The strange rise and fall of Elenberg Fraser

There has always been a cloud over Elenberg Fraser’s participation in the the City Tatts property project.

Many in the property industry were sceptical almost from the start about their commitment to City Tatts. This has been aired before on this blog (See 2016 blog Are Elenberg Fraser still working on the City Tatts project?)

As that blog pointed out, there was something a bit strange about Elenberg Fraser being paid less than $30,000 in 2015 for 8 months work on a $200 million project, that had non-stop problems. During the same year an architect who never designed a 48 storey building in his life, Peter Georgeson, got $205,000.

In 2016 the same thing happened. Elenberg Fraser got less than $30,000 (only payments over that amount have to be reported), while Georgeson got $86,000.

So how much work could they really have done on the City Tatts project since April 2015?

Of course, if they actually do charge so little probably everyone should use them.

It is also interesting that they always kept very quiet about their involvement with City Tatts. In over two years they hardly mentioned it.

But the funniest part about their departure is Patrick Campion’s explanation. In his attempt to spruik the new architects he said they were selected because of their “strong working relationship with the council, solid heritage experience and a sound submission strategy”!!

Is this Campion’s way of now telling us that Elenberg Fraser lacked all this?!!

City Tatts Information Desk


New Airhead Development Corrupt Deal & Appropriation!

By now most of you will know that Patrick Campion has agreed to borrow from the Chinese developer to pay out the ANZ Bank. He sent an email to members to put a brave face on this.

The statement itself is pure CampionSpeak. It’s stupid, dishonest and hilarious. Sometimes you wonder if he reads his own statements before he sends them out.

It’s stupid because he is making all these promises of what is going to happen now with the property development – when every promise he has made so far on the property development has failed. Every one!

And not just on the property development. You may recall last September Campion promised members a new cafe on Pitt Street and a new TAB. And what’s happening with that? Nothing, of course. It was just another useless empty Campion promise.

The statement is dishonest because the promise of future success is really an attempt to divert attention from the absolute failure of everything he has tried up to now.

But mostly it’s hilarious – Campion’s desperate, final roll of the dice to cover all his previous blunders and lies.

We are going to have a lot of fun with this!

City Tatts Information Desk

Mark Lonngren gravy train grinds to a halt

The gravy train that Mark Lonngren has been on for years is about to stop dead in it’s tracks. Lonngren will be leaving the club’s employ very soon. Obviously not soon enough for those poor souls who have to deal with this imbecile every day.

When you think about it there have been some very strange staffing appointments at City Tatts. Take Trevelyan Bale, a club chef on $250,000 a year. What about Jan Ellks, a secretary on $130,000 a year.? As strange as these appointments were, at least Bale was a qualified chef. And Ellks was (probably) a qualified pen-pusher.

But Lonngren? Did he have any qualifications? For anything?

And while we are on the subject, does anyone know what he did at City Tatts? In recent years he was claimed to be a maintenance manager. But the rest of the maintenance team were never quite sure about this. Before that he was described as an interior designer.

What is more strange is that this bluffer was made a permanent employee only last year, after years of being a “contractor”. Now why would a contractor be made a permanent employee only to be punted out a year later? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to leave him as a contractor?

Is Marcelo Veloz that confused? Possibly, but somehow we suspect there is more to the story.

We think this is a case for The Ferret.

City Tatts Information Desk

New contracts for all staff

Staff members of City Tatts, if you were a little concerned by your Christmas bonus of 40c a day you might have a lot more to be concerned about shortly.

You will soon be presented with new workplace contracts, if you haven’t been already.

Be aware, the devil lies in the detail.

These contracts all seem safe and sound except for the little matter of a probation period. Expect management to take the opportunity to tell you valued you are. This may give you a false sense of security, make you feel all warm inside, but really it is just to keep you onside.

If you sign one of these contracts you will be entering into a whole new employment sphere, where you will be at the mercy of management.

In other words, management will be able to move you on regardless of your status or role.

City Tatts Information Desk

Trevelyan Bale’s My Kitchen Rules!

Cookery shows of one kind or another have been a staple of TV in recent years. It’s hard to keep track of them all: My Kitchen Rules, Masterchef, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey etc etc

As far as we’re concerned none of them come close to providing the entertainment and drama of a Trevelyan Bale kitchen.

Bale’s kitchen had it all. Rabbits, North Queensland bananas, Manna from heaven (well, ok, Circular Quay), special cakes with extra ice, free lunches for millionaires, executive christmas meals, intrigue, incompetence, lying, cheating, stealing ……..

When is this bloke going to get his own TV show?

City Tatts Information Desk

What would Tony Guilfoyle have done with a property development?

Restaurants were the first area to alert City Tatts members to Tony Guilfoyle’s destruction. In fact they are a very good guide in any club to the competence of management, and whether the club is run for members or for management.

Closing the Smorgasbord and replacing it with Zest, at a cost of $2 million, told you everything you needed to know about Tony Guilfoyle. Clearly it was not done with members in mind.

But the sheer scale of the rorts in the City Tatts kitchen during Guilfoyle’s time is staggering. Any one of these examples of waste, entitlement, greed or plain stealing on their own would be a concern. But in total they must have amounted to a huge cost to the club.

And would help to explain the dismal losses on restaurants and bars.

Remember, it was just a simple kitchen, there to provide meals for members and guests. If Guilfoyle could establish such a culture of wholesale looting in a kitchen, what would he have done when the club became a building site for a $200 million property development?

Especially with Patrick Campion supporting him all the way.

City Tatts Information Desk

Tony Guilfoyle’s centralised kitchen

One of the key features of the whole Zest/Omega/Lime Bar project was the construction of a new centralised kitchen to supply Zest, the Esperanto and most of the club’s other food requirements. You may recall the Esperanto changing to pre-packaged portions around this time.

In theory this was a more efficient set-up than the old one where every restaurant had it’s own kitchen.

But at City Tatts it’s never that simple. As so often happened with a Tony Guifoyle project, this one did not deliver the promised benefits.

Incredibly, the restaurant results were far worse under the new arrangement.

But then it was run by two of the worst imbeciles ever to work in a NSW club, Guilfoyle and Trevelyan Bale.

Guilfoyle always seemed pleased with the new centralised kitchen. We could never understand why.

Maybe it just made it easier to organise the thieving.

City Tatts Information Desk