'I lost $500k when Noosa food and wine fest folded'
A SHAREHOLDER who lost half a million dollars when the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival collapsed in 2015 has spoken out about her experience.
"I think it's totally unfair," she said.
Lorraine Copley owned a 40 per cent share in the company managing the festival, and told the Daily the money she lost could have been put towards further endeavours supporting the arts and conservation.
Ms Copley had bought her shares in 2011 but decided at the 2014 festival she would sell, placing ads in newspapers in April 2015.
"I had no knowledge and was given no warning by Mr Berardo that it was going to be placed in administration just weeks after the 2015 festival," she said.
"I was so mortified that so many lovely people who had contributed to the festival also lost a lot of money - a lot of lovely local people included."
She believes the October 2015 claim by liquidator John Cunningham, of Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants, that Mr Berardo had been trading while insolvent should have been investigated by ASIC. Mr Berardo vehemently denied the claim at the time.
Ms Copley has since moved to Sydney where she continues to support the arts.
"I think it's wonderful that somebody's picked up the baton and (is) doing a well-run and more realistic festival where large debts are not incurred," she said.
"I loved the festival in 2017 and hopefully will be back next year."