PwC appointed liquidators for Redstar Transport
UPDATE: Stephen Longley and Martin Ford of PwC Australia have been appointed as Liquidators of Redstar Transport Pty Ltd ('Redstar') and associated group entities.
Redstar provides interstate road express freight services across Australia.
Redstar has a network of depots located in major Australia metropolitan and regional cities, and employed approximately 400 staff.
The business was in the process of ceasing operations and making employees redundant when the liquidators were appointed and it is expected this process will be completed by the end of this week.
"This is a terrible situation at any time, let alone on the eve of the holidays," Mr Longley said.
"We are doing everything we can in the circumstances to manage the fallout."
RedStar does not have any funds available for the conduct of the liquidation which means PwC may not be paid for much of their work.
"PwC is taking a risk by accepting this appointment, however, somebody needs to stand up for these 400 employees and make sure their entitlements are calculated and paid by FEG as soon as possible," Mr Longley said.
The liquidators thanked Toll and ANZ for making financial pledges which allowed the liquidators to consent to the appointment.
Now that the company is in liquidation, employees will be able to have their entitlements paid by the Federal Government's Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) Scheme.
"It is heartening to see some companies take their social responsibility seriously," Mr Longley said.
Toll is also offering employment opportunities to drivers. Any driver who wishes to explore this opportunity should contact Toll on 1800 069 726.
UPDATE: The Transport Workers' Union has received concerning reports from Redstar Transport members that indicate the company is about to go into administration.
Reports include drivers being told to return their loads to the nearest depot and interstate drivers being repatriated to their homes.
The TWU has also been informed that other transport operators have been instructed to cease contracting work to Redstar Transport.
The TWU is investigating these reports with the company and urging them to immediately update their workers.
"The reports we're receiving point to an extremely unfortunate situation for hundreds of transport workers just days before Christmas," TWU National Assistant Secretary Nick McIntosh said.
"If our suspicions ring true, yesterday's pay day could not only be the last one of the year, but the last one Redstar workers ever receive from the company. It's outrageous that the workers are being left in the dark, especially this close to the holidays."
The TWU has received a commitment from Toll to provide job opportunities for Redstar Transport workers.
Linfox and ACFS have also agreed to take on a number of workers. Redstar Transport workers are encouraged to contact their TWU branch for further information.
The TWU says the Federal Government is to blame for the financial squeeze put on companies like Redstar Transport after it scrapped a road safety watchdog that held wealthy companies to account for their transport supply chain.
Since the abolition of the watchdog in 2016, hundreds of transport operators have become insolvent.
If Redstar Transport workers do lose their jobs, the TWU will fundraise for them and will call on those at the top of transport supply chains to donate.
The TWU will also call on the government to ensure the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) will pay Redstar workers for their lost entitlements.
EARLIER: National transport company Redstar Transport has gone into liquidation.
Allied Express, who works with Redstar, posted a message to their website in the past 24 hours that says: "We wanted to advise you that one of our linehaul carriers, Redstar, have just gone into liquidation this afternoon".
"Obviously this is a difficult situation and will affect our ability to move freight to a number of legs tonight and until we are able to source alternatives," the statement reads.
"We have strong industry connections and understand that this is a peak trading time for our customers. You can be assured that we are working as hard as we can to put in place alternatives as quickly as possible.
"We appreciate your support and understanding."
Allied Express also advised for bookings made in New South Wales after 1pm need to be made using the VIP service level and executive service level after 3pm.
Redstar Transport has depots in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Dubbo.
There are reports that drivers out on the roads at changeover points needed to find their own way back home.
Big Rigs contacted Redstar Transport for comment, however they were unable to provide a statement.
Trouble struck last year when the company was the focus of a national audit after a fatal crash on the Newell Highway.
More to come.