August 26, 2016
Jason Elks – the face of Moreton Resources for most South Burnett residents – wants to quit, and two Directors of the Moreton Resources Board, including the Chairman, have gone.
Moreton Resources, which has been progressing plans for a controversial open-cut coal mine near Kingaroy, lodged a statement with the ASX on Friday morning detailing changes to its Board.
It said Mr Elks had “recently begun discussion with the Board about his desire to resign from the role of CEO at an appropriate time and post resolution of the AAT matters”.
The AAT (Administrative Appeals Tribunal) matters concern the dispute between Moreton Resources and the Australian Taxation office.
The announcement coincides with the August 26 deadline set by the ATO for Moreton to repay $8.1 million.
The ATO is seeking repayment of $1,003,455.22 for a 2012 research and development tax offset, and $7,182,269.41 for a 2013 R&D offset linked to the failed Cougar Energy underground coal gasification project at Coolabunia.
Moreton Resources had been seeking to defer this payment, with the next Tribunal hearing scheduled for February 2017.
Friday’s statement to the ASX said Mr Elks would assume the role of Executive Chairman, effective immediately.
“Mr Elks will assume the role of Executive Chair for an interim period, and the Company will begin the search for a candidate to take on the role of CEO of Moreton in early 2017 to assist the company to advance the significant asset portfolio currently under management.”
The ASX statement also reported the resignation of Independent Directors Wayne Penning and Brett Fletcher.
Mr Penning joined the Board in 2014, and Mr Fletcher in 2015. Mr Fletcher was appointed Chairman in late 2015.
They have been replaced by Executive Director Valeri Melik, currently General Manager of Technical Services, who joined the company in 2008 as an engineer; and Non-Executive Director Tony Feitelson.
Mr Feitelson is a major shareholder of Moreton Resources, holding about 28 per cent of the company either directly or indirectly, and has been financially supporting Moreton “to navigate a relatively critical and tough time for the organisation”.
The statement to the ASX, signed by Mr Elks, noted: “The benefits of the restructured Board will allow the company to be more responsive to the demands and issues at hand, whilst providing a reduced impact on corporate costs, related to provision of salaries and wages for Board members.”
southburnett.com.au’s attempt to speak to Mr Elks on Friday morning was not successful. A spokesperson referred us to the company website.
Moreton Resources’ annual general meeting is due to be held on October 20 in Brisbane.