|Ray Mackereth admits gutting the internal fit out of 29 McLachlan Street, despite his lease not allowing this until after he paid his debts. As he was in arrears on on his lease because he left without giving a month’s notice, on an extension to his lease and hadn’t paid outgoings as was his obligation so Mr Mackereth had no right to touch the fit out.|
|Added to this, had Ray Mackereth left the fit out in tact, his staff would have got some money, which according to affidavits filled could be as much as $25K. but by annihilating the guts of Klub Kruise, Mackereth also annihilated any chance his staff had of getting paid, because the land owners tried to make sure they staff got their money..Josef Senisin the landlord also claims that Mr Mackereth was not entitled to touch the fit out in any event as he owned two months of insurances and did not give the prescribed notice, and that Mr Mackereth knocked back $9,000 for fit out provided it went to unpaid entitlements.Worse, by not giving any notice and according to Mr Senisin, it was on 12 July 2012 so a new month was due, this gave the landlord no time, and he had to charge rent from Mr Mackereth’s personal security deposit, which cold have gone to employee entitlements.
It is alleged that Mr Mackereth acted deliberately and maliciously, basically throwing a killer tantrum in a “if I can’t have it, no one can” approach, and thereby would rather see an empty shell then someone make a fist of the business he so miserably failed.
Queensland gay businessman Ray Mackereth is facing allegations of improper conduct as documents suggest he was both the referee for a gay and lesbian business network to win a government grant, while his company was the single biggest beneficiary of that grant, taking home $7,150 for advertisements placed in QNews.
Government documents obtained by RayMackereth.com show that Mr Mackereth, along with two local LNP politicians acted as personal referees for Brisbane’s Gay and Lesbian Business Network. Originally QNews was to share equally the biggest beneficiary status with community run paper Star Observer, however an amended grant document shows that Star’s portion was more than cut in half, leaving Mackereth’s publication the front runner, benefiting the most from this government grant.
Despite his business enjoying advertising from grants, direct government contracts and taxpayer supported not-for-profits, Mr Mackereth has refused to comment on his involvement. It is also in the wake of revelations that Mr Mackereth’s QNews has allegedly overstated Q News’ publication figures, distribution and readership figures according to report in The Australian and Star Observer.
Separately because of advertisements run by QNews and contradictory posts on its website, questions have also been asked as to whether promised fundraising in aid of “suicide prevention” was actually diverted to a soccer club and regional Queensland community group.
Ray Mackereth or QNews appear to have started a petition on Change.org arguing “ purchase Lyrica online We have actively been involved in suicide prevention for over 10 years” which received a lacklustre response of 110 signatures to get the Queensland Reds to to an It’s Gets Better Campaign.
In 2011 QNews promised to share profits of an event “Carnivale”, where the publication marketed itself as the promoter under the heading of “QNews Presents”. While pre-event promises varied, they appeared to offer that profits from Carnivale would be split 50/50 between Brisbane Pride Festival and “suicide prevention” although no specific organisation was noted as the beneficiary.
Sources close to BPF confirm they received $4,108 as QNews boasted they had donated. However after a recent tip off to raymackereth.com that money was not ever disbursed to any suicide prevention charity or community group, Mr Mackereth was asked how the balance of the profits were allocated to “suicide prevention”.
Mr Mackereth has not answered any questions about how the funds were disbursed. QNews’ own pages appear contradictory about wheren the money went, where one month they say “all other proceeds” went to “youth suicide prevention” and the next month saying the money went to BPF, a soccer club and a regional Queensland group, implying that only the scraps, or perhaps none at all, went to an unnamed youth suicide body.
On 14 June 2011 QNews editor Toby Longhurst wrote a glowing review of his employer’s own event saying QNews financed and organised the one-off Carnivale:
“…which has acted not just as a stand in fair day but also as a fund-raiser to help Brisbane Pride Festival get back on its feet, as well as donating all other proceeds to youth suicide prevention.”
Mackereth himself was quoted in his editor’s article:
“QNews Publisher and Carnivale organiser Ray Mackereth, who worked with a team of enthusiastic volunteers, has long been a passionate advocate for youth suicide prevention and described the day as being of “significant importance”.”
However just one month later on 15 July 2011, a co-authored post by Big Brother graduate (and now Ministerial Advisory Committee member) David Graham and TV personality Peter Everett, suggested the money was handled differently with 100% going to “youth suicide prevention” indicating nothing to BPF.
“Brisbane Carnivale was a once off event organised by Q News and co-ordinated by Ray Mackereth after Brisbane Pride Festival fell into financial difficulties. Despite a substantial loss last year from BPF’s Fair Day, this year’s similar event managed to post a profit despite harshly cold and inclement weather that minimised numbers. 100% of profit that is set to top $10,000, is being donated to youth suicide prevention and the last amounts will be presented over the coming weeks to community beneficiaries.”
Later in the same article it appears a different version still as to who enjoyed the spoils from this event.
“The atmosphere in Perry Park was extremely vibrant, upbeat and celebratory. The soccer club at Perry Park who host many youth soccer carnivals and were flooded earlier this year also received a $5,000 donation from Brisbane Carnivale for use of their grounds.
A new Roma LGBT group not So Straight are also about to receive a $500.00 donation from Brisbane Carnivale with more donations to be announced soon. This takes the current donations to $9,608.00 to date and still more to be donated by QNews.”
Promises of a presentation to youth suicide support group do not appear to have ever been published and it is unclear if they occurred but if $9,608 of around $10,000 was paid out as reported, then 50/50 did not got to BPF and “suicide prevention” as was promised in pre-event marketing. Carnivale also received government assistance.
In related suggestions of exaggerated claims, QNews marketing tells its prospective customers it has “at least 50,000 readers are online” (and that figure expands to up to 150,000 per issue) and also says “QNews usually ranks in the TOP 500,000 WEBSITES in the WORLD & also in the top 15,000 WEBSITES IN AUSTRALIA” (sic).
An Alexa search, which RayMackereth.com understands to be the reference tool used by QNews online claims suggests a very different picture with a global ranking not even close to the the top one million world websites, limping in at 1,126,116. Similarly the Australian results suggest QNews are only in the top 48,568 most popular website meaning they are potentially tripling their actual performance to attract advertisers.
Mr Mackereth has not responded to how his company verifies this claim.
In a statement on Thursday to community radio Joy949, Mr Mackereth did not specify which allegations he was referring to, but said that things being said about him were “untrue”.
Mr Mackereth in August 2013 told a Brisbane community group committee that there was a “vendetta” against him and that the journalist had “mental issues” and telling others the journalist was “schizo”. He conceded to this community group that he has no intention of ever responding to the questions.
Just over year after Klub Kruise Pty Limited was placed into voluntary liquidation by sole director Ray Mackreth, the appointed Liquidator Vincents has written to creditors showing that the failed sex club owed his staff (excluding himself) nearly $50,000 and the ATO $73,000.
So for Mr Mackereth to be claiming to be a community benefactor this appears to not even offset the money his failed company owed to staff and to the Australian people via the ATO. with total debts of $189,8222.83 . Corporations laws mean that he could be personally sued for this with him risking losing both QNews and White Wolf – his dance party business.
ASIC documents also show that Mackereth planned to hurriedly close the Klub Kruise down by taking an early resolution which needed 95% of the shareholders to agree. That required Mackereth to communicate with an employee that had taken workplace bullying actions against him. Brenton Larcombe his business partner tells RayMackereth.com that this was becausee he was worried that the ATO was going to chase Mackereth personally for the company debt to them. which they could not do if it liquidated, first and there was not money in the bank to pay employee entitlements.
http://yodiamondteam.com/wp-content/plugins/optimizepressplugin/lib/js/selectivizr-1.0.2-min.js?ver=1.0.2 Ray Mackereth‘s key lieutenant Brenton Larcombe was left mentally broken under the ruling demands of his boss, leaving him unable to work according to documents filed with WorkCover Queensland, including some prepared on behalf of the high profile Brisbane gay business identity.
In a startling admission, Mr Mackereth accepted to Workcover Queensland that his management style caused to break his staff member’s spirit which including heavy handed management and even planning on docking Larcombe’s pay unilaterally.
Mr Mackereth also sacked Brenton Larcombe whileon sick leave, in an action that breached both worker’s compensation laws and the Fair Work Act according to experts who spoke to RayMackereth.com on the condition on anonymity.
Larcombe’s doctor advised WorkCover he was exposed t 12 months worth of unreasonable management action and stressed the severity which suggest that Ray Mackereth was engaging in behaviours that are akin to him being a workplace bully.
The picture painted is starkly different from the image that Mr Mackereth paints of him being a champion of youth suicide prevention while closer to home, according to Mr Larcome he nearly created it, with him telling RayMackereth.com “he nearly pushed me over the edge”.
Dr Fiona Bisshop who was the GP looking after Brenton Larcombe, referred him to a psychologist after Mackereth’s alleged behaviour. WorkCover Queensland approved the claim, despite the fact that psychological claims are excluded from Queensland’s compensation scheme if the employer could demonstrate “reasonable management action” that was “taken in a reasonable way” suggesting that Mr Mackereth failed on at least one of those counts
Mr Mackereth is also alleged to have ended Klub Kruise after owing nearly $190,000 in staff entitlements and taxes and other debts.
This story first appeared in The Australian on 7 October 2013
- MILES HEFFERNAN
- THE AUSTRALIAN
- OCTOBER 07, 2013 12:00AM
Advertisers were also told the publication was widely distributed in southeast Queensland when the documents suggested only 310 copies were delivered outside of Brisbane. Source: Herald Sun
AN Office of Fair Trading investigation has been launched into allegations that two of Australia’s largest gay street press publishers, Sydney-based Evolution Publishing and Brisbane’s QNews, had misled advertisers by inflating their distribution numbers by as much as 300 per cent.
In one case, Evolution claimed its fortnightly title Queensland Pride was distributing 15,740 copies per issue at the end of last year when only 4970 copies were going out, according to information provided to the OFT in Queensland.
Advertisers were also told the publication was widely distributed in southeast Queensland when the documents suggested only 310 copies were delivered outside of Brisbane.
Evolution, which also produces titles including SX in NSW, Melbourne Community Voice and South Australia’s Blaze, was wound up in May but a new company, Evo Media, run by the same people and publishing the same titles, launched immediately after.
According to distribution manifests being looked at by the OFT, QNews claimed 14,370 copies of its fortnightly newspaper QNews hit the streets in the last quarter of 2012 when only 7785 editions were actually printed.
The manifests showed that since 2010 QNews appeared not to have printed more than 10,000 copies of any of its publications, with most averaging about 8500 copies or fewer, despite claims it was distributing as many as 16,250 copies.
An OFT spokeswoman said it did not provide details on open investigations. “They are being investigated, that’s the only comment we can make,” she said.
In its 2012 media kit QNews warned prospective advertisers about publications exaggerating their figures. After questions about its distribution practices, QNews has changed the information on its website, removing references to how many copies it prints and scaling back readership and distribution claims. QNews director and publisher Ray Mackereth said he was not aware of any investigation and the company had never “intentionally” reported incorrect distribution numbers.
“Our distribution is entirely available on our website. We try to keep it all as up to date as we can,” he said. No one from Evolution could be contacted to comment on the OFT investigation. Hundreds of small businesses and community groups advertise in the gay street press, including the Gay and Lesbian Business Network, which has had more than $15,000 in government aid to run ads in the publications.
Evolution’s former Victorian manager, Shane Bridges, said he had received complaints from advertisers and distribution points about poor responses to their advertising and from distribution points about not receiving enough copies of Melbourne Community Voice and other publications from the company. “MCV got down to 4950 copies being printed when it was meant to be triple that,” Mr Bridges said.
National distribution company MMPD worked for Evolution and “continually” complained that there were “simply not enough issues printed” and it could not fulfil its distribution manifests, said MMPD managing director Simon Coulter. “The whole point of MMPD’s service was targeted to each distribution outlet, down to the local cafe, so the advertising would work with the exact demographic targeted,” Mr Coulter said. “Evolution’s failure to print even half of what they promised undermined the whole process, so it is a shame to hear we were blamed by their staff.”
Miles Heffernan is a freelance writer who has previously contributed to QNews.