Irony Warning: Publisher Ray Mackereth complains about media coverage of him

Publisher of Q News Ray Mackereth has told a court that a Fair Work claim seeking compensation of nearly $40,000 plus fines brought by his former manager to recover unpaid entitlements caused him “distress” and that he is the target of an “extended campaign of harassment”.

In a sworn statement filed with the Federal Circuit Court, Mr Mackereth sought permission to file court ordered documents late after his missed the deadline by a full week.

His  doctor wrote to the court saying his patient was “totally incapacitated emotionally and physically” after being served the claim by Brenton Larcombe.

Yet just days before the documents were due to be filed, the failed sex club identity was, according to sources, seen seeming to enjoy himself at the Sportsman Hotel for the annual Sporties Bake Off which was heavily marketed by his publication.

Media owner and publisher Ray Mackereth complains to court about raymackereth.com and social media coverage of him being sued

“Harassment”: Media owner and publisher Ray Mackereth tells court that raymackereth.com and social media coverage of his harmful and destructive business practices is so distressing he could not comply with court orders.

Even Mr Mackereth’s own statement says he was not totally incapacitated, where under oath he said he was not “fully capable” of attending to the matter.

Also when “totally incapacitated” on 30 July this year, when he was too sick to obey a court order, but well enough to go to the pub, Mr Mackereth’s name appeared in a Q News by-line suggesting he was hard at work promoting a cause near and dear to his heart, writing: SUICIDE STUDY ALMOST COMPLETE – Now seeking ordinary LGBTI people to complete it!

Mr Mackereth named Mr Larcombe’s partner Deeje Hancock and industrial relations consultant & journalist Miles Heffernan as key campaigners against him, which he referred to as a “vendetta”.

Mr Mackereth also blamed this very website, Raymackereth.com for “exacerbating” his mental stress, although at no stage in court documents has the Mackereth camp suggested anything published on the site was inaccurate. Mr Mackereth did refer to the factual stories as being “disparaging” indicating he believes accurately reporting on his behaviour denigrates him.

Both Mr Hancock and Mr Heffernan reject that there is a campaign against Mr Mackereth. Neither had sympathy for the plight of the publisher who remains living in a mansion in Paddington.

Mr Hancock said “I expect this trial would cause (Mr Mackereth) some distress, just as having my partner’s retirement funds and basic entitlements misappropriated from him by someone he trusted caused distress.

“I expect when he reads pages and pages of allegations about how he ran a good business into the ground and then spent Brenton’s money to keep the taxman from chasing him personally, that would be distressing. But is there a campaign? No.

“If Mackereth just took some personal responsibility and made good on his debts, then he could disappear into irrelevance. But instead the Q News controller rather wants to falsely paint himself as a community do-gooder,” Mr Hancock added.

Mr Heffernan said he was “delighted” that Mr Mackereth “wrongly thinks that there is a campaign” adding “what a con job that Mackereth somehow thinks he is the victim here, all from someone in the business of media complaining about media coverage, oh please, let me wipe my tears away for how hard Ray Mackereth is doing it.”

Mr Heffernan also suggested the road ahead is likely to bring more stress for Mr Mackereth.”I expect it was all cold sweats last night when the trial  judge’s words sank in. Judge Burnett said the answer lies in the books and gave Brenton the right to subpoena the liquidators and for them to give evidence about Mr Mackereth’s corporate behaviour at the helm of Klub Kruise in the trial. I have seen these books. If I was Mackereth, I would have anxiety and lots of it. No two-ways about it. And it would be the skin-crawling kind,” he said.

Mr Heffernan said he was “honoured” to be part of any cohort that was built around supporting your mates. “It is sad, no pathetic actually, that Mackereth thinks advocating for the rights of a good mate he ripped off is a hate-campaign against him, as it suggests no legitimacy to the claims.

“What is going on is a thing called friendship where you roll up your sleaves and help out, wherever you can and ask nothing in return. Something foreign for Mackereth, despite his self-promotion as a community champion.

“Mackereth is right about one thing – the date of August 2012 – as this is when the full force of his cruelty was felt by Brenton, who is still waiting for an apology and his money,” Mr Heffernan added.

Brenton Larcombe is suing his former boss Ray Mackereth for unpaid employee entitlements and superannuation

Brenton Larcombe is suing his former boss Ray Mackereth for unpaid employee entitlements and superannuation

Despite Mr Mackereth acknowledging that Mr Larcombe has never been paid any of his long service leave and payment in lieu of notice and only some annual leave and superannuation earned from over 10 years of service at Klub Kruise, he is refusing to pay this, forcing Mr Larcombe into a lengthy court battle that won’t be heard until 17 August 2015.

Mr Larcombe declined to comment other than to say “I am looking forward to my day in court and I will not comment on the process and will leave the judgement to speak for itself.”

For the record, Raymackereth.com stands by the reporting of Ray Mackereth’s unique sense of community as being entirely accurate. Despite running for over a year and seeking submissions from anyone to tell of Mr Mackereth’s good work, no one has come forward. Mr Mackereth has never approached us to complain about any story’s accuracy. He is welcome to a right of reply should he wish. Email us. Maybe?

Related:

Ray Mackereth accused of being an old hand at living off his employees’ entitlements

Ray Mackereth in Federal Circuit Court for Unpaid Employee Entitlements

Ray Mackereth an Unreasonable Manager: WorkCover

Ray Mackereth’s bookkeeper tells of his crooked ways

252940_10150214890066943_6629152_nTwo former bookkeepers have alleged that gay business identity Ray Mackereth refused to pay their invoices for work performed at Q News and Klub Kruise, according to sworn statements filed in the Federal Circuit Court.

The gay publisher and former gay-sex club boss is being pursued for unpaid entitlements and superannuation of nearly $40,000. The bookkeepers say they are owed collectively just under $5,000 for work performed but never paid with one adding that once she was of no use, Mr Mackereth just ignored her.

Around the same time she was begging to be paid because she was struggling to make ends meet, Mr Mackereth was boasting online about giving money to a gay rugby side.

The bookkeeper also said Mr Mackereth’s was a workplace “bully” and and that his claims of being a stand up bloke in the community are “outrageous”, adding:

“I think it is outrageous that (Mr Mackereth) was claiming being a community supporter when he has owed his staff, suppliers and the ATO so much for so long. Rather the unpaid suppliers, employees and ATO should receive recognition as he has deprived us to laud himself in the community.

In an ever-deepening crisis for the self-styled champion of charitable causes, the bookkeeper that was with him as Klub Kruise collapsed also claims that the sex club was carrying costs for Q News, that Mr Mackereth owns 100 per cent of. Yet Klub Kruise closed owing nearly $200,000 to creditors.

These costs are said to include administration, motor vehicle expenses and Mr Mackereth’s salary, burdening the now failed company with around  $100,000 per annum of unnecessary expenses according to the bookkeeper-turned-whistleblower, that if proven could leave him exposed to criminal proceedings or being struck off as a director by ASIC.

Another affidavit claims that Mr Mackereth, while admitting workplace bullying allegations, misled WorkCover Queensland by saying he was “let down” by the bookkeeper for not paying the superannuation, despite him never giving his accounts people access to the bank accounts to perform transactions. Both bookkeepers claim payments for superannuation were usually handled directly by Mr Mackereth and never by them.

As Mr Mackereth filed an amended defence of Mr Larcombe’s claim one week late, (Brenton Larcombe Response to amended claim 21-08-2014) where he continues to deny being “involved” in serious contraventions of the Fair Work Act. However these denials are become increasingly inconsistent, and it now appears he now may be pinning his hopes on a period in late 2011 to March 2012, where he suggests he was out of action for poor health for nearly four months. Even that looks in trouble as  both Mr Larcombe and his bookkeeper at the time suggest this claim is nonsense, with both saying he was off work for less than two weeks and otherwise accessible.

Brenton Larcombe is also alleging that after he took just two weeks off work in late May 2012 after nearly ten years of loyal service to Mr Mackereth, he was sacked, despite his illness being work-related. Mr Mackereth also seized the company motor vehicle from Mr Larcombe, which has since been sold.

Despite Mr Mackereth’s amended defence in the Federal Circuit Court that he did not sack Mr Larcombe for his health, evidence tendered suggests otherwise, where it is alleged on 6 July 2012 he wrote the following to WorkCover Queensland:

The business has been financially stressed.  Three weeks ago I terminated Brenton’s employment based on legal advice. I accept that this advice was incorrect and retracted this two days later. However I believe that this has further harmed the relationship and as this was done when he was on sick leave for a work related condition.

So while I dispute some of the reasons articulated by Brenton Larcombe in his claim, I accept that I have been at times unreasonable as a manager and for this I have regret.

Ray Mackereth around 15 years ago but all the smiles and pint sized singers don't distract those he owes from chasing him

Ray Mackereth around 15 years ago, but still uses this as his profile pic, despite life’s lines showing some serious weathering. Despite the Dorian Gray-esque sadness of it all,  the smiles and pint sized singers with 90’s hair don’t distract those he owes from chasing him. His former bookkeeper has savaged him as being dodgy and a bully in Federal Circuit Court documents.

Mr Mackereth admits Mr Larcombe is owed a substantial amount of money, including long service leave, but is still refusing to pay. He also painted himself as caring to WorkCover Queensland in 2012 where he wrote “I stressed that I would do everything possible to try and ensure that he received his wages but with the added stress of having to pay an extra person to replace him, in all seriousness it looked like the business could fold.”

Mr Mackereth’s claims to WorkCover stand in stark contrast to what he has provided to the Federal Circuit Court, where in that version of events he has sheeted home total blame of his company’s failure on the landlord of Number 29 McLachlan Street for not renewing the lease, despite his business not have the liquidity to meet the business debts when due, according to documents provided by the liquidator.

Mr Larcombe confirmed to RayMackereth.com that he had notified the liquidators of Klub Kruise and ASIC of these explosive allegations in recent days.

The case is next listed for a directions hearing on 24 September in Brisbane. Court records show that Mr Larcombe has filed nearly 1000 pages of sworn evidence from seven different witnesses, while Mr Mackereth is yet to provide anything under oath.

Mr Larcombe is seeking to have part of his case awarded without a full trial and also to freeze some of Mr Mackereth’s assets until the matter is fully dealt with by the court.

Ray Mackereth in Federal Circuit Court for Unpaid Employee Entitlements

Ray Mackereth accused of being an old hand at living off his employees’ entitlements

Ray Mackereth fails to file amended Response

Ray Mackereth has failed to respond to the further and better particulars he asked for from Brenton Larcombe in the Federak Circuit Court, on why he was an accessory to contraventions of the Fair Work Act for unpaid wages and entitlements

Ray Mackereth has failed to respond to the further and better particulars he asked for from Brenton Larcombe in the Federal Circuit Court, on why he was an accessory to contraventions of the Fair Work Act for unpaid wages and entitlements

Ray Mackereth was granted leave to file an amended response in the Federal Circuit Court today by 4pm, which according to the Court was not done where he is defending a claim for nearly $40,000 for unpaid employee entitlements and superannuation by a former employee.

This appears to leave unchallenged the former manager of his gay sex club Brenton Larcombe’s troubling claims, filed as further an better particulars on the request of Mr Mackereth about why he is an accessory to contraventions of the Fair Work Act.

Mr Larcombe’s further and better particulars are underlined here: Amended Larcombe FWC_Form_4_FCC_0313V1

These include serious allegations about Mr Mackereth’s role as the sole director of Klub Kruise, including that he acted to benefit himself ahead of his company in breach of the Corporations Act 2001 and leaving creditors out of pocket $189,000.

More to come.

 

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Ray Mackereth in Federal Circuit Court for Unpaid Employee Entitlements

Ray Mackereth accused of being an old hand at living off his employees’ entitlements

 

 

Ray Mackereth was Santa during better times

A tip off has revealed that a Q News Christmas cover issue from 2006 featuring self-proclaimed community benefactor Ray Mackereth as the cover boy was missing from the publication’s website, when nearly all other issues are online.

The cover depicts Mr Mackereth as Santa, the big man in a red suit that only comes once a year, with a sled and bag of goodies overflowing for the good. This imagery is consistent with how he markets himself, as a generous benefactor to those in need.

It is the Christmas edition of 2006, issue 158, the same year it is alleged that Q News fell behind for the first time with employee entitlements, specifically compulsory superannuation. So while Ray Mackereth’s Q News may have missed this one-time-only event when Mr Mackereth graced the cover, here it is. Merry Christmas.

Ray Mackereth is Santa Claus

Ray Mackereth was depicted as Santa in his Q News issue 158 in 2006, that is nowhere to be found on the Q News website

Coming up: Thursday 14 August 2014 is the big day where Mr Mackereth tells the court why he should not face penalties or be held personally liable for Klub Kruise failing to accrue or pay annual leave, long service leave, notice and compulsory superannuation to Brenton Larcombe. Related

Ray Mackereth accused of being an old hand at living off his employees’ entitlements

Ray Mackereth in Federal Circuit Court for Unpaid Employee Entitlements

Klub Kruise once Ray Mackereth gutted it

 

Klub Kruise’s landlord hits back at Ray Mackereth’s “lies” as years of wages underpayments emerge

Self-proclaimed man of the community Ray Mackereth’s integrity has been further brought into question in his formal response to Federal Circuit Court proceedings, where he blamed his landlord for Klub Kruise’s failure, with the landlord hitting back in an Affidavit of Josef Senisin’s 2012 lease dealings with Ray Mackereth.

After reading Mr Mackereth’s required Response to the Federal Circuit Court Ray Mackereth responds to Larcombe Lawsuit blaming Landlord, Josef Senisin added yesterday that Mr Mackereth implicating him in his business failings was “lies” and he added that he and his business partner were financially harmed when Klub Kruise allegedly unlawfully damaged his building and breached the lease, resulting in a criminal complaint to Queensland Police.

Court documents claim that Ray Mackereth enjoyed the good life including holidays and hospitality while he didn't pay the award minimum conditions or superannuation in his sex club

Court documents claim that Ray Mackereth enjoyed the good life including holidays and hospitality while he didn’t pay the award minimum conditions or superannuation at his gay sex club

The revelations have arisen as part of a Federal Circuit Court action that accuses Mr Mackereth of being an accessory to serious offences of “core provisions” of the Fair Work Act, which threatens to engulf his separate publishing business Q News, with documents made under oath claim he breached his director’s duties and misappropriated employee entitlements and even that he may be involved in tax evasion.

Senisin claims under oath, and if false he risks a lengthy prison term,  that three times Mr Mackereth was offered an agreement to lease, and that despite him and his business partner agreeing to concessions requested by Mr Mackereth, and Mr Mackereth agreeing to two deals verbally, he never signed the required documents.

Emails attached to Senisin’s affidavit appear to support his version of events, including Mr Mackereth crying poor and seeking a market-review increase in rent to be waived, to have the effect that the new lease term would be less than the current rent Klub Kruise was paying by nearly 15 per cent.

It is unclear how Mr Mackereth can blame his landlord for his failure to find alternate premises, while his cash strapped company owed $189,000, that was immediately due and payable if not under a special payment arrangement with the creditors. This is especially so as his Klub Kruise’s second largest creditor was Mr Larcombe, who expected his money, in full, which was over $41,000 according to the company’s accounting records.

In any event, Mr Mackereth’s response to the Federal Circuit Court is in-keeping with a post in the publication he owns 100 per cent of, Q News, by an anonymous author, on 24 August 2012.

The story included the following:

Brisbane lost a venue last week after the quick closure of Klub Kruise. Sadly, after 10 years serving Brisbane’s gay and bi men, as well as many other visitors and travellers, the club was forced to close its doors after the landlords refused to renew the lease.”

“No reason was offered by the landlord as to why they would not renew the lease to those renting after 10 years, having never missed a payment.”

The “quick closure” of Klub Kruise is also quizzical given it had traded one month past its lease, which Mr Senisin claims in his statement was a gesture of goodwill by him and his partner to raise additional funds for unpaid employee entitlements and superannuation. Senisin also complains that despite him going out of his way, the employees got nothing because of how Mr Mackereth acted.

Mr Senisin referred to the Q News story and the reply to the court more bluntly, simply saying “bullshit”.

Meanwhile Mr Mackereth originally sought to liquidate the company on 22 June 2012 but later changed his mind, according to ASIC documents filed with the court.

An exhibit to Mr Senisin’s affidavit also suggest that Mr Mackereth may not have been ensuring Klub Kruise complied with the correct modern award, likely to be the Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2010 based on transitional requirements during the award modernisation process.

Mr Senisin attaches an  email to his statement where he swears under an oath it is true, that shows Mr Mackereth attempting to get  a rent reduction on a new lease. Mr Mackereth lamented paying his casual employees “$23.00 per hour and more to come”, when in fact the Sunday rate was closer to $35.00, meaning he may face further action from all former staff who have six years to claim against him personally, just as Mr Larcombe is.

It is also claimed by Mr Larcombe that employees worked in shifts longer than five hours without a break, which under the award entitled them to time and a half which was never paid by Klub Kruise, and that Mr Mackereth admits in Federal Circuit Court documents that he was solely responsible for the corporate behaviour of Klub Kruise.

Have you worked at Klub Kruise between September 2008 until it closed? You may be entitled to claim against Ray Mackereth personally even though the company has closed. With fines, you could come out with more than you were originally owed. Fill in the form and we will connect you with the help you need.

Related:

Ray Mackereth accused of being an old hand at living off his employees’ entitlements

Ray Mackereth in Federal Circuit Court for Unpaid Employee Entitlements

Klub Kruise once Ray Mackereth gutted it

Coming up Next: Toys. Prams. Floor. An insight into how employees coped with the Ray Mackereth tantrums.

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