Immigration, pokies, Babcock, Sing Inc, Cornwall, female directors, SP Ausnet, Rich List and much more

July 23, 2010

Dear Readers,

Greetings for the first time since our last edition on July 12. It's pretty hard work keeping up with this first Australian federal election featuring Twitter but we're having fun and will have plenty more to say in coming days. What follows is a diverse edition covering some of our favourite governance, activist and political topics spanning council affairs to AGMs, lists, pokies and the federal election. And don't miss the intriguing Babcock and Brown item! Have a read and do feel free to send in any feedback or suggestions to

Do ya best, Stephen Mayne

Gillard and the immigration debate

Is there a single candidate in this federal election campaign advocating an increase in immigration? Haven't seen it so far.

I went the long handle against Julia Gillard anti-immigration rhetoric in this piece for Crikey on Monday and then got clobbered in the comments section - as did Michael Pascoe in this piece for Fairfax, although I snuck in with support in the final post.

Crikey declined to run a follow up, but the issue was given a solid burst on 774 ABC Melbourne during the regular chat with Lindy Burns yesterday afternoon. Some of the objections coming through on the SMS were pretty strong.

As The Australian's Paul Kelly correctly pointed out on page one yesterday, Julia Gillard is the first Prime Minister in 60 years to label globally modest levels of immigration as “irresponsible”.

And now that Mark Latham has entered the election campaign savaging Gillard as a "fraud" for not promising to slash immigration, the PM could have some tricky days ahead.

Gillard is clearly on a short term poll-driven political winner railing against a Big Australia but she refused to answer Kerry O'Brien's question on Monday night as to whether she ever expressed concern to Kevin Rudd about his pro-immigration position.

And yesterday she has once again refused to say how much she is proposing to cut the current intake of 270,000 a year.

Until assassinating Kevin Rudd, Gillard had never publically said boo about record immigration. The best she could do on Monday night whilst dodging O'Brien's question was mention local residents in Melbourne's western suburbs who approached her with concerns. Since then she's been stoking the anti-immigration flames in western Sydney.

Kerry O'Brien has given the population issue considerable attention ever since this interview with Kevin Rudd on October 22 last year when the PM declared his support for a big Australia immediately after a long discussion about unauthorised boat arrivals.

Bipartisan support for strong immigration was clearly evident in Tony Abbott's Australia Day speech and then Rudd followed up with another detailed discussion with O'Brien two days later on January 28.

The 7.30 Report's considered week long series on population pressures in late January was the game changer in the debate and O'Brien distinguished himself in the way it was handled.

Indeed, O'Brien did a pile of research before delivering this insightful speech on population to several hundred councillors at the big Australian Local Government Association annual conference in Canberra last month.

Local government in Melbourne and Sydney are clearly struggling to keep up with record immigration. Indeed, Melbourne's population grew by more than 100,000 for the first time in a calendar year in 2008 and there are few if any councils issuing enough planning permits to cope with the housing projections into the future.

However, Malcolm Turnbull was right on Tuesday to point out the primary problem is a lack of planning and infrastructure investment, especially by the state Labor governments. Manningham's 4600 septic tanks and complete lack of rail or tram service leading to Australia's highest car ownership ratio were all given an airing on 774 yesterday.

As Bernard Keane pointed out in Crikey on Tuesday, Gillard is on the right track redirecting $200 million of funds for proposed new affordable housing projects and infrastructure from the capital cities to the regional centres, but there will need to be a lot more policies along these lines.

Others country manage quite comfortably. For instance, if Arizona can accommodate almost 7 million residents with its extremely hot and dry climate, surely some of Australia's warm and dry inland centres should become havens for retirees just like Phoenix.

And, as Australia's best known demographer Bernard Salt pointed out last week, Canberra is chronically under-populated with only 360,000 residents. Is there a smaller national capital in the top 50 countries?

And what about Darwin? Surely it should be a city of more than 1 million people.

The population and immigration debate is complex, but it would be a real shame if the country with the most urbanised population in the world and the lowest rate of population to arable land in the world, withdrew into its shell courtesy of narrow political opportunism.

Julia Gillard will win this election preaching this hard line on population, but she is also recklessly poisoning the immigration debate for many years into the future.

It will be very interesting to see if strong Labor advocates of immigration, multi-culturalism and economic growth come out and slam Gillard after the election.

Take Paul Keating as an example. Go back and read this transcript of his interview on The World Today on the Monday after John Howard won the Tampa election in 2001 with all those tabloid ads declaring “we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come”.

Keating opened up as follows: “John Howard's victory has been won at the cost of the country's reputation and its character. It's been won by staining the soul of the country. The win in electoral terms, of course, under the electoral system was legitimate, but the method of achieving it illegitimate.”

Despite John Howard's crude tactics on refugees, as Prime Minister he never railed against strong immigration.

Liberals present pokies owner for tight Victorian Senate contest

Whilst the Federal ALP has about half its $50 million asset base tied up in five poker machine venues in Canberra, they aren't the only major party deserving of some attention from the anti-pokies movement.

The Victorian Liberals, in their wisdom, have preselected Julian McGauran to be number three on their ticket. McGauran is in a three way contest with Greens candidate Richard di Natale and the third Labor candidate Anthony Thow to win the fifth and sixth Senate spots. We all know that the ALP and the Liberal-Nationals will definitely each win two spots, but after that it is a real lottery.

McGauran's family owns the Millers Inn in North Altona, just 4 kilometres away from Julia Gillard's Melbourne home. The Millers Inn markets itself as "family friendly" and fleeced gamblers of a staggering $13.2 million in 2008-09.

The City of Manningham will be unveiling its draft gambling policy at next Tuesday's council meeting and it will interesting to see where Federal Labor and the Coalition choose to launch their equivalents.

Perhaps Ms Gillard should drop into the Werribee Plaza Inn, a Woolworths pub in her Lalor electorate, to announce the policy because its Victoria's biggest non-casino gaming venue where punters lose more than $20 million a year.

And where better than for Tony Abbott but the Millers Inn to announce whatever tough action the Liberals have in mind for the pokies. Tasmanian Liberal leader Will Hodgeman signed up for the all-important $1 maximum bet limit. Why doesn't Tony follow suit?

On a different front, have a read of this letter from Jeff Kennett to senator Nick Xenophon, responding to the senator's call for Kennett's resignation from beyondblue and Amtrak.

It's classic Kennett as he fails to see the problem with chairing a pokies service and a depression institution given the prominent connection between the two.

Finally, check out the latest from Paul Bendat's Pokieact website and this package of our past pokies coverage.

Babcock's last AGM and will the Tricom mystery ever be uncovered?

The appearance of former Babcock & Brown CEO Phil Green in the witness box facing hostile questions in a liquidator's hearing over the past two days was a joy to behold.

Green hasn't faced much intense and sustained public questioning since the 2008 AGM, when we clocked up a total of 55 minutes worth of exchanges. Check out this highlights package.

Investors dropped more than $10 billion in the Babcock collapse and banks also lost more than $1 billion, whilst Phil Green certainly isn't struggling.

If Phil's chairman Jim Babcock was sending emails to other directors expressing concern about his CEO's relationship with Lance Rosenberg and boutique stockbroker Tricom, then something really must have been up.

There is a big story waiting to be told in the Babcock-Tricom saga. I've heard a former CEO of an ASX 100 company claims that he knows someone who made $500 million shorting Allco before it collapsed. Has that got something to do with the famous day Tricom failed to settle and caused all sorts of ASX ructions?

The $500 million claim sounds hard to believe but there were certainly a lot of related party transactions going down and why did the Babcock insiders feel so compelled to rescue Tricom and retain control of the information flow such that it will never be subjected to any sort of liquidators hearing?

ASIC will no doubt be reading the transcripts of Green's appearance carefully but their record isn't looking too flash after yesterday's Multiplex class action settlement which made the original ASIC intervention look particularly lame, as the Maurice Blackburn lawyer was only too happy to point out to the media.

Medibank Private leads the way with women on boards

I've participated in more wide ranging discussions with various players in the women on boards debate since the last edition and here are a few interesting snippets:

* Medibank Private is one of the most enlightened companies and it starts at the top with four of the seven directors being female, the only major commercial operation in Australia in such a position. The Medibank Private bonus scheme even has a limited gender diversity element although the pain could be greater for missed targets. This is a rare feature.

* Major banks and law firms often hire a majority of female graduates, but those numbers quickly fall away. One arguably cynical theory is that male partners of law firms like hard working female graduates to bring in the revenue, but don't want to share much of the profits through partnership.

* Performance and promotion is 50% fact and 50% theatre and maybe women aren't as gung ho as men when it comes to the theatre element of their contributions. Also, men complain more when overlooked for a promotion so bosses often choose to take the path of least resistance.

* The pathetically low rates of women in Australian executive and board ranks probably reflects "unconscious bias" - by both men and women.

* The new ASX "if not, why not" requirement is expected to strongly keep the debate going, but the two biggest triggers for the revolution that is required are tenure limits for the dominating blokes and some form of quota system.

Sadly, the ascension of Julia Gillard to the nation's highest office hasn't yet triggered a raft of new female appointments to public company boards. Here are the audio files and links where we've raised the issue at AGMs and check out this list ranking the top 100 female directors on Australian boards. Additionally, there's this list which details the top female executives in the ASX100 - sadly, it's only about 10%.

Additionally, go to WomenOnBoards and check out their ASX Boardroom Diversity Index where data has been split into two sets covering ASX companies 1-200 and then 200-300 showing the participation of women on boards.

Pushing Singapore Inc on gender diversity at SP Ausnet's 2010 AGM

The 2010 SP Ausnet AGM in Melbourne last week proved to be quite interesting with everything from urban congestion, climate change, female directors, big shareholder protest votes and the role of the Singapore government getting a run at what would normally be considered a fairly dull power utility gathering. The edited audio unfolded as follows:

Relationship with Singapore Inc
Given the Singapore Government owns 51%, it is always good to test the Singaporean chairman

CPRS lobbying and climate change risks
No huge revelations about how they helped beat the "great big new tax"

Record Melbourne growth and Brunswick expansion/underground pressures (Read transcript)
See below

Re-election of chairman and explanation of government links
The chairman claimed he has no connection whatsoever to Lee Kuan Yew's family. Clearly a sensitive issue!

Why are there no women on your board?
Given Martin Myer resigned and the growing pressure, expect a female appointment before next year's AGM

Big protest against Singapore-associated director and exchange with lead independent Ian Renard
Risk Metrics recommended against George Le Froy because he represents the Singapore Government on another board in Indonesia. It's just not right to claim he remained independent and about 70% of the neutral shareholders voted against.

Meanwhile, have a read of earlier Mayne Report editions covering SP Ausnet:

Village EGM and SP Ausnet AGM

July 17, 2008

Milne video, Allco, plans for activist fund, SP Ausnet, ANZ and Rich Listers
July 16, 2008

Northern Metro update: SP Ausnet's Brunswick battle

As we keep tracking political issues in the Victorian upper house region of Northern Metropolitan, it was interesting to get this account sent through of an emerging community backlash involving the Singapore Government's Australian power arm:

SP Ausnet's plan to erect 12 high-voltage transmission towers in a residential street abutting the Merri Creek is encountering significant opposition from local community groups and councils. Moreland Council rejected SP Ausnet's planning application outright in June and their colleagues at Darebin and Yarra Councils are now supporting a wider campaign to put the transmission lines underground from Thomastown to Brunswick.

Meanwhile more than 200 local residents have formed a ginger group, the “Merri Creek Residents Group”, that met on Monday night to canvass support for alternative ways to expand the Terminal Station. Cath Bowtell, the Labor endorsed candidate for the marginal seat of Melbourne was in attendance, together with local member for Northcote Fiona Richardson and Jane Garrett, the Yarra mayor and successor-in-waiting to State MP Carlo Carli who is facing a big challenge from the Greens and potentially independent Phil Cleary in the seat of Brunswick.

Planning issues in Brunswick will be a major issue in the forthcoming State election and this stoush is likely to escalate further in the coming months.

All the technical details of the issues at hand are laid out here.

The only underground transmission line in Victoria goes from Richmond to Brunswick along Hoddle Street. SP Ausnet managing director Nino Ficca claimed after the AGM that under-grounding costs up to 10 times as much as above ground transmission so someone will clearly have to write a big cheque if the under-grounding ends up being extended to Thomastown.

Population growth and rapid development puts strain on key infrastructure and the $100 million-plus Brunswick terminal upgrade is all about securing Melbourne's CBD power supplies into the future. But with population pressures abounding, the likes of SP Ausnet will increasingly be asked to spend more money putting these services under ground.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government's NBN Co is also planning to trial an early roll-out in the People's Republic of Brunswick - as if Moreland needs any more planning intrigue going into this key election period.

The Australian's respected business commentator John Durie was a little rough on Moreland as he recently labelled it one of Australia's most radical councils when discussing the NBN rollout.

Small town of Forrest up in arms over Singapore Inc's Optus phone tower

The small community of Forrest near Apollo Bay on Victoria's Great Ocean Road is also kicking up quite a stink with a Singapore controlled utility over a proposed 45 metre Optus phone tower smack bang in the middle of town.

As this press release from the local council explains, there weren't any objectors at first but a storm of protest has since emerged involving locals, the unions and even FM radio breakfast presenter Peter Stubbs.

Everyone agrees that the reception is ordinary and a tower is needed, but just not right in the middle of town.

The lively ginger group is even contemplating a presence at the SingTel AGM in Singapore starting at 3pm on July 30, which would probably be a first given Lee Kuan Yew's dictatorial instincts.

If anyone knows someone in Singapore who'd be prepared to attend to raise some issues about getting some flexibility out of Optus, drop us a line to

Upcoming shareholder meetings

Whilst the focus will be largely political for the rest of the year, here's a list of upcoming shareholder meetings to note, with the flights already booked to Sydney next week for our annual engagement with Macquarie Group.

Saracen Minerals:
an EGM in Melbourne on July 29 after it raised $35 million in a placement at 38c to institutions in mid 2010 but failed to follow through with an SPP. They have been added to our SPP shame file list and this issue will be pursued aggressively at the EGM.

SingTel: an EGM and AGM in Singapore on July 30

Macquarie Group: the Millionaire's Factory gathers with shareholders on July 30 in Sydney.

Programmed Maintenance Services: August 6 AGM in Melbourne at 11am.

Slater & Gordon: 11am in Melbourne on August 9 to approve the institutional placement which is funding the eye-popping $57 million acquisition of Brisbane-based plaintiff law firm Trilby Misso.

Kimberley Metals: an EGM in Sydney on August 10 to approve a selective Chinese placement with no follow through SPP.

Holding our breath on $100m-plus Eastern Golf sale

The following appeared in The Age on July 3 and in Manningham we're anxiously awaiting a formal announcement:

A China-based developer is believed to be paying more than $100 million for what is the biggest development site put to the Melbourne market in recent years. The offshore group is expected to be announced within weeks as the buyer of Doncaster's 47-hectare Eastern Golf Course, about 15 kilometres east of town.

The 86-year-old course is expected to be redeveloped into a $1 billion village of shops, offices and apartments, after the club relocates to an as-yet-unbuilt development in about 2013.

The Eastern Golf Course was the most valuable development site to hit the Melbourne market last year, with initial price expectations of just over $100 million. Another major residential development site in Alphington - the outgoing 17-hectare Amcor Fibre Packaging factory - was listed for sale just prior to the Eastern. The price expectation for the Alphington site was about $100 million.

Given the bleak economic backdrop last year, negotiations to sell the properties - the Eastern to MAB Corporation and the Amcor site to Walker Corporation - both fell over.

Manningham has one of the largest Chinese communities in Victoria and it would be a big exciting step if a Chinese consortium has beaten all the local developers to the prize.

Meanwhile, it was quite strange to hear Darebin's Labor mayor Vince Fontana promoting Amcor's Alphington site as a good location to build a refugee processing centre in the media yesterday.

As was explained at the beginning of yesterday's discussion with Lindy Burns, you have to wonder if politics is driving this given that Darebin is a Labor-controlled council, the Greens are causing lots of damage to Labor on the refugees issue and the 2009 Darebin mayor, Diana Asmar, is married to an adviser to Labor's Victorian factional strong man Stephen Conroy.

Are some local Labor figures attempting to soften the party's image on refugees after the factional hard heads urged Julia Gillard to take control and the take the party to the right to neutralise Tony Abbott?

Edited audio from last Manningham Council meeting

Here is the edited audio from the July 14 special Manningham council meeting which voted 7-2 to establish a new Finance and Governance Advisory Committee.

I was originally against the new committee and supported the officer recommendation but will accept the strong majority. Anyone here is the edited audio from the debate:

Graeme MacMillan's introduction and summing up

Geoff Gough seconds the motion

David Ellis speaks against

Ivan Reid speaks in favour

Stephen Mayne speaks against

Full debate

The risk management case study of our time!

You may have seen on the news that the US House of Representatives held a committee hearing where the big oil companies were all required to attend. In the Committee hearing there was discussion about the oil companies emergency response plans. The following is a direct transcript:

The committee asked each of the five major oil companies for their oil spill response plans. On paper they are very impressive, each document is more than 500 pages long.

But what they show is that ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell are no better prepared to deal with a major oil spill than BP.

The same company, The Response Group, wrote the five plans and describes them as cookie cutter plans. What we found was that these five companies have response plans that are virtually identical.

The plans cite identical response capabilities and tout identical ineffective equipment. In some cases they use the exact same words. We found all of these companies, not just BP, made the exact same assurances.

The covers of the five response plans are 4 different colors, but the content is 90 percent identical. Like BP, three other companies include references to protecting walruses, which have not called the Gulf of Mexico home for 3 million years.

Two other plans are such dead ringers for BP's that they list a phone number for the same long dead expert.

Hmmm, looks like there will be an increased focus on emergency response plans going forward – on the substance and not the form!

Calling company directors and superannuation trustees to account

Dean Paatsch, the man who runs powerful proxy adviser Risk Metrics in Australia, really let fly at the directors' club and the funds management industry during this recent chat with Michael Short from The Age on July 12. The complete video is really worth watching:

Making push come to shove
Michael Short, The Age, July 12, 2010

Also, watch our interviews with Dean on similar issues below:

Tracking former federal government staffers

We're still tracking former political staffers in Canberra since Bob Hawke's election in 1983. Updates rely on emails to or use of the anonymous tips box and here's an example of some fresh information:

Malcolm Roberts: former Ian Macfarlane advisor who did government affairs for the Housing Industry Association and then became CEO of the National Generators Forum in Canberra.

Geoffrey Greene: former long-time advisor to SA senator Alan Ferguson who became state director of the Queensland Liberal party.

There have been a few other updates so check out the three lists below and send through any corrections or feedback:

Tracking the former Hawke Keating staffers

Where Howard staffers finished up

Where Rudd government staffers went

Cornwall on boats

Former Fairfax and Crikey cartoonist Mark Cornwall has been contributing to The Mayne Report since March 2009. Here is a collection of his best cartoons and there are now also some amusing animations.

Australia's woeful foreign ownership performance

We've continued to crank up the foreign ownership lists after some more major sales of the Australian farm which are so necessary to fund our huge current account deficit.

This extraordinarily long list of 250 foreign companies generating revenues exceeding $200 million a year out of Australia has been tidied up, whilst our much shorter list of only 80 Australian-based companies which generate more than $200 million a year offshore, whether through exports or foreign-owned operations.

The newest entry to that list of successful Australian companies is Campbell Bros which we've described as follows:

Campbell Bros:
founded in 1986 and now has more than 7000 staff on 200 sites in 44 countries for its burgeoning analytical testing, cleaning and chemicals operations which should turn over more than $1 billion for the first time in 2010-11.

Firing up our Youtube channel again

When The Mayne Report first launched in 2007 we were posting daily videos on Youtube. Alas, the cost and time of in-house video production, plus the lack of any revenue, made this model unviable. Besides, a daily video wasn't necessarily the best way to campaign for better corporate governance through shareholder activism.

In the end, it made more sense to channel our efforts into appearing on other people's videos, such as these two recent appearance on Ten's The 7pm Project, rather than trying to build an audience from scratch.

However, when you look back at all the video we've got spanning our own productions, one-off interviews, profiles or lenthy interviews such as Nine's Sunday program or ABC TV's Talking Heads, the monthly spot on Sky's Business View and webcasts of AGMs, it turns out we've got a rather large library of material.

Cross-posting has become much easier now, so we have relaunched our youtube channel and hope you enjoy our many playlists of material. If you have the right app, you can view the videos on the go using any mobile device - free and easy, so subscribe today!

Cornwall on Polls

Donate to help keep our activism and list research going

The Mayne Report and all our associated activism costs almost $100,000 a year to run and we rely partly on donations to offset the costs.

The next five months could be quite expensive on the political front if we want to get involved more comprehensively and that is always the instinct of "Australia's most unsuccessful candidate".

Anyway, if you fancy giving us some encouragement as we survey the political opportunities, just click on the image below:

Three additions to The Mayne Report Rich List

BRW magazine does a great job with its various Australian Rich Lists but we've broadened their efforts to track any Australian who has ever been worth more than $10 million. We've got more than 1400 names with those who've fallen back below $10 million now italicised. Below are our latest new or updated entries:

Dr Alex Abrahams: founder and executive director of the Pacific Smiles Group of companies. Operates 22 dental clinics and 6 eye clinics in NSW and Victoria,also a training organisations operating in NSW and Victoria that trains dental nurses and provides employment on completion of their training.

David Guy: of the Factotum Group. A substantial shareholder notice in the Snowball Group confirms disclosure from when he was a director of Snowball. His wealth is above $10 million.

Alex Popescu:
long time benefactor to the Geelong Football Club whose $30 million-plus estate courtesy of a timber business was contested by family members.

The big debt issues continue under Prime Minister Gillard

It was very strange to hear Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens make the following claim on Tuesday: "There is virtually no net public debt in the country at all in contrast to much of the developed world."

Joe Hockey was busy claiming net debt was $90 billion on The 7.30 Report last night when the Federal Government's own debt management website puts the gross debt figure at $151 billion.

Truth be known, the biggest public debt problem in Australia lies with the states because they are all structurally in deficit and have constitutionally narrow revenue bases such that they'll never be able to finance the estimated $100 billion-plus of infrastructure needed to fix bottle necks in our major cities.

Having surrendered much of the projected revenue RSPT revenue in the compromise deal with BHP, Rio and Xstrata that created a rather benign MRRT, Prime Minister Gillard will soon discover she too is locked into a structural budget deficit that will require ongoing substantial increases in public borrowings.

If anyone needs assistance on the debt questions, this list tracks all bond and treasury note issues by the Labor Government since it was elected in November 2007. The latest federal bond issues are as follows and you'll note that interest rates are still north of the 4% assumed in last year's budget papers:

Friday, July 16, 2010:
$700m tender of 5 year bonds expiring in April 2015 were sold for an average yield of 5.17% and was over-subscribed 2.7 times.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010: $500m tender of 10 year bonds expiring in April 2020 were sold for an average yield of 4.78% and was over-subscribed 3.3 times.

ASIC jails a Macquarie trader

Check out the full ASIC jail list since 1991 and here is the latest entry:

13 July 2010
- Newton Chan of North Balwyn in Victoria was jailed for 20 months but will only serve 4 for market manipulation and lying to ASIC about trading he did in the teetering Bill Express whilst working for Macquarie.

Kimberley Metals joins the SPP shame file

We continue to track companies since the beginning of 2007 which did cosy placements with big institutions but then treated retail shareholders with contempt by failing to follow through with a share purchase plan. Given Slater & Gordon got it right with their SPP, maybe we should think about sicking them onto the recalcitrants in a class action.

Check out the list of offenders here with the latest addition to the list being:

Kimberley Metals: did a placement of 20.7 million shares to Chinese investor Henan Yuguang in mid 2010 which required shareholder approval, but no follow through SPP for retail investors.

Doesn't Cornwall just love to draw Gillard?

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Adam Schwab and friends launch Zoupon

Corporate lawyer turned part-time Crikey business commentator and author Adam Schwab is an entrepreneurial fellow who, along with some colleagues, has just launched a new business called Zoupon ( The business is hugely discounted ‘daily deal' website with great offers for restaurants, bars, massages, spas and other stuff to do in Melbourne. The discount is between 50 percent and 90 percent every day.

Readers are encouraged to sign up (joining is totally free) – and that way, each day, they will be sent a discounted deal.

Some of the discounted deals offered so far have included a 60-minute hot stone massage, aromatic facial and peppermint exfoliation at Calm Medispa in Armadale for only $49 (usually it is $120!) and a $28 ticket to the Last Laugh comedy club (to see Hughesy or Lehmo) for only $5.

You can buy discounted Zoupon deals for yourself, or give them as gifts for friends and family. And when you give a Zoupon as a gift there isn't any branding on the Zoupon.

Sign up for Mayne Report Tweets

With more than 1600 followers on Twitter, we are regularly dropping out the latest developments from AGMs, capital raising plays and even Manningham Council. Sign up below to get the latest updates from all our activity and check out some of the latest tweets since the last email edition:

6.31pm July 21: Funny 2 see Labor-run Darebin Council pushing refugee centre on Amcor's Fairfield site to trump Greens. 09 mayor married to Conroy staffer.

5.17pm July 21:
Regular chat on 774 ABC Melbourne discussing population growth, BP and Woollworths.

2.05pm July 21:
Grog fastest growing division for Woolies - up $400m to $5.6bn for 2009-10. Will include in 774 ABC Melb chat with Lindy Burns after 4.30pm.

2.45pm July 20:
Knocked up another Crikey story supporting higher immigration. Michael Pascoe got savaged pushing a similar on Fairfax websites yesterday.

9.45am July 20:
Julia dodged question last night when Red Kerry asked whether she complained to Rudd about "Big Australia". Is it heartfelt or poll driven?

3.58pm July 19:
A prominent demographer asks: Did Julia tell Kevin she opposed Big Australia at the time or did she keep the view to herself? She was 2ic!

1.52pm July 19:
As Tony Abbott's speaks at Crown, just discovered third Vic Lib Senate candidate Julian McGauran owns Altona pokies venue the Millers Inn.

1.37pm July 19:
Check out these latest cracking Gillard-Abbott cartoons from Mark Cornwall:

11.30am July 19:
Just submitted Crikey story belting Gillard's anti-immigration policy. Surely she's not going to cut migration by more than 100,000 a year.

5.19pm July 18:
Australia is bizarre. We have some of the most restrictive and anti-business IR laws in the world and no politician is proposing any change.

4.11pm July 18: Why is Gillard talking small Australia? We have lowest population to arable land ratio in world. See Wiki table

11.53am July 18:
Getting mad about all this small Australia rubbish from Labor. There won't be a single party this election supporting strong immigration.

11.27am July 18:
Surprised no one running line that Gillard risks being fifth shortest serving Oz PM after McEwen (22), Page (19), Forde (7) and Fadden (39).

10.25am July 18:
Both Abbott and Gillard performing well. Abbott attack lines are devastating but needs positive side. Gillard looks completely comfortable.

9.13am July 15: Laurie Oakes loves going after the women pollies. Cheryl Kernot, Natasha and now Gillard. That said, Rudd picked Oakes for maximum impact.

2.42pm July 14: Quizzed Singapore Inc directors at SP Ausnet AGM. Chair said no connection to Lee Kuan Yew. 70% independent protest against one director.

11.29am July 13:
Lively 6-person panel at Arts Centre this morning about sustainability and good private chat with fellow panellist Tim Costello over pokies.

9.23am July 13: Just sent out this lively email edition covering Gillard, pokies, Richies, Manningham, foreign ownership etc:

12.17pm July 12: Big week ahead with two speeches, trip to Canberra, special council meeting, nurshing home board meeting and audit committee job interviews.

That's all for now.

Do ya best, Stephen Mayne

* The Mayne Report is a multi-media governance website published by Stephen Mayne with occasional email editions. To unsubscribe from the emails click here.