Courtney Barbera has had a $220k lawsuit dropped. Picture: Instagram
Courtney Barbera has had a $220k lawsuit dropped. Picture: Instagram

Bikini model saved from $220k lawsuit

AN ITALIAN World Beauty Fitness and Fashion model who was set to fight a $220,000 lawsuit will no longer need to face court but her father is still facing allegations of trading while insolvent.

Courtney Barbera, who is the daughter of embattled Bundaberg farming patriarch Giatano (Guy) Barbera, was one of two defendants being sued by Lencrow Forklifts in the Brisbane District Court.

Ms Barbera was the runner-up in the bikini section of the World Beauty Fitness and Fashion Spectacular in Verona, Italy, in late 2018 and has more than 40,000 Instagram followers.

Sydney-based Lencrow Forklifts, formerly known as Hi-Lift Materials Handling, was pursuing $207,192 in unpaid hire fees and a further $19,918.80 in repairs to damaged equipment plus costs.

Bundaberg's Courtney Barbera has had her lawsuit dropped.
Bundaberg's Courtney Barbera has had her lawsuit dropped.

Also named as a defendant in court papers lodged in July was Sydney businessman Matt Maley. According to the claim, Ms Barbera and Mr Maley were either sole or joint directors of Barbera Farms which went into liquidation with debts of more than $1.4 million in April last year.

Ms Barbera was the director of Barbera Farms from its inception on February 9, 2017 until July 2018 while Mr Maley was a director from May 12, 2017 until the company was wound-up on April 11.

Ms Barbera lodged a notice of intention to defend in September in which she stated there was no basis for the allegation and a number of allegations were "embarrassing and should be struck out".

Courtney Barbera no longer has to be concerned about defending a $220,000 lawsuit after the company that lodged the suit discontinued their action. Picture: Mike Knott
Courtney Barbera no longer has to be concerned about defending a $220,000 lawsuit after the company that lodged the suit discontinued their action. Picture: Mike Knott

Ms Barbera and Mr Maley will not have to defend the civil suit after Lencrow Forklifts last month discontinued its action.

It was the third lawsuit either discontinued or dismissed against a Barbara family member since September.

The Barbera's have been farming zucchinis, capsicum and tomatoes around Bundaberg for almost 50 years.

Two civil suits against Mr Barbera were dismissed late last year, although he is still facing allegations of trading insolvent in civil action in Cairns District Court.

Mr Barbera and his company Barbera Holdings Pty Ltd are being sued for more than half a million dollars by the liquidator of Barbera Transport.

The liquidator alleges the company traded insolvent from March 31, 2016 until it was wound-up by the ATO on February 24, 2017, according to court documents.

Courtney Barbera enjoying a white Christmas in Switzerland in 2018. Picture: Instagram
Courtney Barbera enjoying a white Christmas in Switzerland in 2018. Picture: Instagram

Mr Barbera, in court documents lodged in June, has vigorously disputed the allegations.

Part of his defence included denying that Barbera Holdings was at all times the holding company and the company was not "insolvent at all times'.

A hearing has been set down in Cairns District Court on Friday where Mr Goggin is seeking mediation before a QC.

The liquidator alleges that over the 11-month period Barbera Transport traded insolvent, that the business chalked-up debts including an ATO bill of more than $119,000.

The biggest creditor, though, was IPG Global which was allegedly owed more than $421,000.

IPG Global, which was also under the directorship of Mr Barbera, went into liquidation in August 2018 with debts totalling more than $1 million.

Bundaberg family farming patriarch Guy Barbera is still facing legal action over an allegation of trading insolvent. Picture: Robyne Cuerel
Bundaberg family farming patriarch Guy Barbera is still facing legal action over an allegation of trading insolvent. Picture: Robyne Cuerel

Mr Barbera claimed in court documents that the company "was reliant on a farming enterprise with seasonal revenue" and "had a history of paying its creditors on extended terms that reflected seasonal income".

Barbera Transport was one of four companies of Mr Barbera's that was placed in liquidation, between February 2017 and August 2018, with alleged debts totalling more than $9 million.

Barbera Fresh went under in August 2018 with debts exceeding $5.7 million and the liquidator has since filed a supplementary report to the corporate watchdog ASIC.

Barbera Properties was also placed in liquidation with debts of $1.45 million.


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