More unsavoury information about Village Roadshow and its appalling tax
planning emerged in yesterday’s ongoing case in the Melbourne Supreme
Court, as this report in The Australian reveals:

Village Roadshow managing director Graham Burke was forced to sell his
family farm in order to meet a huge tax bill after the Australian
Taxation Office shut down a trust designed to minimise income tax paid
by top Village executives.

Burke told the Victorian Supreme Court yesterday he was forced to sell
the farm – a 280ha property at Moyston in Victoria’s central west – to
repay the ATO after it disallowed deductions claimed by a remuneration
unit trust.

The trust had been set up by former executive director Peter Ziegler as
a tax-effective vehicle for Village bosses, including Mr Burke and
chairman Robert Kirby, the court was told in an earlier hearing.

“I wished in my life I hadn’t been party to all of that, tax schemes,
because subsequently they blew up. It was very unpleasant,” Mr Burke
said yesterday.

CRIKEY: Today’s story, part of The Australian’s
excellent coverage of this disgraceful saga, runs under the heading
“Village scheme cost Burke’s backyard.” Let’s hope they clear out all
the goats, including the top goats, from Burke’s backyard once the case
is over.