Taxpayers pick up $60,000 party tab
Taxpayers forked out more than $60,000 so employees of Queensland Investment Corporation could party last year.
Top executives at the government-owned colossus, including boss Damien Frawley, also enjoyed a pay hike even as profitability declined.
Details of the spending can be found in QIC's annual report, which was released without fanfare recently but still managed to raise a few eyebrows.
It reveals that four functions for staff, both in Brisbane and Sydney, cost $60,546 in the year to June 30.
But fear not. QIC reassures us in the document that it "has policies in place to ensure that corporate hospitality and entertainment expenditure is appropriate, reasonable and has identifiable commercial benefits".
What "commercial benefits" flow from the troops getting on the grog, you might ask? We're still trying to figure that one out.
The report also shows that pre-tax profit fell to $84.3m, down from $98.5m in 2019.
That still allowed QIC, which has an estimated $80bn worth of assets around the globe, to tip a $44.2m dividend into the coffers of the state government.
Expenses for the year shot up nearly $97m, with a part of that flowing to the top seven executives, whose combined remuneration swelled nearly 9 per cent to $3.55m.
Frawley, an ex-Wallaby, saw his package edge up to $845,557.
Meanwhile, a shake-up earlier this year resulted in several QIC top guns heading for the exits after investments tanked in US shopping centres.
Has another top figure departed the Public Trustee of Queensland?
We hear Josephine Giles, a senior director for governance and risk, has gone on extended leave and is not expected to return to the troubled agency.
A former Justice Department operative, Struan Robertson, has taken over the role and been there in an acting capacity since August.
Giles first took on the job in mid-2017 after stints in Queensland Health and Treasury, as well as the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
She could not be contacted on Monday and a PT spin doctor declined to comment, citing an inability "to discuss matters relating to individual staff and their personal matters''.
You know that irony is alive and well when debt collectors go to the wall.
Brisbane-based Nexxa Portfolio Management collapsed this month owing about $1.2m.
Sole director and owner Dan O'Farrell has tapped administrator David Stimpson to clean up the mess.
Creditors are set to meet for the first time this week and Stimpson told City Beat that he's hopeful the firm, which is part of a larger group, can be resuscitated through a "deed of company arrangement''.
"The underlying business is good. The administration is about tidying up the balance sheet and protecting the business so they can trade on,'' he said.
O'Farrell did not return calls seeking comment on Monday.
Launched in 2012, Nexxa and related entity Credit Four manage more than $620m of delinquent debts. In addition to Brisbane, they have outposts in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide too.
Three dentists hoping to spill the board of embattled Smiles Inclusive have pushed back a planned EGM in Brisbane this week until December.
Dr John Camacho, Dr Arthur Walsh and Dr Philip Makepeace allege that the Gold Coast-based dental group improperly issued more than 10 million shares this month in a bid to thwart their challenge.
The company denies that claim, saying the well-flagged capital raising generated $256,000 needed to fund operating expenses and settle debts.
The trio said Monday that they believe the extra time before the meeting will allow shareholders to better evaluate whether the company's turnaround plan is working.
Smiles has had a disastrous run since listing in early 2018, with legal action and boardroom disputes exacting a fearsome price. It suffered a $31m net loss in 2019 and the shares remain suspended from trade because half-year results have yet to be lodged.
Originally published as Taxpayers pick up $60,000 party tab