By Brendan Swift
Ettamogah Entertainment has employed a production consultant to help restructure the struggling animation business after it was forced to stand down the majority of its staff.
It comes some six weeks after the company’s problems first came to light amid staff claims of unpaid wages and superannuation entitlements.
Managing director Leigh O’Brien told staff on Monday that a core team will continue producing its troubled Li’L Larrikins kids TV series while the consultant reviews the business.
“We expect to know over the next two weeks what this structure will be, what departments and roles will be required and when they will restart,” O’Brien said in a letter to staff.
The 26-part Li’L Larrikins production, set to be sold to Channel Ten, appears to have prompted the company’s problems due to schedule and budget overruns.
Nonetheless, Ettamogah has also pledged to meet all outstanding staff entitlements, including superannuation.
“As previously indicated, we are in the process of refinancing pending receipt of funds owed to us, and our priority is to ensure that staff entitlements are met,” the letter said.
The unpaid entitlements have sparked an investigation by Victoria’s Fair Work Ombudsman. The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance and the Australian Writers’ Guild are also representing unpaid staff.
O’Brien did not respond to a voicemail message asking for further comment.