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Consulting outfit PwC, battered and bruised by months of scandal, is bracing for another round of fallout from the leaking-ATO-secrets-to-help-clients-avoid-paying-tax affair.
The findings of a review of governance at the firm by corporate veteran Ziggy Switkowski – which has already been distributed in draft form to a select few – is set to be published late this month.
Ziggy Switkowski led an independent review of PwC’s troubled Australian operations.Credit: Renee Nowytarger
But PwC Australia, which has been under very close supervision by its US-based bosses for some months, won’t be left to weather the storm alone.
Insiders expect PwC’s global chairman Bob Moritz to be on hand to help his Antipodean colleagues cope with what’s likely to be a decent-sized story, although the firm would not confirm on Wednesday whether the big boss would indeed be present.
Moritz may even be able to mix a little pleasure with this most serious business. The release of the Switkowski report is tipped to be very close to the NRL and AFL Grand finals – scheduled for September 30 and October 1 respectively – when much of the nation will be deep in a footy finals fever dream.
So, at least Moritz will be assured that his local operation won’t be the only thing getting a kicking that week.
Melbourne’s barristers have been whiling away the days since the Nicola Gobbo “Lawyer X” circus left town by engaging in a little culture warring.
Readers might remember that the Bar Council was rolled in May by an insurgency of conservative barristers who forced a mini-referendum on the representative group’s stance on the proposed Indigenous Voice to parliament, which ended in a decisive Yes vote.
Then there was the scandal of the homophobic material posted in the hallowed halls of Owen Dixon Chambers last year, prompting an investigation that involved trawling the work emails of thousands of barristers. It was an effort that failed to find the culprit, but sure got people riled-up.
The Victorian Bar is not impressed by pranksters at Owen Dixon Chambers.Credit: Jessica Shapiro
Now our learned friends are buzzing about another pot shot in the civil war against woke, after another notice appeared, again in Owen Dixon Chambers – and you have to worry that all this is lowering the tone of the joint. This time the note called for entries into a “Men in Law Awards” – it’s not a thing, we checked.
Anyhoo, our japesters reckon they’ll be awarding prizes for “Most woke counsel, Best virtue signalling counsel, Least offensive counsel”.
There are two categories of “best beard” which we don’t quite get and “counsel with the best virtue signalling signature; him, it, they, DILLIGAF” – you’ll need to look that one up – and “acknowledgement of prior claims of land etc”.
Hilarious, right? We called the Bar Council, to see if they found any of that funny. Doesn’t look like it.
“The Victorian Bar is aware of an unauthorised notice placed in the lifts in Owen Dixon Chambers East,” a council spokesman told us.
“The notice purported to be from the Victorian Bar. It is not and has been removed.”
Disgraced neurosurgeon Charlie Teo may no longer be able to operate in Australia after being found guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct by the medical watchdog, but that hasn’t stopped him living his best life.
This week, the globe-trotting Teo was spotted at Sydney Airport checking in at Qatar Airways’ first class counter, a flight that couldn’t have been cheap thanks to the Qantas-Labor protection racket.
Not bad for a bloke who, just a few months ago, claimed that he’d resorted to driving Ubers to make ends meet.
Since first facing restrictions, Teo has become quite the jet-setter – flying all over the world to do operations he’s unable to perform in Australia.
There has been some discombobulation in the Voice referendum Yes camp over a survey put out to readers of Adelaide tabloid The Advertiser – the birthplace of Rupert Murdoch’s empire – by its US-owned parent company News Corp.
Participants were presented with reasons for voting No – about 18 of them – and asked how strongly they agreed or disagreed, with about 14 positive arguments for the Yes campaign given the same treatment, so nothing too egregious there.
But a little way on through the survey – with “rewards” promised for those who made it to the end – came a question that has Yes operatives in CBD’s ear with howls of “push polling”.
“Would you be more or less likely to vote yes to the Voice to parliament and executive government if it led to the date of Australia Day being changed?
Or if “it led to Australia Day being abolished altogether?”
There’s nothing on the ballot about Australia Day, so we reckon that’s a push poll effort that would have made disgraced former US president Richard Nixon – a pioneer of the technique – proud.
A News Corp spokesman told us that the poll was not meant to generate editorial content, like the company’s flagship NewsPoll.
“This is not an editorial poll and any answers are not used for editorial coverage,” he said.
Well, we guess that’s all right, then.
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