Since my email last weekend regarding the parting of ways with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation I have been overwhelmed by the return emails and telephone calls of support from around Australia and indeed the world. There have been far too many for me even to attempt to reply to all of them, let alone oblige anyone on the intricate details.
A few days have moved on and I just felt a need to set out, for those of you who have been so interested, the circumstances that led to the parting. You will note that I have not said resignation, because I have not resigned.
It is public knowledge that I was exasperated by the poorly negotiated terms of the arrangement under which Bo Derek was being brought to Melbourne for the 2005 Australian Grand Prix, and by the bureaucracy and related complications, at both the Sydney and Melbourne ends, in the staging of Mark Webber’s drive over the Sydney Harbour Bridge last Sunday.
But the lesser matter that brought things to a head related to three invitations to the Grand Prix Ball. I had suggested two of the invitations but AGPC chairman Ron Walker suggested a third, yet AGPC chief executive Tim Bamford twice scuttled these invitations to media guests. On the basis of Mr Walker’s agreement, I had extended verbal invitations to the intended guests. The situation became untenable last Thursday night when I realized the formal invitations had not been sent. I advised Mr Bamford that I would not be reporting at the AGPC until the matter was satisfactorily resolved.
Indeed, I did not report in on Friday morning, but – without any notice to me – the invitations were sent to the three parties that day. To that extent, the situation was satisfactorily resolved, albeit without it being communicated to me.
Mid-afternoon Friday I received a termination notice from Mr Bamford, which my representative has advised Mr Bamford was ill-judged, ill-timed, unacceptable and inappropriate.
I understand that some of those invitations to the Ball have not been accepted as the invitees have come to know the circumstances. While purportedly terminated on Friday, I am still receiving ‘all staff’ sms messages from the AGPC.
That is probably as much as I should say at this time. My representative has sought a meeting with the AGPC to seek to ensure that a proper relationship is established and maintained in the interest of all concerned.
Regards, Geoff Harris