From today's Weekly Times
A NSW train leasing company has made an application in the NSW Supreme Court to wind up rail operator El Zorro Transport.
Australian Securities and Investment Commission documents show Consolidated Rail Leasing filed the petition in the Supreme Court of NSW last week.
But El Zorro director Ray Evans has blamed Cargill for its financial difficulty.
Mr Evans said Cargill had refused to pay El Zorro for work carried out during the past four weeks, prompting a flow-on effect to El Zorro's creditors.
He said that while El Zorro owed Cargill $2 million as a long-term debt, and there was a repayment plan in place, Cargill had recently stopped all payments to the rail operator.
"I simply stopped running the trains," he said.
But a Cargill spokesman said the grain trader was well in advance of its fixed and variable payments to El Zorro but the rail operator still owed it money.
"We became aware of one of El Zorro's creditors issuing a wind-up notice, however we have never been officially notified,'' he said.
"Cargill is of the understanding it is not the biggest creditor.''
Other claims suggest El Zorro's financial problems have been an issue for many months.
The Castlemaine and Maldon Railway Preservation Society, which leased a locomotive to El Zorro through the Seymour Heritage Rail Centre, said in a newsletter it had not been paid for nine months for the use of the engine.
Society president Michael Vines said the lease non-payment had caused cash flow difficulties for the organisation.
Last week, the NSW branch of the Rail Tram and Bus Union said it was talking to legal representatives over El Zorro's failure to pay full superannuation entitlements to its members last December.
Mr Evans said El Zorro employed about 130 full-time staff.http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2013/05/28/571711_latest-news.html