WA land speed project headed for legal showdown

Aussie Invader 5R

Rosco McGlashan’s team are prepared to wage a legal fight against the decision to suddenly withdraw a grant for his attempt on the World Land Speed Record.

A $450,000 refund, approved officially on R&D grounds, was withdrawn midstream, bringing the Aussie Invader 5R project to a standstill.

The Australian Taxation Office initially handed out $180,000 with the total grant to be paid out over a four-year period after being approved in 2013.

The ATO have since demanded the money already paid plus interest be returned and have threatened to send liquidators in to repossess the Aussie Invader rocket-powered machine.

Speedcafe.com understands the project was placed in jeopardy when the company which Aussie Invader used to win the tax grant was sold.

The new buyer was then subject to a tax audit on the last six deals which it inherited from the seller, of which the Aussie Invader was one, however they didn’t want to go through the hassle of the audit process and withdrew all of the applications.

“I got a bill from the tax office and that’s the first I knew there was a problem,” Aussie Invader leader and driver Rosco McGlashan told Speedcafe.com.

“I’ve been back and forth with them ever since.

Rosco McGlashan, OAM, is determined to get the Aussie Invader 5R project back on track

“I subsequently met with Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull and he said he will look into it and see what he could do and get back to me but he never did.”

With the project crawling to a stop and in jeopardy of collapsing, the Perth operation established a fighting fund via a GoFundMe page, vowing to legally claw their way out of trouble.

“It is salvageable and I think we will have this whole thing wrapped up in a week or two, it just depends on what its going to cost,” McGlashan said.

“The car is sitting here. It is 16m long. It’s got a rocket motor sitting out of the arse of it and it’s got special wheels.

“But there’s nothing on the car that relates to anything else in the world.

“So you can’t chop it up and put the wheels on a plane. Nothing is transferrable.

“The liquidator is saying that the car is officially valued at over one million dollars and now we are talking about getting $5000 for it for scrap.

“It’s just a ludicrous situation to be in and through no fault of ours.”

A groundswell of support from Australia and globally has given those behind the effort to beat the English Bloodhound SSC campaign to the 1000mph-plus (1600km/h) barrier first, hope that it will still happen.

Both the Aussie Invader and the Bloodhound SSC are planning the attempt later this year.

Richard Noble and Andy Green, who are behind the Bloodhound attempt, have instantly thrown their support behind McGlashan’s plight.

“They (Noble and Green) are good friends of ours and the North American Eagle guys are the same. They all wanted to help out after hearing about our situation,” McGlashan said.

“The whole British team (Bloodhound SSC) has put money into our fighting fund.

“What no-one seems to appreciate is we were head-to-head with these guys 14 months ago.

“And now we’ve just lost 14 months with all the crap that has gone on.

“We are struggling now to catch up with them and that’s what really hurts.

Bloodhound’s supersonic machine will be piloted by Andy Green who will attempt to break the existing record he set in 1997 of 763 mph (1227.985 km/h).

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