The northern entrance of the Centro Surfers shopping centre from Cavill Mall. Picture: Leah Hallett.
The northern entrance of the Centro Surfers shopping centre from Cavill Mall. Picture: Leah Hallett.

Fast-food chain branch in $150k financial strife

AN OUTLET of a fashionable Portuguese chicken chain is in financial hot water after tax authorities alleged it owes them nearly $150,000.

Oporto Surfers Paradise Pty Ltd (OSP), which operates the chain's Surfers Paradise outlet, in the Centro shopping centre in the heart of tourist hotspot Cavill Avenue, was slapped with a creditor's demand for payment by the Australian Taxation Office on January 8, court documents state.

The Deputy Commissioner of Taxation applied to the Federal Court in Brisbane on April 12 to wind-up OSP on the grounds that it is insolvent.

The DCT told the court in filings that it is relying on OSP's failure to pay $148,191 within 21 days of receipt of the creditor's demand for payment, as a ground for winding up.

The DCT submitted to the court that liquidator Glenn O'Kearney of GT Advisory should be appointed to wind up OSP.

Court documents state the debt is made up of payments due under Business Activity Statements (BAS) which can include GST, PAYG withholding and fringe benefits tax.

OSP's sole director is Fijian-born Rajan Maharaj, 34, from Hinchinbrook, in Sydney's south-west, according to ASIC records.

Mr Maharaj is also a shareholder alongside Ajeshni Prasad, from Hinchinbrook, and Radhika Singh-Mishra from Bankstown, ASIC records state.

Another shareholder, Maharaj Enterprises Pty Ltd, owned by Rajiv Maharaj, 29, from Hinchinbrook was deregistered on April 26, ASIC records show.

The Courier Mail reported yesterday that OSP was placed into voluntary administration by its director with Trent McMillen from Sydney-based MaC Insolvency on May 2.

MaC Solvency managing director Trent McMillen said the store was still operating and he would know by the end of May if the business could be saved.

"Still trading under my control as administrator while I conduct investigations and formulate a Deed of Company Arrangement to be proposed to creditors, which will avoid liquidation and allow the business to trade out," Mr McMillen said in a statement to The Courier-Mail.

"All staff retained, no changes to trade."

The case is due in court for hearing on May 24.