Mackay businesswoman loses home, faces bankruptcy
MACKAY businesswoman Julie Agnew is facing personal bankruptcy just nine months after being named a Telstra Women's Business Owner of the Year finalist.
The former owner of professional training provider Jade Corporate and Community Development has lost her East Mackay home to the bank, and owes former clients tens of thousands of dollars.
Staff have also been unpaid, and Mrs Agnew confirmed employees were still owed a month's pay, while superannuation had not been paid in about 12 months.
The fall of Jade Corporate has been blamed on decreased investment in the mining sector.
Mrs Agnew said the tipping point occurred when a major client cancelled a $145,000 contract prior to Christmas 2012.
She also spent time in Townsville caring for her seriously ill mother and said little revenue had come into the business in her absence.
But former clients have reacted with raised eyebrows to Mrs Agnew's declaration, and have questioned a European holiday she took with husband Daryl late last year.
Mrs Agnew said the holiday was a gift from her daughter and at the time she "had no idea what would happen".
"There was no cent of company money spent on that time away," she said.
"I have bent over backwards to do the right thing by my staff.
"I barely have enough money to pay for food.
"I probably have to leave town - it's embarrassing ... I am sick with it."
Mrs Agnew said the bank foreclosed on her home early last week, prompting her to cease operations at Jade Corporate.
The Daily Mercury understands Mrs Agnew, through Jade Corporate, collectively owes a host of Mackay businesses about $500,000.
But with no money left in the kitty, it's unlikely those clients will ever be able to recoup what they've lost.
RICHES TO RAGS
IT was a riches to rags story that could only be of the resource sector's making.
Julie Agnew founded professional training company Jade Corporate and Community Development 10 years ago and rode the mining boom all the way to the top.
But as the boom began to implode, so did Mrs Agnew's business, and she is now facing personal bankruptcy.
Yesterday she spent her time packing up possessions in a house now owned by the bank.
Her fall from grace hasn't been silent, and the splash has left a host of companies owed tens of thousands of dollars.
Staff too have been hit, and have not received pay for at least four weeks, while superannuation hasn't been paid in 12 months.