Investigation into allegations of improper conduct by officers at the Mount Buller and Mount Stirlin

This was an investigation into allegations of improper conduct by officers at the Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Resort Management Board. It found more than $30,000 of public money was spent on international family travel, the entertainment of the CEO’s friends, and the provision of prizes to staff including flights and accommodation to interstate tourist destinations.
 
It also found the resort’s CEO used taxpayer money to pay for flights for himself and his family to the United States for what was primarily a holiday. Resort funds were used to pay for the Property Manager’s family travel to and accommodation in the French ski fields for “research and development” purposes.
 
A further $49,000 was spent on staff bonuses without adequate justification or transparency, the investigation found. The investigation began after the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission referred in total, four protected disclosure complaints to the Victorian Ombudsman regarding allegations of the misuse of public resources by senior management.
 
A subsequent allegation also raised concerns about the conduct of the Board Chair at the resort. The Board Chair was found to have misused the resort’s resources by living in publicly owned Mt Buller accommodation – meant for short stays by Board members on official business such as Board meetings – for the duration of the ski season and allowing family and friends to stay without payment.
 
We made 11 recommendations including:
  • the Victorian Government review governance arrangements of publicly owned resorts, and amend travel guidelines
  • the CEO repay the cost of the US flights, which he agreed to do
  • the Property Manager repay the cost of the travel to and accommodation in France for his family, which, when the report was tabled, he had not agreed to do.

Read the media release.