Ballina club cancels controversial baby show after calls to ASIC

A poster promoting the baby show at Cherry Street bowling club.
A poster promoting the baby show at Cherry Street bowling club.

A CONTROVERSIAL baby show due to be held in Ballina this Sunday has been cancelled by the Cherry St Bowling Club management.

General manager Tere Sheehan said he cancelled the show on Monday after several emails and phone calls about Australian Baby Shows.

Mr Sheehan said he contacted the Australian Securities and Investment Commission who advised Australian Baby Shows was not a legal trading name.

"They were using our facilities free of charge, as we do for all other community organisations, and we decided to step away from that partnership until allegations against the company are either proven or found not guilty."

In July, August and September, events were held at the club by Australian Baby Shows.

Readers also contacted The Northern Star via email and Facebook concerned about the Australian show due to be held this weekend.

A Queensland Department of Fair Trading (DoFT) spokesman said action had been previously taken against the operators of "Australian Baby Shows" when they operated businesses called "Fenwick Actors Models" and "Tabitha Talent Management".

A consumer alert about Fenwick Actors Models was issued in September 2012 and an investigation by the DoFT was launched.

Cassandra Thomas (aka Sandi Alexander) and her daughter Courtnie Thomas (aka Courtney Elice) were both charged with nine counts of making a false or misleading claim while operating Fenwick Models.

The pair, who falsely claimed they were affiliated with high-profile casting agents, were fined $27,000 and ordered to refund $19,125 to clients in Southport Magistrates Court on July 5.

The refunds relate to a $2375 Sydney workshop where parents were promised two high-profile casting agents, who failed to show, would be present.

When Tabitha Talent Management was the subject of a number of complaints to the DoFT in 2009, the pair fled to New Zealand.

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