PHOTO: C & S Plumbing initially entered administration in February. FILE

All 70 employees of the plumbing company found themselves out of work when the company faced liquidation, a direct result of its director’s decision to award himself a substantial salary in the months leading to its downfall. On March 27, C & S Plumbing Pty Ltd officially went under, leading to an immediate loss of employment for its entire workforce, as reported by

Documents obtained from ASIC and disclosed by reveal that C & S Plumbing Pty Ltd, a business based in both Benalla and Melbourne, specializing in commercial plumbing work since 2015, succumbed to its financial troubles. At its prime, the company boasted a staff count of 100, which dwindled down to 70 by the time of its closure.

Simon Nelson, an insolvency expert from BPS Recovery and Reconstruction, was appointed as the liquidator for the Victorian enterprise. These records indicate that C & S Plumbing had accumulated debts totaling $12.2 million owed to over 100 creditors. Among these liabilities, $1.9 million was earmarked for 76 employees who were left unpaid for their wages, superannuation, and retrenchment. An additional $3.7 million was owed to the Australian Taxation Office.

Shane Arnold was the director of C & S Plumbing and paid himself a six figure sum in the last four months of the company’s operation.

Shane Arnold was the director of C & S Plumbing and paid himself a six figure sum in the last four months of the company’s operation.

The liquidator’s official report highlights allegations of questionable financial dealings in the months prior to the company’s demise. The sole director, Shane Arnold, reportedly inflated his own salary and orchestrated the transfer of the company’s assets to another business entity involving a family member. The original plumbing company was also made to carry out work for this related business. The liquidator is investigating the possibility of recovering funds by pursuing Shane Arnold directly, alleging unscrupulous transactions. Mr. Arnold has signaled his intention to declare bankruptcy, as per the report filed with the regulatory authorities.

C & S Plumbing initially entered administration in February before transitioning into liquidation in March following legal action from creditors over unpaid debts. The company’s financial struggles rendered it incapable of satisfying its outstanding obligations. During the four months between late November and the appointment of the liquidator, Shane Arnold saw a significant increase in his wages. This rise was accomplished by cashing out accumulated annual leave and other balances, resulting in an approximate payment of $101,000 during this period. The liquidator suspects these payments to be potentially recoverable voidable transactions within the context of the liquidation process.

The report also reveals that C & S employees were engaged in a subdivision project for a company named Arnold Land Development, a venture directed by a family member of Shane Arnold. Despite the completion of work valued at $456,665, which included both labor and materials, this sum was never remitted to C & S Plumbing. The liquidator’s office formally requested the repayment of this amount, but at the time of the report’s filing in May, no response had been received.

In addition, the liquidator identified the sale of plant and equipment to Arnold Land Development as a “voidable transaction.” This characterization implies that the sale occurred at a price below its fair market value due to the circumstances, making it eligible for seizure by the liquidator.