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Madaz
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Australia
5056 Posts
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Posted - 28 Apr 2010 :  22:03:28  Show Profile Send Madaz a Private Message  Reply with Quote


The Greens have called on the corporate watchdog on to examine the financial viability of the Sydney Dragway amid allegations of favouritism by the chairman of the board.

Australian drag-racing legend Jim Read has headed the board of Western Sydney International Dragway at Eastern Creek since it opened in 2004, after the NSW government paid $30 million of taxpayers' money to build it. He strongly denies any wrongdoing.

His wife Denise runs all the merchandising at the dragway and is responsible for sponsors' signage and logos - exactly the same sponsors she deals with in her similar role with her husband's Jim Read Racing team.

One of the drivers of that team is Mr Read's son, Phil Read, whose plumbing firm provides much of the maintenance for plumbing work at the dragway.

In the past his stepdaughter Monique has operated the public address system, stepdaughter Melissa has sold programs, son Luke has done maintenance and nephew Michael Ryan lived in a flat at the site to provide security.

A former director and accountant of the WSID, Ian Seckold, said: "The joke at the track was that if your name wasn't Read you couldn't get a job here. Phil was doing any of the plumbing that needed to be fixed. He did a good job, though."

Former director David Cook, who helped Mr Read establish the dragway, said: "Many people worked very hard, committing a great deal of effort, passion and money to the establishment of Western Sydney International Dragway. It was planned to meet the needs of both the sport and the many individuals involved. It appears to be failing to meet either goal at the moment."

Sylvia Hale, Greens MP and spokeswoman for Western Sydney, said: "It is time that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission stepped in to investigate the operation of this company. The public needs to know now that its assets are being properly managed. "Should the company fail, the $30 million of public funds invested in the venture could be lost entirely."

One of the directors on the WSID board, which two years ago approved an almost $200,000 unsecured loan to Mr Read, is Robert Cavagnino, who is also the crew chief of one of Mr Read's racing teams. Also on the board is former NSW Labor Party staffer and deputy mayor of Liverpool Tony Beuk and his ex-wife Diane. Mr Beuk used his Labor connections to lobby for the government to build the raceway.

Ms Hale said: "It rings alarm bells to learn that an employee of the Labor Party heads up a public company that receives ongoing government funding for the construction and operation of the dragway."

"WSID's manager, Tony Beuk, is still listed on the Labor Party's website as an employee of the NSW branch of the ALP."

Mr Beuk signed off the last financial reports for the not-for-profit organisation. The latest, for the year ending June 2008, shows that the dragway made a loss of $758,153. It also received a grant of $225,296 and at the same time loaned Mr Read $190,887.

Mr Read has just returned from America where he was inducted into the Drag Racing Hall of Fame in Florida. He denies any suggestion of wrongdoing. "This place wouldn't exist without me," he said.

The last financial return filed by the dragway, again for the year ending June 2008, showed that Mr Read collected a salary package worth a total of almost $160,000.

"I am the one who didn't go to work for seven years to get the place built," he said. "There was no one else except my wife, she gave up seven years of her life to set up this place."

He said he had been accused of many things, all of which were false. "We have an open book here," he said.

"Jim Read Racing is losing money because my sponsors are putting money into the racetrack. The only one of my family who works here is my wife."

"My son quoted for all those plumbing jobs."

And he stressed that the $190,887 loan had been repaid.

The dragway also made more than $100,000 in donations to the Labor Party between 2003 and 2007. But, until recently, it did not pay rent.

Landlord Western Sydney Parklands Trust said the original agreement allowed for capital improvements to be made to the site in lieu of rent.

Trust director Suellen Fitzgerald said: "The Western Sydney Parklands Trust, which has been responsible for administration of the lease since July last year, renegotiated terms and the Western Sydney International Dragway Ltd is now being charged rent."

NSW Sport and Recreation Minister Kevin Greene's spokesman said: "The Western Sydney International Dragway Ltd is a public company. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is the relevant corporate regulator."

"Commercial matters such as those relating to employees and loans are matters for the board of Western Sydney International Dragway Ltd."

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/haze-over-dragway-as-racing-legend-denies-doling-out-jobs-20100424-tkid.html



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the randy dero
Transporter Driver



Australia
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joined 08 Apr 10

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Posted - 24 May 2010 :  19:13:33  Show Profile Send the randy dero a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
There is always potential corruption in any venture, and drag racing is not immune. Nor is the green lobby. I have serious doubts about the greens ability to seperate fact from rhetoric. Their place in parliament is more tenuous than the other parties so they have to sway with the breeze. They don't lie any less than the others, so their credibility is on a par with the others. Seriously, can you trust any politician? If it was legal I'd vote with bullets.

the randy dero
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Madaz
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Australia
5056 Posts
joined 21 Mar 07

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Posted - 24 May 2010 :  19:28:05  Show Profile Send Madaz a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
There's only one person who would bother responding to this topic, especially after all this time.

And that's the member formerly known as fprboss315.




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Edited by - Madaz on 24 May 2010 19:28:52
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PVDA
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2557 Posts
joined 02 Nov 02

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Posted - 25 May 2010 :  21:11:17  Show Profile Send PVDA a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
Maybe because it's a storm in a tea cup, after all it's the Greens doing the complaining and NSW has bigger problems they should be worrying about.
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Madaz
Team Manager



Australia
5056 Posts
joined 21 Mar 07

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Posted - 26 May 2010 :  20:31:22  Show Profile Send Madaz a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply

You might call corruption a storm in a tea cup but thousands of others wouldn't.



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