College threatens sacked staff with police, prosecution
BREAKING: Staff sacked after the collapse of the administrative arm of SmartCity Vocational College have been threatened with police action if they fail to return outstanding student assessment materials, IT and mobile equipment.
An email sent by a SmartCity Vocational College executive general manager yesterday to ex-SC Admin Pty Ltd staff advised them they had until close of business on Friday, January 27 to return all equipment and materials.
The Daily yesterday reported liquidators had told creditors at a meeting on January 3 that SC Admin could owe up to $2.6 million to almost-300 staff nationally in unpaid annual leave and other entitlements, as well as owing the Australian Taxation Office about $1.9 million.
- Collapsed company could owe $5 million
- Solvency concerns raised six months ago
- 'Fire Sale' held before company went bust
A December 14 post on SmartCity Vocational College's Facebook page said campuses would reopen on January 23.
"Unfortunately to date there has been little to no return of equipment and materials which is very disappointing," the email from the College reads.
"We will be reconciling all equipment against our organisational records on Monday 30.01.2017 and any equipment which is not returned will be notified to the appropriate State Police thereafter for pursuing and/or prosecution."
Another company, SC Operations (AUST) Pty Ltd was registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on November 3 last year, listing Mr Spong as director and sole shareholder of that company.
The email to ex-staff sent yesterday advised the IT or mobile equipment and resources staff may currently have in their possession remained the property of SmartCity Vocational College.
"Some ex-staff maybe under the assumption that the equipment was owned by SC Admin Pty Ltd and there is no mandate for return," the email read.
"Please be advised that this is not the case and it still remains the property of SmartCity Vocational College.
"More importantly we are concerned about ANY Student Assessment materials that may be currently with ex-trainers and/or staff. It is crucial that this information be returned.
"This is a general direction made under section 28(1) of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (Cth) (the Act) which requires the retention of student assessment materials.
"We therefore request that all materials relating to students be returned to Smart City Vocational College.
"We would really appreciate your support to get these matters resolved quickly and peacefully."
Former college staff employed by SC Admin had previously told the Daily of a mass fire sale of office goods and furniture in the lead-up to the collapse of SC Admin.
A former advisor at SmartCity's Adelaide campus told of his regional manager being instructed to sell "everything he could" that "wasn't bolted down" at the campus.
The advisor said laptops had been sold for $150 each while two whiteboards sold via Gumtree had been rolled out of a classroom in front of students mid-lesson, wiped down and taken away.
SmartCity Vocational College has campuses across the country in Armadale, Bundaberg, Cairns, Caloundra, Elizabeth, Fairfield, Gympie, Hervey Bay, Hobart, Inala, Ipswich, Kippa-Ring, Launceston, Maroochydore, Morayfield, Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Townsville.
The Daily has attempted to contact Mr Spong for comment.
The executive general manager declined to comment.