GIMME SHELTER

HOW THE AUSSIE TAX OFFICE HAS PUT THE BRAKES ON ROSCO MCGLASHAN’S LAND SPEED RECORD PROJECT

ROSCO MCGLASHAN’S dream of returning the Land Speed Record to Australia looks to be in tatters as liquidators moved to repossess his rocket-powered Aussie Invader 5R. The ATO, which afforded McGlashan’s company, Landspeed Invader, a $450,000 tax incentive in 2013 has had a change of heart and has demanded repayment of $166,000 which has been spent on the vehicle.

“We can’t afford to pay that.

We would have paid it if we could,” said McGlashan. The 200,000hp car, which is 75 per cent complete, is primed to do battle with the lavishlyfunded British land speed challenger Bloodhound SSC.

But in 2015, the tax office reversed its decision and after 14 months of fighting, McGlashan is running up against the financial bump stops. “I’ve spent every cent of my superannuation fighting a legal battle,” he said.

The 9.2-tonne vehicle is now the target of a firm of insolvency accountants engaged by the tax office.

“You’d be lucky to get $5000 for it. The only person who could possibly buy it would be a scrap dealer,” McGlashan noted ruefully. With PM Malcolm Turnbull recently championing Aussie design and innovation, the timing could hardly be worse. As the seven-year project looked to be collapsing over financial bickering, McGlashan couldn’t fail to see a bitter irony. “It’s not about making money. It’s about achieving something for the country.”