Author Topic: RSPCA Tasmania in crisis yet again  (Read 523 times)

Export News Tasmania

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RSPCA Tasmania in crisis yet again
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 07:40:39 PM »
RSPCA funding furore: TAXPAYER funds given to the RSPCA to ensure it remains viable are being eaten up in legal fees, says a former board member.

The saga surrounding allegations of misconduct against the organisation's chief executive Ben Sturges is showing no sign of an outcome, three weeks after a wide-ranging internal investigation began.

Appointed to the top job 16 months ago, Mr Sturges was stood down after being told the RSPCA board was investigating a complaint against him.

The Mercury confirmed last week that in recent months the State Government has funnelled $400,000 into bailing out the struggling animal welfare organisation.

"This money is now being spent on legal and consultancy fees instead of animal welfare," a former board member told the Mercury.
RSPCA Tasmania president Paul Swiatkowski said he was acutely aware of ill feeling surrounding the use of charity money to fund the investigation.

"All I can say is any money spent at this stage is money that absolutely must be spent to protect the current and future interests of the organisation," he said.

While Mr Sturges says he is unwilling to comment while the investigation is ongoing, the Mercury understands his supporters and other RSPCA insiders are outraged at the turmoil resulting from the second investigation into a chief executive in three years.

Mr Sturges is understood to have been expecting news on the outcome of the investigation -- being conducted by workplace relations consultancy James O'Neill and Associates -- last Friday but Mr Swiatkowski yesterday confirmed the probe was ongoing.

"The Australian Services Union, on behalf of Mr Sturges, has asked for a response in terms of the investigation by October 9 and a response will be provided," he said.

The initial deadline given by the ASU was last Thursday but the union extended the deadline at the RSPCA's request.

It is also understood the RSPCA national body is now taking a major role in the branch's day-to-day operation.

While the Mercury will not detail the allegations against Mr Sturges -- Denison MP Graeme Sturges's son -- the former Australia Post business manager denies any wrongdoing.

 ZARA DAWTREY   |   October 08, 2012 12.01am

« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 07:42:16 PM by Export News Tasmania »