The owners of the building – the NUW’s most excellent super fund LUCRF – shrewdly sold the property for $6.75 million to the highly geared Cairns pair in September last year after moving into a shiny happy new facility in Melbourne’s Docklands.
The old HQ was the scene of much political intrigue, the demise of much loved State Secretary Dennis Lennen, the rise and fall of Greg Sword, the soaring career of Antonia Parkes, the ultimately unsuccessful move against former NUW boss Simon Crean in his seat of Hotham and the never ending story of his Sword successor Charlie Donnelly who doubles as State Party President and prior to Christmas engineered an abortive coup against Stephen Newnham, the ALP’s state secretary. If those walls could talk…
Some NUW sources told VEXNEWS emphatically that Newnham would be out by December 31. Nearly two weeks on it appears he isn’t going anywhere.
Others say the NUW boss was less than impressed by being “led down the garden path” by 1 Treasury staff and state caucus members and “won’t be doing anyone’s dirty work anymore.” Fair enough too.
Back in Cairns, the Cassimatis’s were known for very splendid offices themselves, with today’s Fin Review reporting on the “opulent male and female bathrooms, which reportedly included antique style fittings designed by Mrs Cassimatis” herself.
The dunnies were “likened more to a five-star hotel in Paris than a financial services company head office.” The company was known for encouraging clients to borrow extensively against their assets and buy into index funds, pocketing a 7% upfront fee on the total invested. Sweet. But now those extra wide heated vibrating commodes will only be useful for flushing down particularly sensitive shredding.
One of the Cassimatis crew told the Townsville Bulletin (the Bully to its friends) that the toilets were “in another stratosphere”. The dynamic duo were inspired by visiting restaurants and finding while many of them looked “fabulous” and had great food, the toilets were “atrocious”, suggesting that the kitchens might not be much better.
The Cassimatis empire is now under administration after the Commonwealth Bank pulled the pin on their grenade. Liquidators can in certain circumstances reverse uncommercial transactions entered into prior to their appointment, but that seems highly unlikely in this case.