personal and positive view.
I am not sure that was the problem. He is extremely talented but in my view lacked a sensible approach to governance and did not seek professional assistance in enough detail to ensure contracts where "viable" prior to signing.Earlier post by Brian,
He understands the industry well but needed the right people around him. I don't believe he EVER needed outside investment. He needed some smarter financial advice.
What has come out in the wash is that El Zorro lost a huge amount of money over three years, and owes millions.If you’ve been personally stung then you have my heartfelt sympathy, I’ve been through it a few times now, so I try to look at the positives as well as the negatives- because if you just look at the negatives it will eat you up.
I'm glad you're happy with the position, but creditors who are owed millions are not. There may well be people losing jobs from among the creditors - thought about them?
I can't see them feeling all that charitable.
Anyway I’ve said far too much, and didn’t really want to get involved debating the pros & cons, so I’ll refrain from any further comment.
It always fascinates me to see creditors allowing their debtors to run up huge bills, yet continuing to trade with them. . . the ultimate wish for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.It will be interesting to see how long the directors El Zorro allowed the company to trade in this parlous financial state as it is possible that it may have been trading whilst insolvent. If this turns out to be the case then ASIC could take appropriate action. Have the directors been involved in any other insolvent companies? I think any sympathy for El Zorro is really misplaced.
Unfortunately, it's a never-ending rainbow.
If the two new entities named do receive accreditation, anyone who trades immediately on credit terms with either will need his head examined. Sensible business practice has new clients on a cash basis until their bona fides are well established.
And what's this nonsense about the debt to the Department being "commercial in confidence? Would somebody please tell the Department's hierarchy that this money is owed to us - the poor benighted taxpayers.
A director has a positive duty to prevent insolvent trading under s588G of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act).
Section 588G requires a director of a company to prevent the company from incurring a debt if:
(a) the company is already insolvent at the time the debt is incurred; or
(b) by incurring that debt, or by incurring a range of debts including that debt, the company becomes insolvent, and, at the time of incurring the debt, there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the company is already insolvent, or would become insolvent by incurring the debt: s588G(1).
I have had dealings with ASIC over a period of time on this and other issues and can say they are completely useless. ASIC is a national embarrassment in this country and could not be relied upon (based on my experience with them) to do anything in the best interests of creditors or shareholders.
The issue with El Zorro really (in my years of board experience) comes down to the Directors forming their own view with regard to solvency. Was a solvency resolution filed annually with ASIC is another question I have.
The Corporations Act requires directors to prevent insolvent trading pursuant to s588G which states amongst other things:
Did the Directors take a positive approach to ensuring the company was or did not trade insolvently??
A potential critical point in this case (IMHO) is:
A director must ensure proper financial records are kept by the company and take reasonable steps to remain properly and fully informed about the financial affairs of the company at all times so that they can reasonably form a view about:
(a) the company’s present financial viability; and
(b) the impact of incurring any further debts.
Did this happen? What were the records like? If the records were kept up to date then how could a Director NOT know the company was insolvent?
This document sums it up nicely. http://www.asic.gov.au/asic/pdflib.nsf/LookupByFileName/rg217-29July2010.pdf/$file/rg217-29July2010.pdf
Well it looks like the people that didnt want heritage engines running trains have got there wish. So now what happens to them engines lay in a sideing like the clps at Ettamogah or a last trip to Sims
Well it looks like the people that didnt want heritage engines running trains have got there wish. So now what happens to them engines lay in a sideing like the clps at Ettamogah or a last trip to SimsWhat on earth has the CLPs in Ettomogah got to do with El Zorro and the disuse of heritage locos?
You, sir, are 100 percent wrong.How many heritage engines do you need to run heritage trains and who is going to pay for there up keep. The engines at Ettamgah may not be heritage engines but there sitting there with no work and theres plenty more around.
We do want heritage engines running, but on heritage trains - the very reason for their preservation.