Good news at last
for Great Southern Plantations Investors - Bendigo Bank loan
recovery claims can be beaten!
Not a lot has gone right for investors in the 43
Agricultural Investment Schemes promoted by the Great
Southern Plantations Group between 1998 and 2008.
This is a summary of the calamity:
- They invested in timber, beef cattle, wine grapes,
almond and olive projects. Yes, their investment was tax
driven - the money invested was tax deductible
immediately. But it was also an investment - they
expected to receive their money back and good profits on
their investment over the 10 to 12 year term of the
- Many investors used borrowed money to fund their
investment. They took out a loan from Great Southern
Finance (another group company), which then on-sold
their loan to the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.
- It all came to an untimely end in 2009, when the
Great Southern Group collapsed and the projects were
wound up because they had run out of money to continue.
- 22,000 of the 52,000 investors joined in a class
action against the liquidator and the Bank to be
compensated for their failed investment and to be
relieved of their loan obligations. The class action
failed and a settlement was approved on 11 December 2014
in which the loan deeds were acknowledged as valid and
- Now, the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is pursuing the
investors through the courts for repayment of their
loans plus default interest (at 14.5% pa), even though
the projects have failed and all money invested was
lost. This is causing hardship and distress for many
- The good news is that the Bendigo Bank can be
beaten. In August last year, an organic olive grove
investor successfully defended a loan recovery claim.
The investor was pursued for a debt of $24,490 plus
interest of $42,079.32. He decided to fight the claim,
and succeeded because the Bank's documentation was
deficient. The Court found that there was no evidence
that the Bank had paid anything to purchase the loan
from Great Southern Group, and many other deficiencies
If you would like to read a full account of the decision,
click on my case note:
What is the best way for a Great
Southern Plantations investor to defeat a loan recovery
claim by the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank?