Crown casino may sell cheaply

Original article by Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 17 : 6-Aug-21

Analysis by Credit Suisse suggests that the value of James Packer’s 37 per cent stake in Crown Resorts would fall by about $300m to just $1.86bn if the group were to lose the licence for its Melbourne casino. Credit Suisse also says a ruling that Crown is unsuitable to hold the Melbourne licence could force it to sell the casino complex for less than full value, given that it is located on leased government land. However, Credit Suisse does not expect Victoria’s royal commission into Crown Resorts to recommend cancelling the licence outright.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, CROWN MELBOURNE LIMITED, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED

Crown pays Victoria $61m in unpaid taxes

Original article by Elouise Fowler
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 28-Jul-21

Crown Resorts has advised that it will pay some $37m of unpaid gambling taxes to the Victorian government, plus $24m worth of penalty interest. However, counsel assisting the state’s royal commission into Crown Resorts recently told the inquiry that Crown’s total unpaid tax bill dating back to 2012 could potentially be around $480m, a figure that has been disputed by the casinos group. The unpaid tax bill relates to the rewards program associated with Crown’s electronic gaming machines.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN

Vic royal commission accuses Crown’s Coonan of undermining it

Original article by Elouise Fowler, Hannah Wootton
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 12 : 9-Jul-21

Victoria’s royal commission into Crown Resorts has been told that the casino group’s executive chair Helen Coonan appeared to be seeking to undermine the inquiry. Adrian Finanzio, SC, the counsel assisting the inquiry, has read out a letter from Coonan to Victoria’s Gaming Minister Melissa Horne that was sent on 2 July, in which Coonan sought an urgent meeting with Horne and in which she spoke of "catastrophic consequences" if the royal commission were to make adverse findings against Crown’s Melbourne casino licence; Crown contributes 12 per cent of Victoria’s tax take. Royal commissioner Ray Finkelstein said the letter suggested to him that Crown was trying to interfere with the inquiry.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN

Concerned agency silenced in quarantine inquiry

Original article by Peta Credlin
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 3-Nov-20

The spread of COVID-19 from Victoria’s hotel quarantine program has led to the deaths of over 800 people, with the infection outbreak being blamed on the use of poorly trained private security guards rather than police or Australian Defence Force personnel. The botched program is the subject of an inquiry, and the Victorian Government Purchasing Board has complained to Victorian Treasury that it was not approached to provide evidence to the inquiry nor asked to provide input into Treasury’s statement. The Board contends that statement overlooked what it claims was the failure of the Department of Jobs, Precincts & Regions to follow correct procurement accreditation procedures when awarding private security contracts.

CORPORATES
VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT PURCHASING BOARD, VICTORIA. DEPT OF JOBS, PRECINCTS AND REGIONS, VICTORIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE

Peta Credlin documentary: Explosive new claim about Victoria’s second wave origin

Original article by Ben Graham
News.com.au – Page: Online : 2-Nov-20

Sky News host Peta Credlin has claimed the inquiry into Victoria’s botched hotel quarantine program overlooked key evidence. Andrew McLean’s company Elite Protection Services was in charge of security at Rydges on Swanston, from where it is believed the vast majority of Victoria’s second wave COVID-19 infection cases emanated. McLean says he prepared an extensive submission that outlined breakdowns in command and breaches in protocol at the hotel, but his submission was not accepted as evidence and he was never asked to appear as a witness. McLean says infected workers from the Cedar Works meat plant were sent to stay at the hotel by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, but that it was a mistake to allow them to be at the same hotel as returned travellers, as they were quarantining voluntarily and could ignore directions given to them by security guards. For Credlin’s full report, follow the link provided.

CORPORATES
SKY NEWS, ELITE PROTECTION SERVICES PTY LTD, VICTORIA. DEPT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, CEDAR MEATS (AUST) PTY LTD

Andrews and staffers to hand over phone and text records

Original article by Ewin Hannan, Tessa Akerman
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 12-Oct-20

The board of inquiry into Victoria’s botched hotel quarantine program has requested access to the telephone records of Premier Daniel Andrews and his senior staff. This includes Chris Eccles, the head of Department of Premier & Cabinet. Andrews has indicated that his government will provide full access to this data, including text messages and all messages that were posted on encrypted apps in relation to the quarantine program. The inquiry is still trying to determine who was responsible for the decision to use private security guards.

CORPORATES
VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET

Lawyer X scandal: jailed gangsters could go free

Original article by John Ferguson, Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 4-Dec-18

Premier Daniel Andrews has launched a royal commission into Victoria Police’s use of a defence barrister as a registered informant. The High Court was scathing on 3 December in its attack on Victoria Police’s actions, accusing it of "reprehensible conduct" and of potentially corrupt behaviour. Well-known criminals and underworld figures may have to be released as a result of Victoria Police’s actions, while having to compensate criminals is not out of the question.

CORPORATES
HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, VICTORIA POLICE, VICTORIA. INDEPENDENT BROAD-BASED ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION

Trafficking of workers ‘a spider’s web’

Original article by Ben Schneiders, Royce Millar
The Age – Page: 8 : 5-Oct-15

Victoria’s Industrial Relations Minister, Natalie Hutchins, says the exploitation of both local and foreign workers is widespread. She warns that many people are setting up labour hire companies with the intention of hiring workers on below-standard wages and conditions. The State Government will shortly release a discussion paper as part of its inquiry into illegal labour practices. A recent Fairfax Media expose revealed the existence of a "black economy" in Australia, whereby overseas workers are employed for less than the minimum wage.

CORPORATES
VICTORIA. DEPT OF STATE DEVELOPMENT, BUSINESS AND INNOVATION, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED – ASX FXJ, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, 7-ELEVEN STORES PTY LTD