Well, the rumours about the breadth and depth of Steve
Vizard’s inappropriate cross-promotional business activities just keep coming,
with revelations in today’s Australian that the “deeply sorry” businessman may also have had a hand in the appointment
of See – the Melbourne advertising group he’s been linked to – to various advertising
accounts for the National Gallery of Victoria.

See
worked for NGV
in the lead-up to the 2002 opening of its new Fed Square complex, when
Vizard
was president, and remained with the gallery until June last year, when
Vizard stepped down from the role. See also did project work for Major Events in March 2002, which
Vizard also headed at the time. See general manager Robyn Nelson told The
Australian

that Vizard has never had a financial stake in See, but works with the
company as an unpaid consultant. She had no comment, however, on
whether Vizard referred
the NGV or VMEC business to See or whether Communicate Pty Ltd, the
umbrella company run by Vizard mate Shaun Levin was
paid.

Whatever the nature of Vizard’s association with See, it seems it
didn’t sit well
with many at the gallery, says The Australian, who remember the former
president as a
“mega-busy businessman,” who pulled out of commitments at the 11th hour
and who, despite his millions and his famous philanthropic streak,
donated what could amount to less than $20,000 to the gallery during
its
ambitious redevelopment phase.

Could being so “mega-busy” have caused Vizard to “lose sight,” as he
put it in court yesterday, of what is and isn’t appropriate in
business?

That’s what former Herald Sun editor-cum-spindoctor
John Fitzgerald –
who represented Alan Bond and later Vizard as a media consultant –
suggested in his affidavit supporting Vizard that was read in court
yesterday. Fitzgerald wrote that he believed Steve had been “pushed”
into any wrongdoing “as a result of his inability to say no.” Indeed.

Peter Fray

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