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Mushroom Group splits from The Harbour Agency

An investigation was launched after several former Harbour Agency staff contacted Mushroom with historical allegations about workplace culture

By James Hanley on 07 Dec 2021

Australia flag, Lachlan Fearnley

Australia’s Mushroom Group has split from booking firm The Harbour Agency following complaints about management behaviour and workplace culture.

An investigation was launched after several former Harbour Agency staff contacted Mushroom with historical allegations about Harbour, reports The Australian newspaper.

While the nature of the complaints remain “unclear”, they have prompted Mushroom to “formally separate the business from the group”.

“External investigators were appointed and the concerns raised were investigated, including via interviews with a number of former staff,” reads a Mushroom Group statement. “The issues raised by the investigation have been taken seriously and are now being addressed by the directors of Harbour Agency.

“Mushroom doesn’t have a controlling shareholding in Harbour, nor input into the decision making process at Harbour. The findings of the investigation emphasised the lack of direct day to day visibility and influence we have over the running of the Harbour business.

“At Mushroom, we take the creation of a positive and creative workplace culture seriously and, without the ability to influence the culture at Harbour, Mushroom has made the decision to formally separate the business from the group.”

Any previous issues within the Harbour Agency have been assessed and dealt with over a period of time

The Harbour Agency has responded in a statement shared with The Music Network, saying the firm’s shareholders remain unchanged, despite the Mushroom Group’s decision.

“There have been suggestions of historical workplace culture issues within the Harbour Agency,” it says. “The Harbour agency takes workplace culture very seriously. We are proud to promote an inclusive, culturally diverse and safe environment which nurtures the skills of budding industry leaders as well as extending these values to our clients and the industry as a whole. In effect, any previous issues within the Harbour Agency have been assessed and dealt with over a period of time as is consistent with our values.

“At no point during Mushroom’s external investigation were any current employees interviewed… had these accounts been included, the findings may have told a different story.

“The agency has remained fully operational over a very difficult period of time for the live music industry. We have stood unwavering, in our service to our employees, our client base and the wider community.”

It adds: “Moving forward, The Harbour Agency will continue to operate independently. Whilst the company is being restructured, it will not preclude or prohibit our dealings with the many great companies within the Mushroom group.”

Mushroom Group appointed Matt Gudinski as its new CEO in April following the sudden passing of his father, Frontier Touring/Mushroom Group founder Michael Gudinski, on 2 March.

 


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