Big W managing director resigns after complaint; Cairns tour company’s assets frozen: Midday Roundup

Big W managing director resigns after complaint; Cairns tour company’s assets frozen: Midday Roundup

Big W managing director Alistair McGeorge has resigned, citing health reasons related to an undisclosed workplace complaint.

McGeorge’s sudden departure comes after his appointment to the role just over a year ago.

Parent company Woolworths, which released a statement about the resignation to shareholders earlier today, said it did so “in the interests of transparency” following a complaint about Mr McGeorge’s behaviour in the workplace.

“The behaviour was verbal in nature. This complaint has been investigated and finalised and for legal reasons we are unable to make any further comment on this matter,” Woolworths said.

McGeorge’s resignation is effective immediately and Penny Winn, who was head of retail services, has been announced as interim managing director while Woolworths seek a permanent replacement for the role.

 

Cairns tour company’s assets frozen

 

A Federal Court has imposed a freezing order on the assets of a Cairns tour company following concerns it was avoiding paying fines and pay-back orders of more than $95,000.

Trek North Tours and owner Alan Jorgensen were fined $55,000 and $12,000 respectively in June for failing to adhere to compliance notices, which related to the company’s underpayment of five overseas backpackers.

The Fair Work Ombudsman, which had been chasing $30,000 in underpaid wages and entitlements on behalf of the former employees, sought freezing orders against the company and Jorgensen after they missed the deadline for full back payment of the entitlements and penalties.

The Ombudsman also says it acted because it believes Jorgensen was allegedly preparing to shift Trek North Tour’s assets to a new company.

Jorgensen paid the penalty imposed on him and the freezing orders on him no longer apply, however, the freezing order still applies to Trek North Tours.

 

Shares down on open

 

Aussie shares are down this morning off the back of a poor showing from Wall Street.

Tristan K’Nell, head of trading at Quay Equities, said local energy shares were in the red thanks to uncertainty in international markets.

“The Australian share market [is] looking at ending the week in the red as a heavy day of losses from Wall Street combined with more negative news out of the energy sector,” K’Nell said.

“Combined with the uncertainty out of China and now reports talking up a possible QE4, the market in a very cautious mood.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 0.96 %, falling 50.1 points to 5238.5 points at 11.55am AEST. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed down 2.06 %, falling 358.04 points to 16,990.69 points.

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