First National chairman defends network against Fairfax Media claims

First National chairman defends network against Fairfax Media claims
First National chairman defends network against Fairfax Media claims

David Nitschke, the First National chairman, has slammed a Fairfax Media article as "based on rumour, gossip and deliberate falsehoods."

He expressly denied there were any undisclosed conflicts or dodgy deals linked to board members.

"The article has no information of public interest but is designed to cause maximum harm to the network, to divide the membership, and to personally vilify our CEO, former and current Directors and senior staff, and serves no purpose other than to try to cause harm to our brand," he told First National staff today.

He suggested staff must stop interacting with "disaffected former members and employees who have no investment or interest in our success."

He said he was not intending to respond to "the diatribe in detail, the position of successive Boards is well known to members."

"But let me assure you:

1. There is no 'internal upheaval' within the network.

2. Commercially and financially your network is in excellent shape as the forthcoming financial results will testify.

3. There are no undisclosed conflicts or dodgy deals linked to board members. All board members' personal interests are disclosed at the time of appointment and conflicted board members refrain from voting on matters in which they have a personal interest.

4. At no time has the Board threatened legal action, thinly veiled or otherwise, against any members."

His email to staff which was provided on request to Property Observer paid tribute to their CEO, Ray Ellis and management team "who are the ones that have had to bear the brunt of the negativity and salacious allegations."

"Ray and his team have the absolute and unqualified support of the Board," he advised.

"It is improbable that anyone outside the network and those responsible for this indecent campaign would have any interest in the article but it seems we are under attack and so it is imperative that we remain strong and resilient and that we all come together behind the Board, our Regional Councils and our outstanding Management team to maintain our status as Australia's most advanced real estate network."

The Fairfax article suggested the existance of a reform group -  believed to be supported by about 40 agents - who were especially upset over "the value of assets in the balance sheet".  

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First National Board Members

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