Why are some Biteriot employees paid $70 per day, and other Biteriot workers working 27.5 hours day, 192 hours per week? What is the right level of employee remuneration / incentive in a pandemic, what can other farmers learn from Nuffield Scholar, Fiona Hall and master motivator Claudio Brown?
Whine or wine?
Renowned winetaster, Fiona Hall of Biteriot recently complained about the local workforce in Orange, NSW saying:
Bruce, who partially succeeded Pamela Hall in accounts, was a trusted member of the Biteriot and Caernarvon team – handling accounts and dealing with grower payments and receipts and worked alongside fellow convicted fraudster Paula Neill, plus Fiona Hall & others.
A number of aspects of the article warrant fact checking:
Alleged fact: Mainland Australia is well placed to supply cherries to China
False – As per the following industry press articles, Southern Hemisphere cherry producer (Chile – with its ideal desert climate, low or no rainfall, low cost of production and favourable market access – they are not in a trade war with China) produces over 300,000 tonnes of fresh cherries per annum whilst mainland Australia produces around 15,000 tonnes in the same growing season. Chile ship, as the industry press articles attached report, cherries by sea that by 12 December 2020 had already landed in China >1000 x 40’ sea containers. In contrast, Orange NSW loaded zero sea shipments this year, nor last year nor indeed ever. Orange has not loaded even 1 sea shipment in the past 5 years.
Recent industry press articles (confirming that Chile raised sales by 38% whilst Fiona and Biteriot export sales fell by 75% include:
6/1/2021 – Challenging Orange cherry season ends after export, staff and rain issues | Central Western Daily |
Alleged fact: Orange NSW/Cabonne is a good place to grow cherries
False – the rainfall is way too high to reliably grow (quality or competitive) cherries on the tablelands of NSW. Alternatively the high desert production areas of Chile, with irrigation water supplied by extensive snow melt rivers receive around 6 inches of rain p/a, with no damaging rains during the growing season. The elevated areas of the Canobolas growing area west of Orange NSW in Cabonne receives almost 7x more rain than Chile making cherry growing west of Orange NSW a high risk proposition, with profits likely perhaps once every 3 or 4 years?
Alleged fact: Obtaining labour to harvest cherries is difficult
True – it is not viable to harvest cherries in Australia if Australian cherry pickers earn $25 per hour when Chilean producers pay under $9 per hour for harvest labour.
As we’ve been reporting via this blog – for the last 147 days – the so called purchasers of $8.2m of property have failed to pay the balance of around $7.4m to the liquidators of the 4 Bonny Glen companies who auctioned those properties *.
And for 147 long days, the creditors of those companies (in liquidation), in particular the long-suffering business partner and brother of Bernard Hall (i.e. Tim Hall) must have felt like our poor Groundhog Day character.
So yesterday, just like the previous 146 days, we woke up and wondered if we’d be getting a new neighbour soon (Bernard is presently an adjoining landowner)? You may call this Groundhog Day?
In case you don’t remember the movie Groundhog Day, here is the trailer for a laugh:
As at this morning – just like the previous 147 days, we all woke up and wondered if we’d be getting a new neighbour (Bernard is presently an adjoining landowner)?
We all wondered for Bernard‘s brother and creditor Tim whether Bernard‘s company was ‘for real’.
And yesterday, just like those 147 other previous days, still Bernard has not found the balance of $8.2m?
This must be embarrassing?
In closing, if you are interested in joining our class-action against Bernard‘s company Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd (and you think this is a sign that Bernard‘s company is weak) then please complete the form here:
Despite having been appointed almost 2 months ago, DW Advisory has not realised 90% by value of the sale of the Bonny Glen partnership properties (according to title searches of 14 November 2019) auctioned in Orange on 24 July 2019.
“NO CERTIFICATE OF TITLE HAS ISSUED FOR THE CURRENT EDITION OF THIS FOLIO. CONTROL OF THE RIGHT TO DEAL IS HELD BY WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION.”
We further understand there is an allegation that the liquidator has failed to collect 1 or more years rent from Bernard’s lessee company? Whilst there may be sound business reason for not collecting this rent from Bernard’s company (?), DCP sincerely hope the interests of all creditors (not just interests associated with Bernard Hall) are being protected by DW Advisory in their trusted role as liquidator? We understand complaints have been made about aspects of the liquidator’s conduct to date to bodies including ASIC and other regulators?
The identity of the purchaser, seemingly being a superfund, suggests the purchases were not intended to be debt financed – super funds find it difficult to borrow funds even mortgages.
The failure of Bernard Hall’s trustee company to purchase those properties, after some 115 days being available to them to raise finances, which it was contracted to purchase suggests things are not good in the Hall camp ….
4 related companies in liquidation,
a litigation war between Bernard and his family,
the failure to complete 4 out of 5 contracts* (with a $740,000 deposit seemingly at risk),
with a litigant seeking a judgment in the sum of around $620,000 and
other unknown issues under the surface,
suppliers and customers of Bernard’s company Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd, perhaps justifiably, may well have concerns about whether Caernarvon really is a going concern and long-term partner?
More detailed analysis will follow re what the above means (or may mean) to proposed class action participants.
More detailed information on the Hall’s is available on our webpages:
It seems a key assumption by Bernard Hall may be in error. Bernard is quoted by the Central Western Daily as indicating a belief that he only needed to find the ‘other half’ of the equity he didn’t presently own in the Bonny Glen properties.
More than 106 days after the auction (as at 8 November 2019), Bernard and his company’s have failed to complete the purchase of 4 of the 5 Bonny Glen properties he bid to purchase at a cost of $8.15m.
Despite this, it is believed that Bernard cannot simply transfer those interests to the purchasing vehicles, he had to complete the purchase contracts (it is believed) hence the notices to complete.
It would appear from Bernard’s quotes (see article above) he believed he could merely just pay a top up sum to buy out his brother and parents from the properties? Did his Nuffield Scholar wife also hold this belief?
Bernard (with Fiona) is a joint shareholder and director of Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd and other related companies.
The family tree of the Bonny Glen and Hall family/s is below:
If you have any comments or information about Bernard & Fiona Hall, we’d love to hear from you including any documents using our instant chat, the below form or by phone on 1300-327123.
To contact us with any tip-offs, files or information – please use the instant chat tools or form below: