Church-run hospitality firm goes bust

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A Presbyterian Church-run hospitality company that provided meals to the aged and hotel industry across Queensland has gone belly up.

Contented Chef, owned by troubled aged care operator PresCare, was put into liquidation earlier this week adding to the financial woes of the church's various businesses.

Contented Chef was a commercial kitchen cooking meals and ingredients for aged care homes, hotels, restaurants and convenience stores. Peter Lucas, of PA Lucas & Co, has been appointed to wind up the firm, which was established in 2015.

Contented Chef is a subsidiary of PresCare's Credere Services Group, which in 2019 reported net liabilities of $24 million. Credere also sells mobility equipment and monitoring systems for aged care patients.


Contented Chef’s range of home-style frozen meals and desserts.
Contented Chef’s range of home-style frozen meals and desserts.

Mr Lucas declined to comment on why Contented Chef had been placed into liquidation or the amount owed to creditors. A creditors' meeting would be held on Monday.

Earlier this year, PresCare chief executive Wayne Knapp (illustrated) said the organisation would attempt to sell its non-core operations.

It also would offload its aged care homes in Rockhampton, Maryborough, Townsville and Brisbane after racking up a loss of $12 million. Sydney-based Myhomecare has purchased PresCare's home care operations but not the aged care homes.

McGrathNicol Advisory has been hired to manage the sale of the homes, which care for 600 elderly residents. Mr Knapp was unavailable to comment.


THE Presbyterian Church, which can trace its roots back to 16th Century Scotland, has been in a world of pain in relation to its business operations for several years.

Credere's auditors in 2019 raised several red flags about the amount of the company's liabilities which had risen from $19.8m the previous year to $24.8m.

"The company acknowledges that primae facie this aspect of the financial statement indicates a significant uncertainty as to whether the company will continue as a going concern," the auditor said in a financial statement lodged with ASIC.

However, the auditors said the church had provided a pledge to provide ongoing financial support to allow it to meet its liabilities.

The report also flagged continuing challenges for the group's companies as they established themselves in new markets. "Multiple accounting systems and lack of processes are major issues that are being addressed as we move to position the group entities going forward," the financial report said. The company had written down the value of its various businesses including Contented Chef, Walk on Wheels and Surecom during 2019.


YOUR diarist was a bit mystified by the seating arrangements at the Gabba when he took his cricket-mad 12-year-old son to the Big Bash match between Brisbane Heat and the Hobart Hurricanes on Sunday night.

We had excellent seats in the Straight Drive section of the southern stand but were squashed with other people into two rows of seats that were surrounded by rows of empty seats in front and behind us.


Mark Steketee and Jack Wildermuth from the Brisbane Heat pictured at the Gabba earlier this month.
Mark Steketee and Jack Wildermuth from the Brisbane Heat pictured at the Gabba earlier this month.

When an elderly lady next to me quite sensibly moved to one of the empty seats behind us so she could distance herself from everyone else, she was quickly ushered back to her original seat by a security guard.

At a time when social distancing is being encouraged it doesn't make a lot of sense to squash everyone into a row of seats when there were plenty of vacant seats available. Go figure.



Originally published as Church-run hospitality firm goes bust

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