Ulysses comments …


New specs for PM

Prime minister Scott Morrison has a new pair of glasses – a full-frame, dark-coloured number, not unlike what almost everybody is wearing today – male and female.

The rimless-front-and-plastic-sides number he’d been wearing for ages was looking a bit doggy, so the change is not before time.


OK for you and me, but not for the federal pollies

Federal politicians are wrestling with what type of anti-corruption organisation they should legislate to bring in – the states have them for some time, but the feds seem to be having great difficulty in deciding what they want.

Everyone from the prime minister down is having his/her two bob’s worth, but little agreement to date.

One irksome proposal is that federal politicians would be exempt from any investigation or prosecution, no matter what they were to get up to.

It would be OK for you and me to be investigated and/or prosecuted, but not a politician.

What a hide the politicians have to even consider legislation to that effect, let alone actually passing enacting legislation.

Is it any wonder the nation has lost faith in politicians, seeing them largely as nothing more than self-seekers?


Season’s greetings

Another year is drawing to an end, with this column the last for 2018 – unless some can’t-wait-to-report news comes up before our

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By | December 24th, 2018|Comment|

George & Matilda: revenue up, but borrowings too

 Retail group George & Matilda has reported a revenue increase for the year ended 30 June 2018, however its borrowings are up substantially.

According to the 2018 annual report for the George & Matilda parent company, IFIC Holdings Limited:

  • George & Matilda’s annualised revenue from its 48 stores was up 125% to $36.4m;
  • Annualised stores operating profit was $10m; and
  • Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was $5 million;
  • Available funding was $65m as at 30 June 2018 versus $14m the year before;
  • EBITDA increased from a loss of 2.2m in 2017 to a profit of $1.4m in 2018;
  • For the full year ended 30 June 2018, revenue increased from $16.2m in 2017 to a profit of $36.4m in 2018;
  • Stores operating profit rose from $1.3m to $6.1m;
  • The number of practices owned by the company increased from 34 to 48.

The 2018 annual report shows revenue of $36,363,723, less the cost of sales of $8,541,400, to give a gross profit of $27,822,323.

Major operating expenses are $17,478,795 for employees, occupancy expenses $3,996,950 and legal expenses $2,244,639.

Current assets include $15,928,322; non-current assets $44,423,371 ; total assets $60,351,693 (of which $39,118,177 is intangible assets and goodwill.

Current liabilities are $13,324,617; non-current liabilites $34,661,551 and total liabilities (including $29,725,808 loans and borrowings) $47,986168.

Net assets and

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By | December 16th, 2018|Business|

Optometrist directed to repay $57,000 to Commonwealth; disqualified from making certain claims for 6 months

An optometrist whose name will not been revealed in accordance with section 92 of the Health Insurance Act , has been directed to repay $57,059.01 to the Commonwealth.

The optometrist was also disqualified from rendering MBS items 10913 and 10914 for six months.

Professional Services Review committee decision

The directions were made by the Professional Services  Review committee on 27 October, after it concluded that the optometrist engaged inappropriate practice in connection with rendering MBS items10913 and 10914.

The committee found that the practitioner’s record-keeping in connection with the MBS items 10913 and 10914 services that it reviewed was, on occasion, inadequate. That occurred when, for example, history, diagnoses, follow-up arrangements or examination findings were either not recorded or not recorded in sufficient detail.

Patient must be seen by optometrist at same practice

MBS item 10913 requires, amongst other things, that a patient with new signs or symptoms previously been seen at the same practice as the providing optometrist. In the committee’s view, that meant the patient must be seen by an optometrist at the same physical practice, not at another practice within a corporate group.

The committee’s view was that failure to meet that regulatory requirement on its own and in the absence of any other conduct of concern would be considered unacceptable to the general

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By | December 16th, 2018|Legal|

Medicos agree to repay a total of $3.25m to the Commonwealth

Medical practitioners (seven GPs and four described as ‘medical practitioners’) agreed to repay a total of $3.25 million to the Commonwealth.

They did so under an agreement with the director of the Professional Services Review in October 2018.

The repayments were in acknowledgment they engaged in inappropriate practice in connection with providing certain Medicare item numbers, involving amounts from $10,000 to as high as $995,000.

In some instances bans were imposed on the rendering of services under certain item numbers.


By | December 16th, 2018|Legal|

Former health minister barred from corporate life for 2 years

A former federal health minister, Dr Michael Wooldridge, on 13 December was barred from corporate life for two years and three months after the High Court found him and four others in breach of the Corporations Act in a five-nil ruling.

The High Court found in favour of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission appeal against a lower court decision against Prime Trust founder Mr Bill Lewski and other executives of a $550 million retirement village that collapsed.

The lower court had quashed a ban against Mr Lewski and the others involved with Prime Trust because ASIC took too long to launch legal action.

Prime Trust collapsed in 2010, taking $500 million that had been pumped into it by about        9,700 investors.

By | December 16th, 2018|Business|

Ulysses comments …

Highfalutin words?

One of the first items on the agenda after my return to the grindstone has been to have a look at the annual report of IPIC Holdings Limited, which owns George & Matilda Eyecare.

First up, there’s an explanation of the name George & Matilda, including “a name that can take on our competitors and some day take on the world”,followed by “Helping the world see better one person at a time by supporting and uniting local independents to build the best optometry community …”, followed by ‘Our Values’: “We are guided by our values in every interaction with our customers, colleagues and suppliers.”
• Together they form a remarkable partnership;

  • Progression & Trustworthiness;
  • Style & Value;
  • Modernity & Warmth;
  • A unique name;

Then follows: “Helping the world see better, one person at a time by supporting and uniting local independents to build the best optometry community …”

And then “We are guided by our values in every interaction with our customers, colleagues and suppliers – Partnership, Simple, Empathy, Inspire and Trust”.

After reading that, Specsavers, OPSM and other retail groups must be shaking in their boots.


The news is not all bad

Reading the news in this issue, you could be excused for thinking the crooks have taken over.

Rest assured they haven’t, it’s just that

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By | December 16th, 2018|Comment|