The Courier-Mail

In­quiry into mis­con­duct claims

- LIAM WALSH

MIS­CON­DUCT al­le­ga­tions have hit Bris­bane-based in­fra­struc­ture spe­cial­ist Seymour Whyte.

The com­pany has launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, hir­ing an out­side ex­pert to look into the claims of mis­con­duct and breaches of com­pany pol­icy.

Seymour Whyte re­fused to com­ment on the na­ture of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion or con­firm in­dus­try ru­mours abound­ing about the type of al­le­ga­tions.

Started in 1987 by two friends, stock­mar­ket-listed Seymour Whyte now em­ploys al­most 350 staff and has projects from a ring road in Townsville to air­ports in NSW. It just posted a full-year profit of $10 mil­lion, down 8.9 per cent, which it dubbed a “solid re­sult” in a “chal­leng­ing year for the en­gi­neer­ing and con­struc­tion in­dus­try”.

No men­tion was made of the al­le­ga­tions in the ac­counts or in stock­mar­ket no­tices.

But Seymour Whyte, whose val­ues in­clude “we act with in­tegrity, al­ways up­hold­ing our rep­u­ta­tion”, ar­gued it kept the mar­ket in­formed of ma­te­rial is­sues.

“The

(al­le­ga­tions) mat­ter has not im­pacted on the com­pany’s fi­nan­cial per­for­mance … we re­main fo­cused on de­liv­er­ing on our projects for our clients,” Seymour Whyte said in re­sponse to The Couri­erMail’s queries.

“The board and se­nior man­age­ment team … in con­junc­tion with a third-party ex­pert, have been un­der­tak­ing a com­pre­hen­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­le­ga­tions of mis­con­duct and breaches of com­pany pol­icy.

“Seymour Whyte has taken ac­tion in re­la­tion to a small num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als who were iden­ti­fied through the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

The com­pany re­fused to spec­ify who or how many peo­ple were in­volved or the ac­tion.

A “com­pre­hen­sive” re­view of its code of con­duct and em­ployee in­duc­tion had oc­curred.

Seymour Whyte has been shaken by in­sta­bil­ity this year with the sud­den res­ig­na­tion in May of for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer David McA­dam, af­ter what is thought to be a split with the board.

There is no sug­ges­tion Mr McA­dam was aware of or in­volved in the al­le­ga­tions.

In­dus­try ru­mours sug­gest the mat­ter turned up dur­ing a re­view ini­ti­ated by in­terim chief ex­ec­u­tive David Wil­son, which Seymour de­clined to con­firm. Asked if po­lice were in­volved, Seymour said the mat­ter was “in­ter­nal”.

John Kirk­wood, a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive with Leighton Con­trac­tors, was ap­pointed Seymour Whyte chief ex­ec­u­tive in July and will take up the role in Oc­to­ber.

Shares in Seymour Whyte have traded be­tween $1.88 and 97 in the past 12 months.

They closed steady at $1.35 yesterday.

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