22-292MR ASIC disqualifies Queensland director for two years

ASIC has disqualified Michael Higgs of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, from managing corporations for two years due to his involvement in the failure of two companies.

From July 2015 Mr Higgs was the director of two companies which entered liquidation:

Tropic Landscapes Pty Ltd (ACN 624 604 413) (Tropic Landscapes); and
Tropic Developments Pty Ltd (ACN 607 263 856) (Tropic Developments).
The companies were involved in providing structural landscaping services.

ASIC found that Mr Higgs’s failed to meet his obligations as director when he:

failed to ensure that Tropic Landscapes and Tropic Developments complied with its obligation to lodge tax documents with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO),
allowed Tropic Developments to provide loans without ensuring the company was left with funds to pay its taxes, and
failed to ensure Tropic Landscapes maintained adequate books and records.
At the time of ASIC’s decision, the two companies owed a combined total of $503,110 to unsecured creditors, including $366,791 to the ATO.

In disqualifying Mr Higgs, ASIC relied on supplementary reports lodged by Tropic Landscapes’ liquidator, Glenn Michael Shannon of Hall Chadwick and Tropic Developments’ liquidator, Darryl Edward Kirk of Cor Cordis.

ASIC assisted Mr Shannon and Mr Kirk to prepare their reports by providing funding from the Assetless Administration Fund.

Mr Higgs is disqualified from managing corporations until 10 October 2024.

Mr Higgs has the right to seek a review of ASIC’s decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Section 206F of the Corporations Act allows ASIC to disqualify a person from managing corporations for a maximum period of five years if, within a seven-year period, the person was an officer of two or more companies, and those companies were wound up and a liquidator provides a report to ASIC about each of the company’s inability to pay its debts.