By Claire Reilly
The Queensland Retail Traders and Shopkeepers Association (QRTSA), a not-for-profit industrial group that advocates for independent retailers in Queensland, has applied to the Supreme Court of Queensland to wind up its business “on grounds of insolvency”.
In a statement obtained by Current.com.au which was sent to member retailers on Wednesday, the QRTSA advised that lawyers acting on behalf of the organisation had applied to be wound up on Friday 12 April, and that “the remaining members of the voluntary QRTSA Interim Executive Committee…have resigned their positions effective 15 April 2013”.
These departures follow the resignations of the other four members of the group’s Interim Committee in March of this year.
The news comes amid reports from Brisbane’s Courier Mail newspaper that a Liberal National Party MP associated with the lobby group has been accused of failing to produce financial records relating to the QRTSA.
The Courier Mail today reported that Queensland state MP, Scott Driscoll, was facing allegations that “he had failed to produce the books relating to $700,000 worth of transactions at the Queensland Retail Traders and Shopkeepers Association”.
The newspaper also reported that Driscoll has denied having “operational involvement” with the QRTSA since becoming an MP.
The notice sent to QRTSA members on Wednesday noted that the full wind up of the group was not yet finalised.
“It is to be noted that the application for winding up the QRTSA is pending a final date to be set by the Supreme Court of Queensland, while unrelated matters before the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) are finalised and as such the winding up Application is currently adjourned to the Registry of the Supreme Court of Queensland.
“The QRTSA has not and will not continue to ‘trade’ post Friday, 12 April 2012 and until the winding up application is formally completed.”
In other news, the National Retail Association has advised that it is in the process of contacting affected QRTSA members to offer “support”.
“The NRA will honour the membership of small, independent members of the QRTSA who paid their member fees in 2013,” said NRA chief executive Trevor Evans. “The NRA will also offer heavily discounted support for any other former QRTSA members affected by the QRTSA’s demise.”