Calombaris dumped from tourism campaign


Under-fire MasterChef host and ­celebrity restaurateur George Calombaris has been dropped from a tourism campaign after he was fined for underpaying employees by almost $8 million, according to reports.

The Fair Work Ombudsman's four-year investigation culminated in the announcement on Thursday that Calombaris had back-paid more than $7.83 million to 524 current and former employees of Press Club, Gazi, Hellenic Republic and Jimmy Grants.

Calombaris' MAdE Establishment group was also fined $200,000, with the "contrition payment" going to a Commonwealth fund.

Tourism WA has since reportedly dumped Calombaris from their latest campaign.

The Gourmet Escape WA was expected to run until the end of September and promotes visitors to the region.

Entertainment reporter Peter Ford told The Morning Show that WA Tourism Minister Paul Papilia confirmed that the campaign would be pulling Calombaris from all advertising.

Last week, his MasterChef employer Network 10 is standing by him, with a spokesman saying: "George has the support of Network 10."

The ACTU said he should be ­removed from MasterChef. And the hospitality union United Voice claims ­Calombaris should be forever referred to as a "wage thief".