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West Australia ends tourism campaign featuring MasterChef's George Calombaris after $8 million worker rip-off

The West Australian government has suspended its tourism campaign featuring MasterChef's George Calombaris after he was fined for ripping off restaurant workers to the tune of almost $8 million.

The Fair Work Ombudsman last week fined the 40-year-old celebrity chef and his Made Establishment company $200,000 and money has been back-paid to hundreds of current and former staff.

Calombaris featured in Tourism WA's advertising campaign "Create Your Own Gourmet Escape in WA", which first aired in the eastern states on MasterChef during WA Week earlier this month and was due to run until September.

But today, Tourism WA managing director Brodie Carr said the ads with Mr Calombaris had been suspended although the campaign with MasterChef would continue.

"We've paused all of our work with George for now and we're talking to his management about recouping some of our costs that we've paid him," Mr Carr told 6PR radio.

"We'll continue with the campaign that we're doing with MasterChef but probably not with George.

"George was just a small element of the whole MasterChef piece."

He would not reveal how much Calombaris was paid.

Mr Carr conceded Mr Calombaris' troubles with his restaurants "possibly" should have come up when he was being considered for the tourism role.

Premier Mark McGowan previously said working with MasterChef for tourism promotion was innovative but would not confirm the reported $1.2 million price tag.

Other recent tourism initiatives for WA include bringing the Manchester United soccer team to Perth, direct flights from Japan and Chris Hemsworth's hugely popular quokka selfie on social media.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 22:  George Calombaris attends the DIIDA flagship store launch in SOuth Yarra on June 22, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Sam Tabone/WireImage)
George Calombaris Source: Getty