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NRMA files lawsuit after $2m loan bungle

NRMA has asked the Federal Court to rectify a mistake made when providing a $2 million loan to aviation startup Elenium Automation.

Subsidiary NRMA Treasury originally agreed to provide the $2 million to Elenium, which produces airport check-in kiosks among other things, under the condition that security would be taken over “all present and after acquired property” of the tech firm.

According to an affidavit by NRMA senior corporate lawyer Bradley Mortimer, the security was to have been up to a value of $4.2 million and included three patents and a motor vehicle.

It was never registered as required on the federal government’s Personal Property Security Register, he said.

Mr Mortimer says he took over the Elenium transactions for 10 days in April this year after an unnamed NRMA solicitor who normally oversaw the account came down with COVID-19.

He said there was “miscommunication” as to who was responsible for what aspects of the transactions, and that he was notified in June while on parental leave of the omission.

“As a result of that miscommunication, neither I nor the NRMA Investments Lawyer advanced the matter further and the security interests were not perfected by registration,” he wrote.

On Friday, Federal Court Justice Scott Goodman granted NRMA’s orders seeking an extension of time to register the security on the PPSR.

It is not yet known whether Elenium will oppose these orders, however, with the judge ordering the firm be served with the document forthwith.

Elenium has been approached for comment.

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