Farmer putting heat on bankers
But despite Mr Sciacca maintaining he was meeting interest payments, Permanent Custodians appointed receivers PPB Advisory in December 2008, just prior to harvest.
Mr Sciacca had a stroke in 2006 and was confined to a wheelchair but still lent his expertise to running Aussea.
He is adamant the farm could have stayed open but for the management decisions of PPB Advisory that resulted in millions of dollars worth of prawns dying and the farm being sold in 2010 for a price not high enough to cover the outstanding debts of $1.8 million. PPB denies these claims.
The Cairns Post has seen a statutory declaration from former farm employee Peter Ganya stating PPB ignored advice and failed to replace mildewy prawn food, causing an estimated $2.4 million worth of prawns to die or become sick.
“PPB were absolute cowboys,” said Mr Sciacca. “$1.8 million (of debt) was about 28 per cent of the total value of the business; we had $2.4 million worth of prawns and they all died or got sick and the farm was sold for a pittance.
“How come a business worth $6.5 million could sell for only $1.55 million? That is proof of how much PPB ran the place into the ground.
“My life has been ruined because the banks moved in prematurely and for no reason.
“There are plenty of other people in the same situation, and that’s why there needs to be a royal commission.”