An earlier report detailing the closure of Jopalo Boats.
An earlier report detailing the closure of Jopalo Boats.

Jopalo Boats owner bankrupt in '04

THE owner of a company that appears to have disappeared owing creditors as much as $500,000 was declared bankrupt in 2004 and only discharged his obligations in 2006, a document leaked to The Daily Examiner revealed.

George Edward Lousick, whose company, Jopalo Boats, ceased trading just before Easter has since disappeared and so far eluded his creditors.

His status as a bankrupt may be the reason he was only able to trade under a business name and why he could only raise funds through government grants.

However, there have been sightings of the businessman in the region in the past week, with the son of a former employee catching a glimpse of him as he got out of a car in Maclean.

“He had a hoody pulled up over his head, but I saw him getting out of the car he bought his wife after they were married,” the man said.

He said employees at Jopalo Boats’ Uki Drive location had no inkling the company was in any trouble.

“They turned up to work and found the shed locked,” he said.

The body that financed the expansion of Mr Lousick’s business, Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), has refused to release any details the arrangement.

On Friday The Daily Examiner received the following reply to these questions it emailed to the IBA on Thursday.

(1) Has IBA called in its loan to Mr Lousick’s business?

(2) Where would IBA sit in a line of creditors of Jopalo Boats?

(3) What kind of arrangement did IBA have with Mr Lousick’s business – was it a straight loan or was there some kind of business partnership?

(4) Does IBA have any link with Jopalo Boats’ business administration?

The IBA email read:

“Indigenous Business Australia has strict secrecy provisions in its enabling legislation that prevent any of its staff from disclosing any information which concerns the affairs of another person unless it is for the purposes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005 (Commonwealth Act).

“In general terms, however, IBA offers a range of services to assist Indigenous individuals and businesses. This includes tailored loans and services to assist with establishing a new business or purchasing or growing an existing business. IBA is committed to doing everything possible to assist its clients in developing a commercially viable business.”

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