Stephen Dank facing bankruptcy over forestry investment

Stephen Dank facing bankruptcy over forestry investment
Stephen Dank facing bankruptcy over forestry investment

Sports scientist Stephen Dank could be bankrupted after the Bendigo Bank launched ­action over an unpaid debt of ­around $100,000 related to a failed forestry scheme.

Mr Dank, who was in November banned for life from being ­involved in sport over his involvement in the Essendon doping saga, owes the Bendigo $98,500 after borrowing money to invest in a forestry scheme run by timber company Great Southern in 2006.

Great Southern collapsed in 2009. Great Southern Group was the country's largest agribusiness managed investment scheme (MIS) business.

The bank has been pursuing Mr Dank for the money since February last year, serving him with paperwork at the Sydney Opera House in March.

The Australian reported Bendigo Bank won a trigger to bankrupt Mr Dank from the Victorian County Court in October at another hearing he did not attend.

The Federal Circuit Court will hear the bank’s application to bankrupt Mr Dank on August 15.

The collapse of the Great Southern Group led to three Australian parliamentary committee inquiries into the MIS industry.

The Great Southern Group began in 1987 managing South-east Australian plantations of Pinus radiata, but in 1992 shifted to Eucalytus plantations for wood chip productio.

By 2001, the Group had 66 000 hectares of forestry plantations.

The Group diversified into viticulture, then expanded into organic olives, and acquired some beef cattle MIS businesses, including the 660,000-hectare Moola Bulla property in WA's East Kimberley region.

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