4 August 2023

Pialligo Estate owner sells Braddon home for $2.35 million

| Ian Bushnell
Join the conversation

John Russell’s residence at 11 Farrer Street, Braddon sold last weekend at auction. Photo: Independent.

The owner of the failed Pialligo Estate hospitality and farm produce business, John Russell, has sold his Braddon home for $2.35 million.

The sale comes as the land on which the business operated also appears to have found a new owner.

READ ALSO Canberra’s status as a tech ‘supercluster’ driving growth and job creation

A title search shows that the Braddon property is in the name of one of Mr Russell’s companies, Llessur Pty Ltd, of which he is the director, secretary and sole shareholder, according to a company extract from ASIC.

Mr Russell is the director of 60 companies.

Pialligo Estate shut its doors at Kallaroo Road, Pialligo in late March after failing to weather a financial storm.

Two related companies – Pialligo Estate Operations and Pialligo Markets Pty Ltd – are now in liquidation with more than 500 creditors owed $10.5 million and nearly $600,000, respectively.

The four-bedroom property at 11 Farrer Street sold at auction last weekend, and in promotional material for the sale was described as “grand and sophisticated”, with lavish living areas, and inclusions to guarantee “you’ll live your best life in style”.

The title reveals five caveats – declared interest – placed on the property from March this year, one of which is a Pialligo Estate creditor owed $425,815.

But the ACT Commissioner for Revenue (ACT Revenue Office) has first claims for any amount owing to it.

The liquidators from RSM Australia said in their creditors report last month that they could not find any land or real property interests held by Mr Russell in his own right in the ACT and NSW.

The report also painted a damning picture of the Pialligo Estate business operation, concluding that it may have been trading while insolvent since 2018 and that its books do not accurately reflect its true financial position.

The liquidators say there is unlikely to be any dividend paid to unsecured creditors.

READ ALSO Defence looks to Australian industry to reduce reliance on foreign-made commercial drones

The 13 hectares of land on which the business operated is valued at $30 million and is being sold by the mortgagee who took possession on 29 March, but none of the proceeds can be used to pay creditors.

The land is now listed on the Savills website as being “under offer”.

The Braddon property was built in 2000 and Mr Russell bought it in 2001. Independent Gungahlin handled the sale.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

The amount of money you’d pay for this house or a fancy apartment in Civic, converted into US dollars is enough to buy you a mansion in the US or Canada.

Let’s hide behind 60 companies so doesn’t matter if a few go broke… asic needs a rethink on how many co panties 1 person can be a director of

Either that or have them legally tied together so that if one entity goes broke the othes have to pay it’s creditors.

Directors need to be held personally liable, at least when they are also the owners of the business. Either that, or creditors need to be able to see exactly what they’re dealing with at all times.

I still have the court documents from when my patents lost everything in the 1961 (they were owed £25,000 which would have bought them 8 houses at the time) because the company that owed them money went broke. The documents are a text book exposė of asset stripping and debt loading. Starting all over was the reason my family moved from Melbourne to Canberra in 1963.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.