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ActewAGL “Bitterly Disappointed” it can’t waste another $300k

By 21 June 2013 32

The Crimes has the unbelievably narcissistic Michael Costello saying how sad he is that he can’t blow $300,000 on a June staff party.

After all the shenanigans (Cotter Dam cost blow-out), John Mackay being sacked by ACTGov, and the $855,000 under-reporting of Mark Sullivan’s salary, Costello must be living in a parallel universe.

He also claims that the cost of the party does not come out of our electricity prices.  Where does it come from, Costello? Sky fairies?

Your diatribe about how unfair all this is strikes me as you being totally out of touch with the reality that most of your customers face every day. My advice is to have a good, hard think about your attitude and re-adjust your thinking.

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32 Responses to ActewAGL “Bitterly Disappointed” it can’t waste another $300k
#1
Antagonist6:05 pm, 21 Jun 13

OMFG. This arseclown is serious! And he is responsible for … things!

#2
bundah7:12 pm, 21 Jun 13

$300,000 for approx 1500 staff and their partners equals $200 per head.That’s my kinda party ActewAGL here I come!

#3
fabforty9:40 pm, 21 Jun 13

What ??!! As an ACT public servant (clearly for the wrong Directorate) I have been forking out for my own ticket for work functions for years. I think this is only fair – I would never expect anyone else to fund my night out.

Perhaps Mr Costello can explain why ACTEW staff have not been expected to pay for theirs and tell us how long this has been going on for ?

Perhaps also ACTEW staff can explain why they thought this was OK.

#4
c_c™10:05 pm, 21 Jun 13

bundah said :

$300,000 for approx 1500 staff and their partners equals $200 per head.That’s my kinda party ActewAGL here I come!

Have you ever organised catering for events?

I can tell you that a basic warm canapé service will set you back around $30-40pp, alcohol another $30pp.

3 courses plus drinks per person is well over $120.

That’s just the food itself. Add catering (equipment + service) and it’s very easy to reach $200pp.

#5
switch11:11 pm, 21 Jun 13

bundah said :

$300,000 for approx 1500 staff and their partners equals $200 per head.That’s my kinda party ActewAGL here I come!

I don’t think we the poor customers were invited.

#6
p18:29 am, 22 Jun 13

While paying for staff parties isn’t exactly unusual in private industry (which actewagl like to pretend they are), $200 a head is a pretty freakin’ nice bash.

#7
funbutalsoserious8:46 am, 22 Jun 13

checkout the comments from the Canberra times, there is a peanut that cries on there because his wife works for them, and now he will be missing out on a free night out at Canberra’s expense.

I cannot believe how the utility providers of Canberra are setup and spend obscene amounts of money of things and in their own minds think that it is a justified expense.

#8
s3969:51 am, 22 Jun 13

After attending several of Actews staff parties, all I can say is what a waste. Top comedian as the MC, 3 course meal, alcohol, performers for entertainment and random assortments of mimes, clowns, a girl with a whip….. What a joke and im sure they’ve spent more than 300k in the past. A total waste of money. If rather they take this money off my electricity bill!!

#9
tuco9:52 am, 22 Jun 13

bundah said :

$300,000 for approx 1500 staff and their partners equals $200 per head.That’s my kinda party ActewAGL here I come!

Any moment …

#10
gooterz10:21 am, 22 Jun 13

bundah said :

$300,000 for approx 1500 staff and their partners equals $200 per head.That’s my kinda party ActewAGL here I come!

You’d wonder how many of those had husbands and wives that also worked there.

#11
Mr Evil10:52 am, 22 Jun 13

$300 000 – you could buy a hot air balloon for that kind of money!

And Sullivan complaining that they are suffering from some unfair scrutiny is really pretty rich. They brought the public scrutiny on themselves with faulty record keeping and poor project management, so they’ve got no one to blame but themselves.

If you don’t like it – go find another trough to bury your collective snouts in.

#12
HiddenDragon11:29 am, 22 Jun 13

There is that old saying about being “dragged, kicking and screaming, from the tart shop”.

#13
MonarchRepublic11:54 am, 22 Jun 13

Did you actually read the article that you linked to?
*John Mackay resigned
*Mark sullivan’s salary OF $855k was under reported BY $234k
* senior commissioner from the ICRC was quoted as saying the cost of the party did not influence electricity prices

Still does not look good, but don’t debunk your own argument by incorrectly reporting facts.

note – I am in no way affiliated with ActewAGL or ACTEW.

#14
scentednightgardens12:04 pm, 22 Jun 13

Oh come on everyone – loads of large private firms put on staff parties at the end of the year. Law firms, engineering firms, larger retailers etc. Nobody would blink an eye in Sydney or Melbourne. Is this utility bashing about valid “public scrutiny”, or because we don’t like paying the otherwise inevitable increases in our coal-based power prices? And the local media plays off both??

#15
Innovation12:13 pm, 22 Jun 13

MonarchRepublic said :

……* senior commissioner from the ICRC was quoted as saying the cost of the party did not influence electricity prices……

What I can’t understand is why the report was tasked only with looking into retail pricing and not shareholder dividends. Although even if the ACT Government had not been gypped $300k that additional return would have got lost in the mire of their own accounting…

#16
Masquara1:47 pm, 22 Jun 13

Mr Evil said :

$300 000 – you could buy a hot air balloon for that kind of money!

.

Correction: you could contract a single two-hour flyover by a hot air balloon built in Europe for that kind of money!

#17
miz4:05 pm, 22 Jun 13

The last work party paid for by the (private, American) company I was invited to was in the ‘greed is good’ 1980s. It appears that Mr Costello et al are still in that mindset. These days most workplaces have ‘user pays’ Xmas Parties arranged by staff.

It is seriously concerning that he spat the dummy over this. Frankly, diddums, and wake up to the real world Mr Costello.

#18
54-115:50 pm, 22 Jun 13

s396 said :

… a girl with a whip…..

I want a job at Actew.

#19
54-116:04 pm, 22 Jun 13

MonarchRepublic said :

Did you actually read the article that you linked to?
*John Mackay resigned
*Mark sullivan’s salary OF $855k was under reported BY $234k
* senior commissioner from the ICRC was quoted as saying the cost of the party did not influence electricity prices

Still does not look good, but don’t debunk your own argument by incorrectly reporting facts.

note – I am in no way affiliated with ActewAGL or ACTEW.

1. That was a so-called “resignation” after his position became untenable after a meeting with the 2 shareholders. The “resignation” was just to save face.
2. Yes, I used loose language about under-reporting of the $855,000 salary
3. So, where does the $300k come from? If not direct from us, then indirectly somehow. There will be some accounting sleight-of-hand, but in the end, we all pay for this obscene largesse.

My point remains – Costello and Sullivan do not give a rat’s arse about the people at the end of the chain, those that have to pay for all this. Greed, greed and ever more greed, at our expense. They have a monopoly and abuse it.

#20
PantsMan11:26 pm, 22 Jun 13

54-11 said :

My point remains – Costello and Sullivan do not give a rat’s arse about the people at the end of the chain, those that have to pay for all this. Greed, greed and ever more greed, at our expense. They have a monopoly and abuse it.

Costello is Labor connected, and when he got the boot from DFAT he was given the ACTEW job (diplomacy and urban utilities don’t seem to cross over that much to me) as a favour for a Labor mate.

#21
MonarchRepublic11:57 pm, 22 Jun 13

54-11 said :

MonarchRepublic said :

Did you actually read the article that you linked to?
*John Mackay resigned
*Mark sullivan’s salary OF $855k was under reported BY $234k
* senior commissioner from the ICRC was quoted as saying the cost of the party did not influence electricity prices

Still does not look good, but don’t debunk your own argument by incorrectly reporting facts.

note – I am in no way affiliated with ActewAGL or ACTEW.

1. That was a so-called “resignation” after his position became untenable after a meeting with the 2 shareholders. The “resignation” was just to save face.
2. Yes, I used loose language about under-reporting of the $855,000 salary
3. So, where does the $300k come from? If not direct from us, then indirectly somehow. There will be some accounting sleight-of-hand, but in the end, we all pay for this obscene largesse.

My point remains – Costello and Sullivan do not give a rat’s arse about the people at the end of the chain, those that have to pay for all this. Greed, greed and ever more greed, at our expense. They have a monopoly and abuse it.

1 – none the less, officially a resignation, so at least ‘sacked’ should have been in inverted commas
2 – your loose language equates to a $621k over-representation of the variance in Mr Sullivan’s salary. To someone not already familiar with the story, it sounds more like someone trying to artificially create anger in people, Alan Jones style. If I read into this too much, I apologise, however that is what I saw.
3 – I never said the didn’t $300k technically come from us. I was pointing out that it was not Mr Costello that made the claim, and that the electricity prices set by the regulator, did not factor in such costs. Where the money would come from, I don’t know. However, for example, whilst I do not know their cash situation, a savvy treasurer could probably make that sort of money on the money market, using spare cash-flow, with relative ease.

I did not set out to contradict your message, I simply felt your wording and approach made you look more inflammatory than credible. The facts still don’t look great for them, and cancelling was wise.

#22
DrKoresh12:54 am, 23 Jun 13

miz said :

The last work party paid for by the (private, American) company I was invited to was in the ‘greed is good’ 1980s. It appears that Mr Costello et al are still in that mindset. These days most workplaces have ‘user pays’ Xmas Parties arranged by staff.

It is seriously concerning that he spat the dummy over this. Frankly, diddums, and wake up to the real world Mr Costello.

At Flatheads we just used to use to tip jar money for the year to pay for the Christmas party, which was a pretty fair way to go about it, IMO. That being said I reckon we’d be lucky to spend $300 all up on those, nowhere near 300k.

#23
chewy141:12 am, 23 Jun 13

54-11 said :

MonarchRepublic said :

Did you actually read the article that you linked to?
*John Mackay resigned
*Mark sullivan’s salary OF $855k was under reported BY $234k
* senior commissioner from the ICRC was quoted as saying the cost of the party did not influence electricity prices

Still does not look good, but don’t debunk your own argument by incorrectly reporting facts.

note – I am in no way affiliated with ActewAGL or ACTEW.

1. That was a so-called “resignation” after his position became untenable after a meeting with the 2 shareholders. The “resignation” was just to save face.
2. Yes, I used loose language about under-reporting of the $855,000 salary
3. So, where does the $300k come from? If not direct from us, then indirectly somehow. There will be some accounting sleight-of-hand, but in the end, we all pay for this obscene largesse.

My point remains – Costello and Sullivan do not give a rat’s arse about the people at the end of the chain, those that have to pay for all this. Greed, greed and ever more greed, at our expense. They have a monopoly and abuse it.

What’s stopping you buying electricity from another company?
Basically you’re whining that a private company has decided to spend some money on its employees. Would you prefer they get a bigger pay rise instead?

#24
scentednightgardens9:25 am, 23 Jun 13

1. That was a so-called “resignation” after his position became untenable after a meeting with the 2 shareholders. The “resignation” was just to save face.
2. Yes, I used loose language about under-reporting of the $855,000 salary
3. So, where does the $300k come from? If not direct from us, then indirectly somehow. There will be some accounting sleight-of-hand, but in the end, we all pay for this obscene largesse.

My point remains – Costello and Sullivan do not give a rat’s arse about the people at the end of the chain, those that have to pay for all this. Greed, greed and ever more greed, at our expense. They have a monopoly and abuse it.

But he did resign – maybe a victory for accountability? Salary under reported yes, but maybe a clumsy but honest mistake. Is that inconceivable? Bank fees go some way to pay for the Commonwealth Banks Christmas party. Your electrician buys his kids Christmas pressies with the rate he charges you. Taxes are used to put milk in fridges in Cth workplaces. Institutions are free to disburse their revenue as they like in accordance with the laws of the land. Were fortunate that our local monopoly utility manages to be seemingly generous to its workers (from the top down apparently!!) yet sell us power at a national bargain rate. Move to Yass – they have ‘competition’ – and bills that would make a Canberran’s eyes water….

#25
Mr Evil9:53 am, 23 Jun 13

54-11 said :

s396 said :

… a girl with a whip…..

I want a job at Actew.

What if the girl with the whip is Katy Gallagher, and she wants Sullivan’s $234 000 back: are you still interested now????

#26
54-1112:50 pm, 23 Jun 13

Mr Evil said :

54-11 said :

s396 said :

… a girl with a whip…..

I want a job at Actew.

What if the girl with the whip is Katy Gallagher, and she wants Sullivan’s $234 000 back: are you still interested now????

Salivating already…

#27
p17:13 pm, 23 Jun 13

scentednightgardens said :

Taxes are used to put milk in fridges in Cth workplaces. ….

Where does that happen? I’ve obviously worked for all the wrong departments.

#28
miz7:17 am, 24 Jun 13

It’s BYO milk at my Department . . . and electricians buy their kids presents from the earnings called ‘income’, not from the portion called ‘tax deductible company expenses’ or ‘slush bucket’.

#29
beardedclam10:09 am, 24 Jun 13

c_c™ said :

bundah said :

$300,000 for approx 1500 staff and their partners equals $200 per head.That’s my kinda party ActewAGL here I come!

Have you ever organised catering for events?

I can tell you that a basic warm canapé service will set you back around $30-40pp, alcohol another $30pp.

3 courses plus drinks per person is well over $120.

That’s just the food itself. Add catering (equipment + service) and it’s very easy to reach $200pp.

Horseshit!! Are you serving endangered legless lizard legs or something? I am in event management and you are getting screwed if you are paying that. A party for ACTEW workers would be cheap, ACTEW can pay me the cash, and I will organise it.

#30
Tetranitrate10:12 am, 24 Jun 13

chewy14 said :

What’s stopping you buying electricity from another company?
Basically you’re whining that a private company has decided to spend some money on its employees. Would you prefer they get a bigger pay rise instead?

ACTEW is not a private company, it’s wholly owned by the ACT government. Given this, people have a right to be annoyed as the money being misappropriated is pubic money that would otherwise be paid to the ACT government in the form of dividends, and be spent on roads, schools, nurses (and probably public art).

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