The Supreme Court of South Australia has issued a warrant for the arrest of Nathan Tinkler, after the former coal billionaire failed to appear at a liquidation hearing on Monday.
Tinkler, who made his fortune between 2006 and 2012 through savvy investment decisions throughout the coal mining boom, has subsequently lost much of his wealth as the market has dropped.
On Monday he was reportedly due to appear in court to respond to liquidator Tony Matthews, who is in charge of liquidating one of Tinkler’s massive horse farm businesses. A claim from WorkCover SA, worth around $17,000, was the catalyst for the liquidation case being based in South Australia.
The former mining magnate reportedly told News that he had informed Matthews he would be unable to make it to Adelaide, however, and had offered them security.
“I’m not running from anything,” Tinkler was quoted as saying. “I wasn’t there because I thought this had all been resolved.
“I’d been liaising with [the liquidators] all last week. I’d offered them security, it was all fine, and then they refused to return my calls [on Monday] morning and then made that action [to call for a warrant for his arrest].
“They knew full well that I wasn’t able to be in Adelaide. I’d offered them security for that reason.”
Despite Tinkler’s side of the story, the warrant was issued by Justice Steve Roder, following an application by Mark Douglas, representing Matthews.
According to the ABC, Douglas told the court: “We were going to proceed with an examination but disappointingly we received word at about 8:30am this morning that the examinee, Nathan Tinkler, has declined to get on a plane.
“In the circumstances I’m instructed to make an application within the terms of rule 11.10 of the Corporations Court Rules that a warrant be issued for Mr Tinkler’s arrest.”
“In my view [Tinkler] should have been there,” Matthews was later quoted by the AFR.
The liquidator reportedly believes he can claw back $1.5m through legal recoveries, from the Patinack Farm on the Gold Coast hinterland. When Patinack was at its peak, it hosted more than 1000 horses, but upon its collapse, it owed more than $5.5m in unpaid debts.
Patinack Farm, started by Tinkler during the peak of his wealth, was reportedly sold to consortium Cibola Capital in 2014, for an undisclosed sum.