Baw Baw CEO back in the news!

teckel

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Assault inquiry draws in embattled Baw Baw boss

THE chief executive of Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort is embroiled in a police investigation into liquor licensing breaches after a violent assault involving staff at a function to mark the end of the ski season.

Leona Turra is also being investigated by consultancy firm Deloitte over allegations of impropriety and financial mismanagement at the resort, after concerns were raised with the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

The latest incident occurred at the Alpine Hotel on August 26, when two resort employees allegedly bashed the resort's snow sports manager outside the venue. The victim suffered internal injuries, a cracked eye socket and broken nose.

According to several sources, the alleged attack happened after midnight - more than an hour after the venue was licensed to serve alcohol.

Ms Turra is the approved nominee on the venue's liquor licence, but was not at the bar when the assault occurred. She denied drinks were served after 11pm, but declined to make further comment to The Sunday Age until the police investigation was finalised.

The Mount Baw Baw resort is also believed to be under serious financial pressure, with about 20 staff warned at a meeting last Monday that payment of their wages could be delayed.

The Sunday Age revealed last month that Ms Turra had been accused of rorting the organisation's corporate and marketing budgets, providing jobs to family members, and giving lift passes, food and alcohol to at least 10 relatives.

Ms Turra also refused to comment on these allegations while they were under investigation by Deloitte.

Despite reporting losses in four of the past five years, Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort board chairman Ralph Booth defended Ms Turra.

''It's the resort that's losing money, not her. It could have been a lot worse. I'm well aware of the dire financial situation, but without substantial capital expansion by the government, things won't get better,'' he said


Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/assaul...l#ixzz1XYg2C0Gs
 
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currawong

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why were they still trading if they can't afford to pay staff?

i can understand their anger, but it's no excuse for violence

and fancy, a bar in the snow being open after closing time
shocked.gif
 
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Hunter

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Despite reporting losses in four of the past five years, Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort board chairman Ralph Booth defended Ms Turra.

''It's the resort that's losing money, not her. It could have been a lot worse. I'm well aware of the dire financial situation, but without substantial capital expansion by the government, things won't get better,'' he said

One hopes this little mountain can prosper but how much money ( above what other assistance vic resorts get ) do we the state pump into this failing enterprise ?

I believe they could not find anyone who could see this as a profitable business ( how right they were ) hence it is still operated and propped up by the tax payer yes ?
Wonder if that is an open ended deal ?
 
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Xstaff

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They need to turn the whole resort into a terrain park.

Build super pipes and kickers out of dirt and install snow making facilities to cover them...

That is their only hope for survival......
 

Hunter

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Build up this type of terrain yes, the whole resort, no, narrows the market too much, core problem is snow cover is too unreliable. As other resorts have shown this can be over come with expanded snow making but that costs lots of money, where is the money to be found in an loss making business ?
 

teckel

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I disagree that the smaller resorts should have to make a profit. That would be like saying that the art gallery has to make a profit. The smaller resorts serve a valuable social purpose - offering experiences to the broader public that they would otherwise not have. The smaller resorts are affordable to everyone, not just those who can afford to downhill ski while staying in 5 star accommodation. Baw Baw is the closest downhill resort to Melbourne, and the only resort that's accessible within reason to the Latrobe Valley metropolis.

The big 3 resorts in Vic, are the only ones that are realistically capable of making profits over a sustained period of time, and it would be difficult to justify subsidisation from the public purse when they cater mostly for the upper half of the social demographic. The smaller resorts are encouraged to make a profit when possible, but the government should never pull the plug on them because they can't, unless they cease to serve the majority of ordinary mums and dads or they become subject to massive rorting and mismanagement. And I think that is the issue here.

(It's an absolute travesty that the plug was pulled on Buffalo - maybe if it had been closer to Spring St, that would not have happened)
 

Hunter

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( I may well agree with your point of view, I do in part ) but yours is a skewed biased opinion, ask the question to all tax payers ( ie those who are seeing their taxes being spent on bailing out this resort ) and I am sure few would agree that propping up a ski resort is justified, regardless of its post code.
 

priderock

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I have to agree with Teckel on this one - the government funds all manner of recreational facilities and as a taxpayer I am OK with that. I choose to spend what limited discretional funds I have by taking my family to BB for a weekend each year to enjoy the snow. If the resort wasn't supported then many like myself who cannot afford the larger resorts would miss out. What really pisses me off is this whole question of alleged rorting of our money currently being investigated. Now add this issue of violent behaviour by staff and reported liquor license breaches. Where is the accountability for this behaviour - makes you wonder what scrutiny of staff goes on for employment.
 

Hunter

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teckel said:
I disagree that the smaller resorts should have to make a profit. That would be like saying that the art gallery has to make a profit.

No, you are asking the likes of say wet and wild be tax payer propped up even though it has consistantly lost money year after year, reckon that would fly to the general public ?
 
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teckel

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Hunter said:
( I may well agree with your point of view, I do in part ) but yours is a skewed biased opinion, ask the question to all tax payers ( ie those who are seeing their taxes being spent on bailing out this resort ) and I am sure few would agree that propping up a ski resort is justified, regardless of its post code.
If you posed the same question in regards to propping up the art gallery, would it be any different?
 
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currawong

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it's not black & white

baw baw as a year round national park is supported by the taxpayer - and rightly so. the question is what winter activities should be subsidised, if any. baw baw is important recreation area for people who live in gippsland. melbourne-ites get lots of parks, beaches, bike paths etc. communities also rely on tourism to some extent and government often spends to support communities in that way.

i don't think there should be a blank cheque to support the resort, but some expenditure is appropriate. i think the focus would be better to be on xc, snowplay and terrain park rather than lifts. but i'm not totally against supporting lifts to help them survive a bad year.
 

Ziggy

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Depends what's in their charter.

If to break even and having failed that four years out of five, it's comic to hear the Board chairman say it's the resort's fault not the CEO's. What a level of accountability!

Elsewhere I've posted about my last - poor - experience there; all due to a failure to manage staff and resources effectively.
 

teckel

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The CEO is ultimately responsible for the resort. That's what she's employed for. Ralph Booth can legitimately complain about the weather, but not about the resort. Is he talking about the weather (ouf of anyone's control), or the resort (within the CEO's control)?
 

Hunter

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teckel said:
No. Wet & Wild is a private business for the purpose of profit making. Ski resorts are on public land which is publically owned.

How common is it for a state Govt to be the financial backer of a downhill ski resort ? Especially an unviable one ?
Would you say it is the norm or something quite rare/odd even ?

Name all the others you know of ?
 
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Hunter

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teckel said:
Hunter said:
( I may well agree with your point of view, I do in part ) but yours is a skewed biased opinion, ask the question to all tax payers ( ie those who are seeing their taxes being spent on bailing out this resort ) and I am sure few would agree that propping up a ski resort is justified, regardless of its post code.
If you posed the same question in regards to propping up the art gallery, would it be any different?

Most ( national/ state level ) art galleries in most/many countries are run by / financed in good part by local/state/national govts.
How many downhill ski resorts are that you know of ?
 
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Hunter

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currawong said:
swimmimg pools, basketball courts etc might be a better parallel.

No it is not, council run pools are the norm all over the country, again name other state govt run downhill ski resorts ? especially in a hot country like Aust.
Actually pools would be a good comparison if we are talking about a country where deep cold snowy winter is the norm and most people skied like most people swim here, then it would make more sense.
 
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teckel

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Anyway, the question of this is moot, unless we know what money is being spent where at BB. If say, big money was being spent on management's entertainment facilities, clearly that money should be re-directed to the resort's day to day operations and paying wages. Presumably, Deloittes have or are trying to gain access to these figures. Maybe, BB should be closer to breaking even than it is.
 

Hunter

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Hang on so its is mostly about geography ?
So I guess if little Selwyn fell into the same hole BB has but does not fit in your little map you would be happy to let in die ?
I would say that resort can claim may of the "community attributes" you are putting up for the propping up of BB.

Location has little to do with it, no sane private operator would take it on so the govt was faced with no other option, it may in time end the same way Buffalo did if it continues to lose money each season, do I think that is a good thing ? hell no, does not change the fact the situation is very odd.
 

Hunter

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teckel said:
Anyway, the question of this is moot, unless we know what money is being spent where at BB. If say, big money was being spent on management's entertainment facilities, clearly that money should be re-directed to the resort's day to day operations and paying wages. Presumably, Deloittes have or are trying to gain access to these figures. Maybe, BB should be closer to breaking even than it is.

The question is not moot, but I agree with the rest of your post absolutely.
A resort like this should be run by a group of on mountain stake holders, people whose working lives depend on its success.
 
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teckel

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I can't help there. I don't know much about Mt Selwyn, given that it's in another state. I just stated above that it's a travesty that Buffalo was allowed to die, so I think I would say the same about Mt Selwyn (if I knew more about it). But really, you seem to be arguing for the sake of it. It sounds as though you're pro Buffalo & Selwyn, but anti Baw Baw?
 

teckel

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Hunter said:
The question is not moot, but I agree with the rest of your post absolutely.
A resort like this should be run by a group of on mountain stake holders, people whose working lives depend on its success.
Now that, I agree with. None of the board members of LM live in the area and none are stakeholders. The new CEO doesn't either, but he is renting accommodation in the area during the winter at least. Stakeholders tempered with some government representation to ensure that the public are put ahead of profits, and that the environment is given due consideration.
 
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djam

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My Issue with the current situation is that the lifts, pub and other services used
to be private run businesses. And when the leases came up for renewal the govt
would not renew them. In the case of the lift company, it seems the then management
believed the lift company was making a killing and not putting funds back into the
resort. Unfortunately this seems to be a common way people think, the reality is
the private company only ever just managed to pay its bills, on bad years had to
take on loans hoping for some good years to pay them back.

As part of the lift company being kicked off the resort, the chairlift was lost, which
did a lot to kill off the mountain biking that was doing quite well. A well needed summer
income.

So now we have a resort that the tax payer is picking up the tab on, the cost of a
resort (lifts) IMO is beyond what the tax payer should be picking up. I ski elsewhere
these days, yes in costs a little more, but I see it as much better value (as a down
hill skier) anyway.

As others posted, snow making is the only way to keep the downhill skiing alive
at Baw Baw, and it costs a a fortune which even the larger resorts struggle with.

The only future for all Oz resorts is to work on other activities to support the massive
costs currently having to return the income in an ever shrinking time frame.
 

Petesguitar1

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Xstaff said:
They need to turn the whole resort into a terrain park.

Build super pipes and kickers out of dirt and install snow making facilities to cover them...

That is their only hope for survival......
I second this notion 100% - Close to Melbourne, good space and short runs. You could attract an huge sector of the snowboard / free ski market if that's who you catered to. If they were able to keep a good half-pipe then they would have Buller beaten hands down. The only issue for some would be surface lifts, but I reckon it would thrive.
 
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Hunter

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teckel said:
I can't help there. I don't know much about Mt Selwyn, given that it's in another state. I just stated above that it's a travesty that Buffalo was allowed to die, so I think I would say the same about Mt Selwyn (if I knew more about it). But really, you seem to be arguing for the sake of it. It sounds as though you're pro Buffalo & Selwyn, but anti Baw Baw?

Not at all I am observing how odd it is to have a downhill ski resort run by and to a large degree porpped up financially by state taxes. Do I think the little mountain should attract support you bet, is it a bottomless pit though ? I bet it is not as Buffalo found out.
 
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teckel

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It's not a huge amount that the taxpayer is subsidising Baw Baw. I can't find any later annual report on their website than 2007, but that report shows an average government subsidy of about $1.5 mill per year for the preceding 5 years. That is a miniscule amount in the government's budget.
 

Hunter

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I bet there are many other country sporting entities desperate for money that might not agree with the term "miniscule" entities that have facilities used year round by a far greater % of their population than downhill skiing.......................... ie how many days activity a year does BB make use of that funding ?
Anyway it remains the situation is unusual.
 

BawBawSkier

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Aug 23, 2011
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djam said:
My Issue with the current situation is that the lifts, pub and other services used
to be private run businesses. And when the leases came up for renewal the govt
would not renew them. In the case of the lift company, it seems the then management
believed the lift company was making a killing and not putting funds back into the
resort.

The "then management" was basically the management Baw Baw has now.
The present CEO was Chairperson of the Board when the chairlift was forced off the hill
 
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snowgum

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Just back from bbawbs - v good snow (20-40cm) for a 'shut mtn'. Lifts shut that is.
Jumping in here BB needs some top-bottom snowmaking on 3-4 runs not the 1 it has. Then more could book with confidence. Bawbs has most things it needs - sealing south face Rd would help - 200 hairpins on noojee doesn't!
The state subsidizes so many things that don't improve our every day lives so a 2-5 million sub for 2-3 small resorts (exercise/wellbeing/ tourism etc...) not such a big worry. Tourism pretty important aspect here - West Gippy lost thousands jobs from SEC privatization.
Yep, would be great to get some help for Buffalo too but that boat has sailed I fear. A great shame - perhaps deemed too far from Melbourne to be worthy
 

Oldie

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Re snowmaking at BB. It seems to me that the overnight min temps are a little bit too high for good snow making on a regular basis. I was delighted when they got some snow making guns at BB but over the years it doesn't seem that a lot of use has been had. Admittedly in 2006, the snowmaking was the only thing that allowed BB to be, at least, open for a while. Apart from the "shaved-ice" type of snowmaking that LM has invested in, are some guns better than others in making snow with temps only just below 0 degrees?
While I accept that some people believe that lifted down-hill skiing should not be subsidised by the govt, In my opinion it would be a great shame if lifting at Baw Baw were to cease.
 

snowgum

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I'm no snowmaking expert but I understand the air/water guns (as per Wombats at FC etc) are better in marginal temps & automation is ~ 30% more efficient (more volume) than manual - both which sound better for a resort Like Bawbs with relatively small snow windows.
I'm guessing they're both fairly expensive so convincing a board/DSE/Minister to fund x no. of new hi-tech guns & infrastructure could be rather difficult.
 

snowgum

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Mm low humidity not a common feature at Baw Baw - I reckon it gets ~ 1-2 SM nights / week mid season - not a good rate for making a significant difference.
But I also wonder if the resort makes full use of the 'cold windows' - where an auto system would help - reduce need for rostered staff & maximise snow volume.
 
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