Friday, February 11, 2011

Pissed Off and Punching Back: Local Company Takes On Murdoch's Daily Astonisher

This is the media statement made by Carmichael Ford, lambasting the Townsville Bulletin for what the company sees as last Wednesday's front page smear. The full background to this fascinating stoush is detailed in the preceding post `Cuddlepie A Cowardy Custard and The Astonisher Astonished at Carmichael Gutsy Counter-Attack.'

For you old buggers, both of you, who have trouble reading this, here is the statement in full:

Our staff members received their payslips this Tuesday for last week. The payslips indicated that they had been paid annual leave for Wednesday and Thursday. This decision was made by our Group Financial Controller. His good intentions were to ensure all staff got paid without delay, despite our computer systems still being restored on generator power. Annual leave was chosen to simplify the process and to pay leave loading for those days.

It must also be said that we did ask our staff to come to work on Friday to help where they could. No warnings were current and with a wages bill of over $40,000 per day we needed to do all we could to get back to work as soon as possible. Of our nearly 100 staff only 5 did not come to work.
Those staff members will be asked to either take that day as Annual Leave or Unpaid Leave. It isn’t fair for the 95% of the staff who came to work if we don’t do that.

Glen, myself and some of our staff are in San Francisco attending NADA, the worlds largest Automotive Dealer convention. Our Group Financial Controller called Glen at 11.00am Tuesday (5.00pm San Francisco) to discuss his decision. Glen and I decided it would be better to make an adjustment in the next pay period to restore the days of Wednesday and Thursday to normal time,
and make any leave loadings paid a bonus. This was communicated to all of our management team at 6.00pm that day once the necessary changes had been made in our payroll system.

On being told Glen was overseas, rather than verifying the facts of the matter, the Bulletin’s General Manager instead left a voice mail message on Glen’s phone late on Wednesday night (San Francisco time). If the journalists and management of the Townsville Bulletin were more concerned with accurate
journalism rather than cheap sensation, they would have waited until they had
discussed the matter with one of the principals of the business before going to print.

At significant incremental expense, Glen stayed in Townsville to ensure that the Carmichael Ford team could support its customers and staff through such a challenging time. It was always our priority to ensure our staff members were paid on time and completely. Which is what we did and more. Any inference that we have acted “heartlessly” in anyway is false and we intend to vigorously
defend ourselves against such a sensational and unwarranted allegation.

We are working to get back into operation as quickly as possible for the benefit of all our staff and customers. This is a very difficult time for everyone in Townsville. We fail to see what value this poor level of reporting adds to a community that needs to focus on rebuilding ourselves, our homes, our
families, and our community.

Carmichael Ford has been a generous supporter of Townsville, its spirit and people for over 30 years. We feel this attack on our business is very hurtful and deserves at least an apology from the Townsville
Bulletin. It is incumbent upon all of us to stand up to global conglomerates like News Limited whose only interest is making profits for its shareholders, certainly not the people of Townsville.

Andrew Carmichael Executive Director | Glen Sharp Dealer Principal


  1. Honestly, Im not surprised that the bully did that. They do it so often. Once Townsville realises that the Tsv Bully prints a load of one sided barely newsworthy crap, they will stop purchasing it... The less the sales become, the more under pressure the bosses come under and the more chance there is that they will be replaced by someone with an interest in bringing the REAL stories to the community. Oh who am I kidding... the bully is always going to print bull crap. Its just how much we choose to believe that is the real story. Maybe there should be a newspaper that is always one day late... but prints the other side of the story that was printed in the days previous newspaper.. Now that is something that I would buy and read.... lol for all future interest in that idea... I © it. hahaha

  2. Some of us who publish online have been warned off publishing against the daily astonisher. Turns into 'who can afford the biggest lawyer for the longest time' competition.

    I think I will stick to lighthearted community stories. No visits from Big Rupert to be had from that.

  3. The`Pie replies to Craig
    That's an interesting albeit somewhat vague claim. The Magpie, who never had knowledge of any such move in the time he was with the paper, would like you to send the old bird a more detailed email, (not necessarily for publication)as to the nature of the material that prompted the paper to issue such an alleged warning? And who at the paper contacted you? Sad to say, and hope no offence is taken if The `Pie is wrong, but your comment could be read as a coded warning from someone at the paper ... News Ltd has always done a nice line in vague menace. Let's face it, it is passing strange that you make oblique and unsubstantiated claims and then sign your full name.