Salim Mehajer posted ‘Goodbye Australia’ hours before it emerged he was banned from running companies for three years

Photo: Instagram/Salim Mehajer

Controversial former council politician and businessman Salim Mehajer has been disqualified from managing corporations for three years, “as a means of protecting others from his incompetence,” the Australian Securities and Investments Commission announced today.

ASIC’s decision to disqualify Mr Mehajer in November 2015 was upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), which found his management of corporations SMPD P/L and SMEC P/L “fell far short of what is reasonably expected of a director.”

The announcement may shed some light on a cryptic social media post from the colourful Sydney identity on Saturday (since deleted), suggesting that he was leaving Australia.

In the post on his Instagram page, Mehajer included a picture of a ship on Sydney Harbour with the caption, “Goodbye Australia”.

“Will be taking off to pursue my dream challenges,” he wrote, adding: “I’ll be back.”

ASIC first disqualified Mehajer from managing corporations in November last year, a decision he appealed. Mehajer also successfully sought a stay of ASIC’s decision, as well as orders suppressing publication of his disqualification and appeal.

ASIC found Mehajer’s failure to manage both SMPD and SMEC had caused them to fail, with each owing $886,701 and $159,206 to the Australian Taxation Office, respectively.

The decision followed reports from liquidators of both companies, which operated in the property development and construction industries.

The AAT described Mehajer as having adopted a “cavalier approach to his management of the companies,” and said the disqualification was necessary “as a means of protecting others from his incompetence.”

It has been an eventful year for the former mayor, who split from his wife Aysha April Learmonth earlier this year.

Mehajer was also on the receiving end of a provisional AVO filed on Ms Learmonth’s behalf in July, while a separate AVO was taken out against him by a member of Ms Learmonth’s family.

Both AVO matters have been adjourned to Wollongong Local Court on September 8.

NSW Police are also investigating a video of Mr Mehajer screaming obscenities and making rape threats, allegedly towards Ms Learmonth and her family.

This article first appeared at the SMH. Read the original article here.