"Senior alpine staff in dubious expense claims"

Hunter

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Cuppa said:
teckel said:
People who go to Lake Mountain are not rich, Cuppa. It's the average mum and dad and kids. I see them every weekend. One of my jobs is to convince them that even if they can't afford to hire gear for themselves, they must hire it for their kids. Most gloves I sell are the $15 variety, and $5 beanies. And most prefer to hire gloves at $5 rather than purchase them at $15. And the general public regard LM as their mountain, their place to see the snow. Trying to convince them to hire skis instead of toboggans can be difficult - until I tell them the price and the fact that trail fees are $10/adult per day. Then they have to figure out if they can afford that. LM is not a rich person's mountain at all. I wish it were - I would make much more if it were.
I think you would find that if you surveyed a random 100 people they would say that the sport of skiing is an expensive rich man's sport.

So, I assume, what Hunter is saying that a general view amongst the population would be "why are the ski resorts been subsidised by my tax dollars?"

That is not to say that per head it may be more economical to fund a ski resort, than run a local swimming pool. It is just the general perception of it. I think that people would be more accepting of the costs of their local swimming pool than some ski resort they may vist once a year.
On the mark.
 
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Hunter

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I have directed/taken a number of people to both LM and BB, summer and winter, regardless pitching subsidies for ski resorts against your local pool for instance is a losing battle, pitching it against the likes of say the F1 race would be a closer race, and btw I hate silly car racing and would much rather see taxes at LM than Albert Park.

Either way, as I have said this exposure will make their job harder.
 

Big Al

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Big Al said:
[Deleted by admin - that type of speculation is not getting printed here]
I guess we will just have to wait until more details come out then. No names were mentioned, anyway you run the forums!
 
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ausi ski bum

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Every year about the start of the season there is a very negative report related to the skiing industry from the Age, often Patricia writes the article or post here about it but its a very regular occurance.
 

Big Al

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I dont see it as negative, Govt bodies need to have some transperancy. This is what happens when some of that transperency gets erroded. It's good for them to get a kick every so often.
 

ausi ski bum

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Big Al I am not being critical of the article or its contents what i am sugesting is there is a trend for articles like this and doom and gloom stories relating to our ski industry to come out in the Age Newspaper in the week leading up to the opening of the ski season.

Its no Secret that the Journalst Patricia Howard seems to write a number of these or at least post them here under her annon.
 

HiLo

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ASB - it's the Auditor General's report! That's hardly bigotry on the part of The Age. I would want a newspaper to highlight corruption where it exists. Are you suggesting it should be covered up?
 

teckel

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HiLo said:
ASB - it's the Auditor General's report! That's hardly bigotry on the part of The Age. I would want a newspaper to highlight corruption where it exists. Are you suggesting it should be covered up?
Actually Hilo the AG's report only says:
"• a refund of $1 100 to a board member for attending a political fundraising event."
It doesn't name a resort or person, so you have to assume that that is the Age's speculation.
 
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HiLo

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Yeah. OK. I did suggest early on it was a dodgy article. We're obviously seeing only a small part of the story.

Unfortunately, we almost never hear the resorts' side of these stories. Their strategy is usually silence. But at least Falls Creek has ASB to defend it, no matter what.
wink.gif
 
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ausi ski bum

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No Hilo if you read what I say rather than jump to your usual retoric I suggested that the Age publishes a negative resort article the same week every year, not just Falls Creek but resorts in general. It is also mostly a single Journo that writes them or brings them to our attention as well.

I wont defent this action if its true but I wont slam it either without knowing the facts. People are at least owed that.
 

TC

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ausi ski bum said:
Big Al I am not being critical of the article or its contents what i am sugesting is there is a trend for articles like this and doom and gloom stories relating to our ski industry to come out in the Age Newspaper in the week leading up to the opening of the ski season.

Its no Secret that the Journalst Patricia Howard seems to write a number of these or at least post them here under her annon.
exposed
 
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ausi ski bum

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My concern with articles like this is while they may be true messing with peoples reputations and futures for a sensational story is just wrong.

Get the proof, get a response and be fair.
 

climberman

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teckel - 200 000 vistors, or visitor days ?

A public servant, even a corporate one, having their employer pay for attending a fundraiser is a big no-no.
 

teckel

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Some would be repeats, but how can any resort measure that? Not many people come for a week, because of its close proximity to Melbourne (just an hour from the outer NE suburbs). Most are day-trippers and other than the locals, the bulk of the remainder would be here for the weekend only.
 

climberman

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teckel said:
Some would be repeats, but how can any resort measure that? Not many people come for a week, because of its close proximity to Melbourne (just an hour from the outer NE suburbs). Most are day-trippers and other than the locals, the bulk of the remainder would be here for the weekend only.
They would measure total visitor days (pretty easy with ticket sales), and probably undertake a level of customer sampling to (gu)estimate visitor numbers in terms of number of individuals. Pretty standard large sector tourism/business research. It gets kind of geeky but if it's dollars you're turning you often want to know that kind of stuff. You can learn how to best service (market to) your customer.
smile.gif
 
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The Loose Binding

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Anything at all, Hunter?

Any comment on your cross-media role as chief critic of the Australian ski industry?

All a bit silly really isn't it.
smile.gif
 
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Cuppa

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The Sage Continues

DEPUTY Premier John Thwaites has been receiving free luxury ski accommodation at Falls Creek from a board of management appointed by him.

It is believed that Mr Thwaites and his family have accepted what could amount to thousands of dollars worth of benefits from the resort's board, including use of an apartment and lift passes.

Other senior Bracks Government ministers are also believed to have been enjoying the board's hospitality, but not to the same degree as Mr Thwaites.
The chairwoman of the Falls Creek board of management, Judy Ward, is one of those who came under scrutiny. The Age revealed last week that she was the person cited in the audit report as having claimed a refund of $1100 for attending a political fund-raising event for state Labor MP Rob Hudson.

Ms Ward is believed to be well connected with the Labor Party, and was reappointed for a third successive three-year term by Mr Thwaites in 2004.

Her appointments have come despite questions about the performance of the board under her stewardship. A business source with close links to Falls Creek said the board was "dysfunctional" and "moribund".

Another source said Ms Ward had presided over a "huge turnover of staff", including a number of chief executives.
 
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hair-raiser

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The authors of this "Age" article are not the person to whom ASB refers. A bit of a conspiracy theory about that, eh, ASB?
 

teckel

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Actually, it's still a little questionable re Judy Ward. In the earlier article it stated that the Age "believed" it was her without offering any evidence. This current article states that her identity was "revealed" by this believer. They now just believe she is connected to the Labor Party. I think the Age needs to come clean and reveal how they know it's her.
 

HiLo

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Bogong said:
If no-one else wants the job, I'll do it,
smile.gif
, at the minimum wage too. ($15 hour).
....plus free lift tickets, accommodation, equipment hire, entrance fees, meals, etc....?
 
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teckel

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What a shame. When I lived in Sth Melbourne, Thwaites was my local councillor. He was impeccably honest, fought corruption, wanted to know his consituents, and was charming. How low people sink when the bar is raised
frown.gif
(yeah, I know - a ridiculous mixed metaphor)
 
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BrumbyJack

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Would the ski holiday happen to be something to do with presenting the prizes at the Hoppet??? If so, I can't really see the problem.

Resorts give free accommodation away to officials from other resorts, so why not the prize presenter
confused.gif
 
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Charlie

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I don't see it as corruption, he should have declared it, but I think it's pretty normal to provide facilities for VIP guests!
 

climberman

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Public servants are not there to receive largesse from anyone. Thwaites should be well aware that he needs not only to be doing the right thing but be seen to be doing the right thing. It's about equity.

Did they declare the gifts oin the gift register ?
 

Charlie

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climber, (may I call you that?)
I read somewhere he didn't declare them, and that is the only problem I can see!
 

climberman

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Charlie - naaahhh, it's a very naughty thing to do. The Public Service is about Service, not reward. He gets a salary, and allowances. That's should be it. He is meant to be a representative of the average person. Does the average person get free stuff from resorts ? The imputation will always be there that he may now be open to considering all things FC in a different light.

Put it this way - I'm not allowed to be bought a coffee by a private firm which may be in anyway vaguely connected, or possibly appear to be thought to be connected, to my role. If I was, I'd have to declare it, prefereably before it happened and gain managerial approval.

It's about transparency, equity, being seen to be doing the right thing and that old fashioned pair of things known as Honesty and Ministerial Responsibility.

PS - I've been called much worse, correctly, and not been offended !
 

Big Al

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Cuppa said:
The Sage Continues

DEPUTY Premier John Thwaites has been receiving free luxury ski accommodation at Falls Creek from a board of management appointed by him.

It is believed that Mr Thwaites and his family have accepted what could amount to thousands of dollars worth of benefits from the resort's board, including use of an apartment and lift passes.

Other senior Bracks Government ministers are also believed to have been enjoying the board's hospitality, but not to the same degree as Mr Thwaites.
The chairwoman of the Falls Creek board of management, Judy Ward, is one of those who came under scrutiny. The Age revealed last week that she was the person cited in the audit report as having claimed a refund of $1100 for attending a political fund-raising event for state Labor MP Rob Hudson.

Ms Ward is believed to be well connected with the Labor Party, and was reappointed for a third successive three-year term by Mr Thwaites in 2004.

Her appointments have come despite questions about the performance of the board under her stewardship. A business source with close links to Falls Creek said the board was "dysfunctional" and "moribund".

Another source said Ms Ward had presided over a "huge turnover of staff", including a number of chief executives.
Well I guess we have the proof now.

I don't believe thwaites is out of line as he is the minister responsible for all the ski resorts and having ministers up experiencing the ski fields is good for all, However the illustrious chair of falls creek is a completley different story. If you don't beleive me go and have a chat to almost any FC business or resident and ask them the question.

I guess 12K a year is not much for a chairperson but when you add up all the diiferent boards one COULD be on and the perks it's not a bad gig!
 
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Big Al

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dont think so, but it makes you think doesn't it?

If I was would I be talking about one of his appointments?? I think not! :rolleyes:
 

HiLo

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BrumbyJack said:
Would the ski holiday happen to be something to do with presenting the prizes at the Hoppet??? If so, I can't really see the problem.

Resorts give free accommodation away to officials from other resorts, so why not the prize presenter
confused.gif
Yes, but Thwaites is the person who appoints the people who gave him the freebies. Such situations looks very much like mutual back scratching, with my money.
 
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teckel

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BJ In an interview with him last night, whenever asked a question about number or night and number of times, he was deliberately vague, 'One or two or three or ..." his voice getting softer and softer. And if it were just him for the Hoppet, I agree - but his whole family? Nup.
 

Bogong

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Re: "Senior alpine staff in dubious expense claims

Okay, it's fair enough if Judy Ward supplies Mr Thwaites one nights accomodatrion at the expense of Falls Creek management. But it looks very dodgy when she gives a WEEKS accomodation to him AND his wife AND their kids.

Perhaps Mr Thwaites should just be reprimanded, [deleted by admin - slanderous]
 

HiLo

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Why don't we sack the person who put her there? I know it's normal now for people at the top to avoid all responsibility, but Thwaites both put her in the job and benefited from her largesse once she was there. Is he not MORE responsible?

[PS: The Firefox spell checker doesn't like Thwaites. It suggests fleabites.]
 

Bogong

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HiLo, I've always been a realist. I understand that Mr Thwaites is effectively untouchable. But Ward has done dodgy and incompetent things in her own right and in addition, so much of Falls Creek is dysfunctional (Oversnow transport, etc). So she is at least as culpable as Thwaites and unlike Thwaites, she doesn't have to answer to the people every four years. She has a very comfortable sinecure for as long as she likes, UNLESS politicians or ordinary punters like us call on her to account for her actions and behaviour.

I don't think I've ever been so angry and disgusted about a single bureaucrats behaviour. So to paraphrase Salome, "Bring me the head of Judy Ward on a plate".
 

Big Al

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Bogong said:
Okay, it's fair enough if Judy Ward supplies Mr Thwaites one nights accomodatrion at the expense of Falls Creek management. But it looks very dodgy when she gives a WEEKS accomodation to him AND his wife AND their kids.

Perhaps Mr Thwaites should just be reprimanded, but this is the squillionth dodgy thing that Miss Ward has done, not just outright donations to her favoured political party from Falls Creek funds, but also general mismanagement of Falls Creek generally.

This is the last straw, she hasn't learnt from her mistakes and hasn't even issued a "Sorry, but I'll learn from it" press release. This politicised incompetant really should resign now or be sacked.
:clap: very well put... I agree!
 
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Bogong

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Just so we know her background... from the FC website.

Board Member Profiles. Judy Ward - Chair

Judy is a long time devotee of Falls Creek in all seasons. She is a member of the Alpine Resorts Coordinating Council and chairs the All Seasons Committee of the Council. She is a non-executive director of a number of organisations including VicForests, Deakin University, DOXA Youth Foundation, and ACSO. Previous roles include long term partnership and leadership roles with a major accounting firm and as a director of the TAC, Melbourne Girls Grammar, the Merton Hall Foundation, the Victorian 2003 Bushfire Recovery Appeal Fund, the National Heart Foundation and other community, professional, and university bodies.
judy_ward.gif
 
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