Palmer's moustache-clad backup
Updated: Apr 18, 2019
This Week – Clive Palmer’s election manoeuvring, the Catholic Church’s counter-narrative and Oxfam’s retail failure
Palmer claims intention to repay workers
With a backdrop of rough-and-tumble looking moustache-clad men, Clive Palmer has claimed he will pay back the millions owed to workers. Fronting the press in Townsville, he also stated he wanted to reopen the Queensland Nickel refinery immediately.
Palmer has turned blame towards liquidators, claiming he “never sacked anybody and the administrators moved in to sack the workforce and to close the refinery operations down at a time when we were ready to pay all the workforce and to transfer them and to operate the refinery”.
When the company collapsed in 2016, it was left owing debts of about $300 million to creditors, including local businesses and the Federal Government which covered entitlements for the 800 people who lost their jobs. There were also questions whether Mr Palmer and his family deliberately drained the company of funds before it collapsed.
There is no doubting that the timing of the announcement coincides with Palmer’s attempt to make a return to politics at the upcoming federal election. He has spent months running a multi-million-dollar billboard and television advertising campaign promoting his United Australia Party, after announcing plans to "contest every seat" in the Federal Election.
Adding to the dubious timing, this announcement comes amid an upcoming Supreme Court trial to recoup the $70 million paid by taxpayers under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Scheme to Queensland Nickel employees.
In classic Clive Palmer fashion, it appears he is attempting to recover his reputation and avoid court proceedings using an ad-hoc, disjointed process. However, time will tell if the voting public take Palmer’s sentiment or his moustached sidekicks seriously. If only he knew that Trebuchet Pivot offer training to guide teams like his to make timely, transparent and appropriate plans and decisions.
Retired Pope blames 1960’s for paedophiles
Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has blamed the 1960s sexual revolution for much of the Catholic Church’s paedophilia crisis.
The 92-year-old Benedict released his views in a 6000-word essay which was immediately criticised as "catastrophically irresponsible" and in a conflict with efforts by his successor, Pope Francis, to lead the church out of its crisis. It has also caused others to question the remarks, claiming that many of the church’s worst paedophiles were trained in seminaries in the decades before the 1960s, including Australians such as Gerald Ridsdale and Kevin O’Donnell.
This comes at a time when a range of events have brought the name of the church into disrepute, including:
At a child protection summit in Rome earlier this year the Archbishop of Munich told 190 church leaders gathered in Rome that procedures to investigate and punish paedophile priests had often been ignored. He said, "files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed, or not even created."
Closer to home, nearly 1,900 Catholic Church figures, including priests, religious brothers and sisters, and employees, were identified as alleged perpetrators in a report released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
In March, Cardinal George Pell, once Australia's most powerful Catholic, was been sentenced to six years' jail for sexually abusing two choirboys in the 1990s.
With all their resources it is breathtaking that the Catholic Church cannot find a strong voice to attempt to repair the global damage done to their brand. Rather, airtime is being giving to opinions, such as Benedict’s, who continue to shift the blame to anything other than leadership failures that allowed a culture where abuse was systemic, accepted and hidden.
While Trebuchet Pivot welcomes opportunities to assist organisations handle crises, we are relieved that the Catholic Church has not approached us – this is a mess we’re not sure we can fix.
Oxfam stores struggle to compete
Australia’s beleaguered retail sector has hit the not-for-profit player, Oxfam, which has announced it will shut the doors of its Australian retail arm. The not-for-profit, part of the international Oxfam confederation, has a 50-plus-year retail history in Australia. It has indicated it will be closing all 13 stores and its e-commerce website.
It appears the organisation has succumbed to the same pressures as many other retailers, from meagre consumer spending, rising commercial rents and competition from international retail giants.
For years the sale of fair and ethical trading products has helped fund its charitable operations. However, despite opening two new format stores in Sydney back in 2016, Oxfam has been unable to maintain retail viability. Oxfam Australia CEO cited declining revenue in retail and wholesale channels, including flat online sales growth, as factors behind the shutdown.
While Oxfam’s Australian retail arm may be finished, the organisation is adamant it will continue its work empowering communities to tackle poverty through long term development programs, emergency response and advocacy.
The Oxfam board most likely faced a difficult decision-making process in making the choice that ultimately affects around 100 permanent and casual staff. Such decisions often need to be made quickly and can be weighty with emotion and stress. Trebuchet Pivot has developed a methodology proven to guide leadership teams to ensure clear-eyed decisions, when it counts.
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