Charity CEO quits over Frydenberg flyer

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Guide Dogs Victoria boss Karen Hayes has stepped down, but the investigation into her endorsement of former treasurer Josh Frydenberg for re-election continues.

Ms Hayes was featured in a flyer and promotional video posted on social media supporting Mr Frydenberg as Kooyong MP ahead of the May 21 federal ballot.

The charity’s board confirmed it had not approved the material and called for its immediate removal from circulation while launching an internal investigation.

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Ms Hayes resigned on April 26 and on Tuesday Guide Dogs Victoria announced that she had accepted her resignation.

The flyer and promotional video were authorized by Mr. Frydenberg’s Hawthorn East office, in accordance with election laws.

However, charitable groups are bound by regulations enforced by the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission and can be stripped of their status if they are unable or unwilling to rectify serious breaches.

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Ms Hayes also appeared in a similar promotional video for Mr Frydenberg ahead of the 2019 federal election.

The Morrison government of the day gave Guide Dogs Victoria $2.5 million the following year to upgrade its facilities.

Guide Dogs Victoria chairman Iain Edwards said Ms Hayes had made an incredible contribution, including a redevelopment program to meet future needs.

TAUT investigation was ongoing, he said.

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Ms Hayes described her resignation as a “difficult decision” but did not refer to her reasons for leaving in a statement.

“I am delighted with what we have achieved and will be looking aside with enthusiasm and support to see the program through to completion,” she said.

– PAA

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