Michael McMillan, Former Director Policy and Investment with TEL.
Michael McMillan, Former Director Policy and Investment with TEL.

Sacked TEL exec picked for job despite business going under

A HIGH ranking Townsville Enterprise executive sacked for alleged credit card misuse was picked for the job despite a failed business venture.

Michael McMillan was terminated as Townsville Enterprise's policy and investment director on Friday after an alleged "clear and serious breach" of the organisation's credit card policies.

Townsville Enterprise has not indicated the extent of the alleged breach nor the time frame but confirmed police advice had been sought.

Mr McMillan began working at Townsville Enterprise in September 2016 amid the collapse of a business venture in Rockhampton.

It can be revealed that Mr McMillan's Coffee Club franchise in Rockhampton went into involuntary administration in early 2017 due to unpaid taxes.

Mr McMillan could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

Townsville Enterprise chief executive Patricia O'Callaghan said the organisation's board had been made aware of Mr McMillan's previous business dealings but determined this was "separate to his role" and capabilities required for the role.

"Under the constitution, there was no obligation to terminate Michael from his role as he is not a board director, he is management," she said.

"We acknowledged the difficulties of running a small business and instead the board and I chose to support Michael in delivering his role at Townsville Enterprise."

Under Townsville Enterprise's constitution a board director of the organisation must be sacked immediately if they become bankrupt or make any "general arrangement or composition with his or her creditors". Mr McMillan previously told the Townsville Bulletin he was working with TEL through the recent issue and had sought his own legal advice.

Ms O'Callaghan said TEL went to market for the role in 2016 and Mr McMillan was appointed in September 2016.

"Michael was selected as the successful candidate due his extensive career in government, economic development, advocacy and policy roles," she said. A month later Mr McMillan was appointed to Townsville City Council's Innovation and Business Advisory Group as a Townsville Enterprise delegate, though the group is not currently active.

A council spokeswoman confirmed Mr McMillan would have no further role in the advisory group.

"Mr McMillan has no other advisory positions within Townsville City Council and his previous role on the Advisory Group was not a paid position," she said.

Townsville Enterprise receives $740,000 a year from council and about $630,000 from state government body Tourism and Events Queensland.

Herbert MP Phillip Thompson said the alleged credit card misuse situation was unfortunate and called for transparency.

Correction: The print version of this article reported Townsville Enterprise went to market for the role of director of policy and investment in 2015. That date should be 2016.

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