By Michael Giles
THE whole sorry saga of the collapse of Wonthaggi’s best loved community organisation, Moonya Community Services, back in 2013, highlights a number of issues.
Exactly what happened to cause the collapse of the service may never be known but it’s clear that mismanagement was at the heart of it and there’s a lesson in that for everyone on a board or committee; whether it be a darts association, the board of Murray Goulburn or the local shire council.
If you take on those supervising roles you have a responsibility to ensure that you know all aspects of good governance are in place, or you must blow the whistle.
Another issue which the collapse of Moonya and the subsequent appointment of administrators and liquidators Pitcher Partners of William Street, Melbourne highlights is greed!
How is it that the fee for administrating and liquidating Moonya’s $1.6 million in assets could involve a payment to that firm of almost $800,000, especially when local mum and dad creditors, in for losses of over $360,000, got nothing?
These were, after all, community owned, not government owned assets.
Surely there should be limits.
It is accepted that such fees are the going rate in the liquidation business and that Wonthaggi may have fared even worse if not for the efforts of Gess Rambaldi and his team, notably with the appointment of Connecting Skills Australia as an excellent disability services provider.
But how did this sector come to expect such huge fees?
And it’s not limited to them.
The corporate sector in Australia is simply out of control.
We saw something of that with the ABC Four Corners exposé on Murray Goulburn last night and we see it locally in the salaries paid to our shire CEOs and senior executives.
But it goes way beyond the obscene salaries paid to the top 100 CEOs and CFOs, to the huge rake off expected by family law and commercial lawyers, consultants and others… how did they come to expect and get such outrageous payments?
Providing an incentive for people to invest, grow businesses and employ lots of people is one thing but should these excesses be allowed to go on unchecked when we should also be encouraging talented people to take on other equally important roles such as teaching?
At the risk of being labelled a socialist, at what point do we recognise the greed for what it is?
Our whole attitude to work and pay, especially in the public sector, is all wrong. And that extends to people fraudulently hitting up the social security sector.
We’re fast becoming the fat, slow, dumb, broke country… rather than the lucky country.