The Star Entertainment Group

As the case involving Star Entertainment continues to play out, it has been confirmed that David Foster is standing down as Chairman of the company. 

Foster joins former CEO Robbie Cooke in departing the embattled company – with Anne Ward, an independent and non-executive director now taking over the role. 

It was revealed recently that Foster and Cooke, who at the time was Managing Director, were previously looking to force the departure of the company’s special manager. 

The case detailed that the duo had sought to secure legal backing in order to take action against Nicholas Weekes, who was leading the oversight of inspection into the company and whether it was sustainable. 

Messages from Cooke revealed in court stated that he believed the regulator was ‘preparing for war, so we should do the same’. 

Weekes issued his response to the plans, describing them as ‘extraordinary’. Speaking during the inquiry, he said: “It’s difficult to reconcile everything that the company has told me and everything it tells the market and the regulator in relation to its motivations to reform.”

Most recently however, the case further intensified as a court heard allegations that Foster had ambitions to ‘demolish’ the NICC, the gaming regulator for New South Wales. 

When questioned about these messages that were exchanged, Foster revealed that his suggestions were around reform and for the body to come back under a different alias. 

Fuelling the motives of Foster were to ‘even the playing field’ between operators and the Australian nightlife sector. 

Nonetheless, Foster did admit to being ‘trigger happy’ with his text messages and expressed regret over the messages, which he believed were taken out of context. 

“These unfortunately are a snippet of some heat of the moment comments made which I regret, but certainly do not in any way reflect on my actual activities and focus, or the relationship I have with Nicholas Weeks and the regulators,” added Foster

He also described the relationship as being one that has been ‘very focused, constructive and with only one outcome in mind which is working with the company to achieve its remediation outcomes’.

Additionally, Foster defended himself by stating that the content and tone of the messages didn’t replicate the actions he took when it came to the company’s relationship with the regulator.