Xenophon-backed pokies tilt, Ten, Leighton, Woolies censorshop, Tatts, Tabcorp, banks, Rich List and plenty more

November 5, 2010

Dear Mayne Report Readers,

Greetings after a big day yesterday in Sydney with the Prime Infrastructure scheme meeting, the Wal King farewell extravaganza at Leighton Holdings, a visit to the ASA, a visit to Sky News and various big news developments involving BHP, Ten, News Corp and Westfield.

But before getting to all that, Senator Nick Xenophon's office sent out the following media alert last night:

No pokies Senator backs No Pokies Victorian candidates

Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, will tomorrow throw his support behind two Independent candidates for the Victorian State election; Dr Lorraine Beyer for Macedon and Stephen Mayne who is running for the Northern Metropolitan Region in the Upper House.

"Independents in politics are crucial to ensuring that the Government and Opposition are truly held accountable," Nick said.

Senator Xenophon says Lorraine Beyer and Stephen Mayne share his stance against poker machines and their successful election will be positive for Victoria.

In particular, Lorraine Beyer and Stephen Mayne support full and uniform pre-commitment on poker machines, credit limits on phone betting for new users and a ban on sports-betting advertising at venues and on apparel, and during G-rated television programming.

"It is a real sign of the times to see more and more Independent candidates running for election at both a State and Federal level," Nick said. "Independents have a real ability to cut through on issues that matter to the community."

Lorraine Beyer was a key player in ensuring that no poker machines were allowed to be introduced into the Romsey Hotel.

Stephen Mayne is a journalist and Councillor for the City of Manningham. He has been an outspoken campaigner against poker machines.

"Lorraine and Stephen have my full support and I hope that Victorians will get behind them and vote for serious action on poker machines," Nick said.


* The event kicks off at 10.30am at Rupertwood Mansion at 3 Macedon St, Sunbury. We'll send around some vision in the next missive.

Farewell to Wal King at 49th Leighton Holdings AGM

With Jack Tilburn doing the formal presentation of a farewell cake to Wal King after a remarkable 23 years running Leighton, there weren't too many discordant voices to be heard at Darling Harbour yesterday morning.

I missed the first 80 minutes after instead attending the Prime Infrastructure scheme meeting just to make sure the old Babcock & Brown Infrastructure was indeed sold off to the New York listed Brookfield Infrastructure Partners. It was quite fun giving those directors, led by chairman and former Queensland Labor Treasurer David Hamill, one final kicking for blowing up more than $2 billion.

On arriving at Leighton, they'd just finished general business and were starting the remuneration debate.

Tilburn got up and said everything was absolutely fine even though Wal King collected $30 million in his last two years including a ridiculous $5 million bonus just for finding a successor. It all became clear later when Jack was wheeled out to formally hand over a giant cake to Wal which featured on Lateline Business last night.

Whilst it was appropriate to give Wal a positive send-off, the opportunity to raise a few issues could not be missed. Have a listen to the edited audio highlights because Wal cracks a gag about being "dopey" for not being paid more in stock, one of the German Hochtief directors engaged and chairman David Mortimer was surprisingly candid about deliberations inside what has reportedly been a highly factionalised board room.

Why did Wal take cash instead of stock? Are we going to see an end to the culture of greed?

Giving Stephen Johns a rocket after he last week shafted retail investors in a capital raising scale back at Spark Infrastructure

How has the board functioned with Hochtief as controlling shareholder?

Engaging with the German Dr Noe on board issues, takeovers, dividends and executive pay

Media late to the play on Falloon electoral dodge as he sort of offers to resign

The Ten story developed further with a curious announcement at 5pm last night that Nick Falloon has sort of offered to resign if it will help resolve issues with James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch. Fairfax's Liz Knight has also taken the story significantly forward with a big scoop today that James Packer only pounced to foil a Nick Falloon-driven plan to take Ten private in conjunction with former PBL executive chairman Brian Powers, who is back with his favourite Californian investment house Hellman & Friedman. Anyway, here is a slightly tweaked version of a story about Falloon's election dodging that Crikey declined to run a couple of days ago:

The media really does work in mysterious ways some times. Last Friday, Crikey first alerted everyone to the sneaky move that Ten's executive chairman Nick Falloon was planning when the following was published in the daily email edition:

The AFR's Neil Shoebridge reported today that five of the eight directors of Ten – Brian Long, David Gordon, Dean Hawkins, Paul Gleeson and Christine Holgate – were up for election at the AGM on December 9.

Curiously, he did not include executive chairman Nick Falloon, who was last elected in 2007 and therefore should be on the slate. However, the Ten board could actually pull a swifty and grant Falloon a board seat in perpetuity on the basis that he is the chief executive.

The majority of Australia CEOs use this exemption but the only two executive chairs who've done it over the years were Rupert Murdoch and John Gay at Gunns. Surely Shoebridge has just made a mistake and Nick Falloon is not going to hang onto his job in such a sneaky fashion.

No one followed up the story and then Ten's general counsel Stephen Partington confirmed the move in an email that arrived at 10.42am on Monday morning and included the following:


In response to your query below, just to confirm that, following the exit of Canwest from the TEN register late last year, Nick Falloon was appointed to the role of managing director of TEN. Mr Falloon was originally appointed to TEN in the roles of Executive Chairman and Chief Executive and continues to hold these positions.

On this basis and in accordance with the Company's constitution and the ASX Listing Rules, Mr Falloon is now no longer required to retire by rotation.

Stephen Partington
Group General Counsel
Ten Network Holdings

The AFR, and especially its media writer Neil Shoebridge, appear to have a general ban on mentioning anyone involved in the Crikey stable of publications. Our letters are not often published but we sent through one on this issue and because it was a mini scoop of sorts it duly appeared on Melbourne Cup day in The AFR's letters page. Suddenly much of the media were onto the issue. The Australian ran this story headlined “Falloon can side-step Ten execution” and it even got a run in the News Ltd tabloids courtesy of reporter Nick Tabakoff.

Shoebridge was also onto the story on Wednesday, but there was no reference to the letter.

It's not too late for Ten to change its mind because the notice of meeting for the December 9 AGM must be sent out 28 days in advance.

If it has already been printed, so what. Pulp it and do another version with Falloon included on the ballot and then send it next Monday.

If Ten won't voluntarily come to this position, then ASIC and the ASX should step in. On Wednesday morning I sent the following email to the ASX's spin doctor Matthew Gibbs:

Matthew, I wish to lodge a formal complaint with ASX about Nick Falloon using the listing rules to avoid re-election as chairman of Ten despite having served a 3 year term.

Please advise who I should address this to.

It's not too late for ASX to counsel Ten to change its position before the December 9 AGM and that's what I'll be requesting.

Regards, Stephen Mayne
Ten shareholder

It would be interesting to know what Communications Minister and election tactics junkie Stephen Conroy thinks about the only public company chairman in the country who is trying to serve longer than the maximum three year term without an election.

Conroy recently told Barry Cassidy on Insiders that James Packer is “a very, very savvy businessman” and his move on Channel Ten was “a very clever move.''

Surely it's only a clever move by a clever businessman if the important regulatory decisions Stephen Conroy is due to make in the coming weeks over sports broadcasting and the 75 per cent reach limit go in favour of the free to air networks.

And given the Minister's penchant for commentary about the tactics of investments in regulated media assets, it would be good to hear whether he thinks the Falloon election dodge is “a very clever move” or an insult to corporate democracy.

Truth be known, it is both. The rules should require all directors to face election every three years and until this loophole is closed, vulnerable corporate bosses like Nick Falloon will use it to avoid marauding corporate enemies like James Packer.

Woolies censorship, Tatts AGM, Tabcorp, PacBrands and much

There's been plenty happening since our last major edition to the full data base on October 23, including this AGM mid-season update which was sent to subscribers on November 1. Given the anti-pokies political campaign kicks off today for the Victorian election, here are the three pokies related items from that edition:

October 29 - Tatt's Group AGM

A 90-minute AGM where made 14 contributions ranging through pokies regulation, executive pay, gender diversity, political risks, director records and the Tabcorp demerger. Listen to audio highlights. Quite a bit came out of it, but there was limited mainstream media. Indeed, the Herald Sun produced this paragraph on Saturday:

Shareholders passed Tatts' remuneration report and re-elected directors Lyndsey Cattermole and Brian Jamieson despite some shareholders questioning their performance on other company boards.

I was actually the lone speaker against both. Anyway, below is the best of the audio highlights from a lively AGM where chairman Harry Boon was suitably pugnacious and informative:

Are the CFO and CEO keeping their fees from outside board seats?

What is the potential impact of a change in government in Victoria on the pokies licence?

Could CEO Dick McIlwain explain what he means saying the pokies industry is on the nose globally?

Speaking in favour of remuneration report

Is there any at-risk pay for senior executives based on diversity measures?

Speaking against Lyndsey Cattermole's re-election given Foster's wine debacle

Lyndsey Cattermole's speech about gender diversity

Speaking against Brian Jamieson's re-election given Sigma and Oz Minerals

Told to "sit down" twice by chairman at Tabcorp AGM

The PacBrands AGM dragged on a bit last week, so by the time I got to Melbourne Park at about 11.10am, Tabcorp shareholders had raced through the agenda and we only had the remuneration report and a CEO share issue to deal with.

Indeed, it was a case of heading straight to the microphone with the bag still over the shoulder just to get a quick remuneration question in, which related to whether largest shareholder Perpetual had ever threatened to vote against various pay issues as part of its long campaign against the company.

There were absolutely no plans to bring on a fight about remuneration going into the meeting where the intention was to raise political and pokies issues during general business.

However, the last resolution hit all the buttons because it related to long term incentive payments to CEO Elmer Funke Kupper who one week earlier declared he was quitting after the casinos demerger was finalised.

Elmer's 413,000 free shares for the next three years of performance were meant to reflect a $1.5 million LTI, but after the demerger announcement they are now worth almost $3 million on paper, assuming performance hurdles are met.

I was incensed that the board allowed the price setting date of September 14 to remain, even though they should have known the demerger announcement would trigger a substantial re-rating in the share price, which it did.

The result was the following 6 minute slug-fest with chairman John Story over CEO payouts. Have a listen because it got pretty willing, although we ended up having a long chat afterwards with remuneration committee chair Ziggy Switkowski.

Woolies joins censorship shame file list over pokies tilt

During 40 external board tilts over the past 11 years, there have been plenty of hardball tactics by various companies.

I've been subjected to some unfortunate censorship as you can see from this list and the latest effort comes from Woolworths which only printed this in the notice of meeting ahead of the November 18 contested election in Brisbane:

The following statement is based on information provided by Mr Mayne with his nomination. The biographical details have not been verified independently by Woolworths.

"Stephen Mayne is a Walkley Award winning business journalist, an elected local government councillor in the City of Manningham and a professional shareholder advocate who publishes the corporate governence ezine
www.maynereport.com. Mr Mayne has stated that he is standing on a platform that Woolworths divests its gambling interestsor, in the alternative, publicly pledge to implement a system of compulsory, non-transferable and binding pre-commitment for gamblers. Age 41."

Don't you love the way they raise credibility doubts by refusing to independently verify the biographical elements of the platform they unilaterally censored without consultation. It takes about 30 seconds on google to establish it's all true. Anyway, enough moaning, this is the full platform that was submitted to Woolies and then butchered by Australia's biggest pokies venue operator:

What we submitted:

Stephen Mayne, age 41. Bcom (Melb). Stephen Mayne is a Walkley award winning business journalist, an elected local government councillor in the City of Manningham and a professional shareholder advocate, who publishes the corporate governance ezine www.maynereport.com.

Mr Mayne believes Woolworths needs more directors in tune with the global focus on corporate social responsibility. In particular, Mr Mayne is concerned about potential damage to the Woolworths brand and franchise from its operation of more than 12,000 pokies at its pubs and clubs through the ALH joint venture with Bruce Mathieson. Woolworths is the only major retailer in the world to have built such a large gambling business and Australians lose more per capita gambling than any other citizens. Mr Mayne believes Woolworths should exit the pokies business or, at the very least, manage its 12,000 pokies in a sustainable and responsible manner.

In addition to the harm sustained by the Australian community from more than $10 billion lost each year on the pokies, existing practices have resulted in an increase in crime both as a result of pokie gambling and upon gamblers themselves. There is also a reported government investigation into management practices at the Woolworths-controlled Richmond Tavern and Aces Sporting Club relating to a defunct basketball and social clubs.

The company's junior pokies partner, Mr Mathieson, is also reportedly able to grant pokie licenses in favour of his preferred football club. Woolworths must show leadership, without waiting for prescriptive legislation from the Federal Government, by embracing full pre-commitment as detailed in the final report of the Productivity Commission. This is paragraph 7.5 of the agreement between MP Andrew Wilkie and Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

This leadership can be demonstrated by publicly pledging to implement a system of compulsory, non-transferable and binding pre-commitment for gamblers in its associated pokies venues. While such a pledge would reduce Woolworths' gambling income derived from addicted gamblers, if not undertaken, Woolworths risks significant damage to shareholder and brand equity. Ultimately, in this era of greater corporate social responsibility, it also risks being unfavourably screened by professional investors who are signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.

* Check out this package on our Woolies tilt, including some historical coverage and videos.

Racing around in a very busy cup week

As for the past few days, here's the diary from our home page:

Thursday, November 4: News Ltd article on Bendigo Bank AGM protests yesterday and interviewed on ABC regional Victoria. In Sydney for Leighton AGM where fired in a range of question on board relations and pay. Interview on Sky Business in afternoon and then quick grab on Lateline Business.

Wednesday, November 3: attended Bendigo & Adelaide Bank AGM and Darebin council meeting. The Australian followed up Nick Falloon election issue, plus read this article in The Weekly Times about Murray Goulburn pay controversies.

Tuesday, November 2: The AFR published letter on Nick Falloon's election dodge.

Monday, November 1: comprehensive AGM mid-season update for subscribers emailed out. Interview about the Singapore ASX takeover on 666 ABC Canberra. Check out latest cartoons in our gallery, and have a look at the latest animation by our cartoonist Mark Cornwall.

Bendigo & Adelaide Bank AGM

The video webcast put on by Bendigo & Adelaide Bank was first class on Wednesday because they literally run a dual venue AGM with half the board at the Intercontinental in Adelaide and the other half at Bendigo's delightful Capital Theatre.

The AGM lasted almost three hours and The Advertiser in Adelaide gave some of the issues a decent run.

For starters, chairman Rob Johanson copped a 20%-plus protest vote which we spent 5 minutes explaining this morning on ABC regional radio for the Bendigo market and then later on Sky Business during this chat with Bridie Barry.

The AGM was also remarkable for the fact that former chairman Richard Guy got up and asked a couple of curly questions about the $600 million exposure to tax driven Great Southern Plantations margin loans.

Whilst 30% or more than $200 million of the portfolio is in arrears, this is largely because of legal advice to clients to stop paying pending a class action. The bank has already had a couple of legal wins and should be fine, but there will certainly be a few houses sold up in Adelaide before that messy situation is resolved in a few years time.

My opening question asked whether the board now admitted the Adelaide Bank merger was a mistake but the chairman was having none of it, although he did agree Bendigo had gone from trading at a premium to a discount, which he speculated was the end of a takeover premium. I reckon it's a risk discount around those Great Southern exposures, in part.

Anyway, have a listen to some of the edited audio highlights:

Last year's capital raising was unfair for retail shareholders

Question for the auditor about gambling driven fraud

How long is the relationship with Grant Samuel?

Is there still an Adelaide connection on the board?

Speaking against re-election of former MFS chair Terry O' Dwyer

Remuneration report, proxy advisers and diversity driven bonuses

Finally, have a look at the video of a strong attack on former MFS chairman Terry O'Dwyer. Whilst he did hand over to Andrew Peacock before the $1 billion-plus collapse, he still chaired those white show brigade operators from the Gold Coast as they grew like topsy and then collapsed in an all too predictable mess when the GFC hit. One shareholder in Adelaide took great exception to this criticism and called for an end to "the garbage coming out of Bendigo".

Bendigo has clearly fixed their remuneration policies as last year's AGM account was dominated by the 47% protest on pay, which earned the much-loved community bankers a spot on our list tracking the largest protest votes against remuneration reports.

Also, check out this piece for Business Day about last year's remuneration protest: Time for pay revolt

Bank cartel, Bendigo, Transpacific and Leighton on Sky Business

Check out this 5 minute chat on a few business issues on Sky Business last night and you should particularly enjoy the attack on the banks:

Audio highlights from Tatts, Reece and Newcrest AGMs

Here are links to the edited audio highlights and some press coverage from some other AGMs we've attended in recent days:
- October 29

Reece 2010 AGM - October 28

Newcrest 2010 AGM - October 28

Newcrest defends deep ocean disposal of gold tailings as 'best choice
Barry Fitzgerald, SMH/Age, October 29, 2010

Pacific Brands hair shirt fails to convince market
Ian McIlwraith, SMH/Age, October 26, 2010

This article about PacBrands CEO Sue Morphett also appeared in The SMH gossip column on Wednesday October 26

Good debate at Transurban AGM

Another huge protest against the remuneration report with 55% against. We questioned the board on a number of issues and another shareholder questioned the chairman about gender diversity on the board. Here are the edited audio highlights:

Why did the rights issue have to be so rushed?

When did we first retain Lazard? Being an advisor to Lazard, did you not see a conflict?

Why didn't you allow retail investors to take up overs in the recent offer?

Shareholder question about gender diversity on the board and the chairman's statement on that position

Could you provide a brief summary of the relationship with Vic Roads and the RTA?

What are the political risks to shareholders, if there is a change in government in either NSW or Victoria?

Is there an inherent commercial and logistical logic in having all roads under one umbrella?

Can Bob Officer discuss his relationship with Mr Doherty as a board member of both Transurban and CP2?

Speaking against the re-election of remuneration chair Geoff Cosgriff.

It would be good if you could be the first chairman to get Transurban out of Bemuda.

I will be voting against the remuneration report and I recommend change to remuneration committee

Tame affair at Asciano AGM

Big protest of 41% against the remuneration report. A low-key affair where we asked 4 questions:

Brief comment on the remuneration issue criticising the CEO

Have the proxy advisors expressed any concern about the structuring of the offer?

Speaking in favour the director remuneration pool

How much is this staple security structure costing shareholders?

Singapore's big offer for ASX

It has been a huge few days for business news but arguably the biggest story remains the $8.4 billion bid by Singapore Inc to gain control of the ASX. Below is a list of links related to our past and recent commentary about the influence of Singapore Inc over Australia.

Interview about the Singapore ASX takeover on 666 ABC Canberra.
November 1, 2010

Interview about ASX takeover on 936 ABC Tasmania.
October 26, 2010

Interview on 612 ABC Brisbane chatting about Singapore bid for ASX.
October 25, 2010

Interview with Richard Glover on 702 ABC Sydney after ASX takeover bid launched
October 25, 2010

Opinion piece for The Sunday Age

22 Jul 2007 - Eaten by Singapore, on a foreign government owning more business assets Down Under than the Australian government.

2009 ANZ AGM audio highlights Arrived three hours into the 2009 ANZ AGM but managed to ask a few questions on the director elections and also take in the speech from outside board candidate and former ANZ executive Robert Reeves. Listen to the audio below and here is the transcript of the comments about Lee Hsien Yang.

Sticking it to Lee Kuan Yew's son over authoritarian Singapore

This article appeared in the Herald Sun on Tuesday, December 22, commenting about the above question.

2010 SP Ausnet AGM

Our first visit back since 2007 was a good debate including questions why there are not more women on the board. Have a listen to the edited audio below.

Relationship with Singapore Inc

CPRS lobbying and climate change riks

Record Melbourne growth and Brunswick expansion/underground pressures
Read Transcript

Re-election of chairman and explanation of government links

Women on boards
Read Transcript

Big protest against director and exchange with Ian Renard

Women on boards update - meet an old school Reece luddite

You've got to love this exchange with Reece Australia executive chairman Alan Wilson at the plumbing giant's AGM last week:

Stephen Mayne: are there any female members of the Wilson family who'd be interested in serving on the board?

Chairman: I don't think, I shouldn't say this, but I don't know whether they would have the skills. So we would be, you know, the first point of criteria is that you have to have the knowledge and the skills, and I think most of the Wilson females are mothers. My daughter is graphic designer, and when we've spoken about plumbing over the years, they weren't too interested and want to talk about other things, so..

Stephen Mayne: Do think there is prospect by this time next year we'll actually have our first ever female director? Obviously 3 out of 12 managers is terrific above average diversity performance. There is a whole bunch of all male companies that are rolling over and are being proactive on this. I've heard rumours that you might get a feral feminist like Catherine Deveny running for your board next year, if you haven't actually selected a female yourself. So you think we could possibly get with the program within the next 12 months?

it's possible.

Stephen Mayne: Probable?

Chairman: it's possible.

Around the grounds on the pokies

Check out this package of past encounters and details on the 2010 board tilt with pokies giant Woolworths.

Nick Xenophon's great speech

If you missed it on Saturday, check out this cracking speech that Senator Nick Xenophon delivered to the pokies industry at a conference in Melbourne last week:

Enough Pokies in Castlemaine event
- November 29, 2010

Epic brings out the big guys – are the highlanders hiding?

By Andrew McKenna, Castlemaine Independent, October 27, 2010

The Andrew Wilkie and Julia Gillard agreement

If you need a reminder of what's to come, listen to this audio from The National Interest on ABC Radio National when Senator Nick Xenophon crossed swords with Clubs Australia director Anthony Ball. There's going to plenty more like this given the rearguard action now being launched by the clubs.

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

Ferrier Hodgson has also released this interesting newsletter on the Victorian pokies scene.

Spend $50 for a season's ticket that helps keeps the directors and pollies honest

The coming weeks will be a very interesting time with the Australian AGM season and the Victorian election but things like flying to New York to tackle Rupert don't come cheap.

The Mayne Report shifted to a free model in early 2009 but we are partially returning to a paid model for the rest of 2010.

Sign up for a $50 AGM season ticket and you will get exclusive email updates on the various battles as 1600 Australian public companies hold their AGMs and the Victorian election unfolds.
Alternatively, email Paula@maynereport.com and offer to volunteer to hand out on election day and you'll receive a free subscription.

If you'd like to support robust political and shareholder activism and get an inside look at what should be a fascinating period, click here to purchase your season ticket that will take you through until the end of 2010.

The Cornwall collection

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 check out his latest animation:




The big bond issues continue under hung parliament as Victoria pushes $30bn debt

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

Whilst Rupert Murdoch's flagship newspaper Down Under, The Australian, loves to beat up on Labor governments irrespective of the facts sometimes, this recent splash pointing out that state government debt is projected to top $240 billion was a worthwhile piece of journalism.

I bumped into former Bendigo Bank managing director Rob Hunt in Bendigo on Wednesday and congratulated him on landing the tough job of chairing Treasury Corporation of Victoria, our state debt management authority.

He was told that debt disclosure by TCV is very poor. The Federal Government's own debt management website puts the gross debt figure at $152 billion and the bond issues continue to come as follows since our last edition:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010: $500m tender of 7 year bonds expiring in April 2020 were sold for an average yield of 5.25% and was over-subscribed 4.4 times.

Friday, October 29, 2010: $700m tender of 3 year bonds expiring in December 2013 were sold for an average yield of 4.9% and was over-subscribed 5.5 times.

If only TCV and all the state debt authorities made such detailed disclosure of bond issues.

If anyone needs assistance on the debt questions, this list tracks all bond and treasury note issues by the Federal Labor Government since it was elected in November 2007. However, there are many other variables to measure for a true picture of national solvency. For instance, the massive level of foreign ownership in Australia, as demonstrated by this list, reduces the fiscal flexibility of our public sector.

The rather thin ASIC jail list

Is ASIC an effective corporate cop? You be the judge as this is the list of 355 people they have sent to jail since it was established in January 1991. There were only 15 incarcerations in 2009, and so far in 2010 we have only already reached 16. So much for justice being served swiftly against all those wrong-doers exposed by the global financial crisis. Below is the only new addition since we last reported and what a pathetic incarceration it is:

24 August 2010 - Ms Susan Marie Palusi, of Kurnell, NSW, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, to be released after serving eight months and entering into a two year good behaviour order. Ms Palusi illegally facilitated the early release of preserved superannuation benefits while trustee of the Palusi Superannuation Fund.

Support Stephen Mayne's long term taylor Kumar Advani

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 began the process of building the list in early 2008 where we had an initial 327 names. Now, after much research, we've got more than 1500 names with those who've fallen back below $10 million italicised. Below are some new entries:

Alexander Burns:
managing director of Sphere Minerals who owns more than 7 million shares worth about $15 million as Xstrata and the Chinese battle it out for control of the emerging African iron-ore producer.

David Harris: founder and managing director of Harris Farm Markets in Sydney, which has an annual turnover of over $300m. Married to Cathy Rossi, they are parents to Lachlan Harris, who worked as press secretary to former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

Brian Kennedy: non-executive director of ASX 300 gold producing and exploration company Silver Lake Resources which operates in Western Australia's Mount Monger and Murchison regions. Held a stake worth almost $10 million in late 2010.

Ross Smyth-Kirk: chairman of mining company Kingsgate whose stake was worth more than $50 million in late 2010.

Christopher Pidcock:
owns 1.26% of Goldman Sach's Australian equity partnership through his role as equity strategist and deputy head of research.

Robert Reynolds:
chairman of Avoca Resources whose stake was worth almost $10 million in late 2010.

David Stewart:
the new chief executive of Leighton Holdings who has made plenty over more than 20 years with the construction giant and is expected to pocket more than $5 million a year in the top job.

Gavin Thomas:
CEO of mining company Kingsgate whose stake was worth more than $30 million in late 2010.

Peter Williams:
a director of Ampella Mining whose stake was worth more than $20 million in late 2010.

Rohan Williams: CEO of Avoca Resources whose stake was worth more than $10 million in late 2010.

More Cornwall on Packer



Councillors contesting the state election

Below is a list of local council members who have nominated for candidacy in the Victorian state election due to be held on 27 November 2010.

Anthony Carbines: is the Labor Candidate for Ivanhoe and has been a councillor of Banyule since 2005.

Jane Garrett: Labor's candidate for the state seat of Brunswick and the mayor of Yarra.

Stephen Mayne: councillor in Manningham and an independent candidate for an Upper House seat in Northern Metropolitan Region.

Charles Pick:
mayor of Manningham and Labor candidate contesting the safe Liberal seat of Doncaster.

Ivan Reid: councillor in Manningham and Labor candidate to contest the safe Liberal seat of Bulleen.

Lorraine Wreford: mayor of Casey and is the Liberal candidate for the Bayside suburbs of the Mordialloc electorate

If you know of any others, drop us a line to Stephen@maynereport.com

Donate to help keep us going

The Mayne Report costs almost $100,000 a year to run so if you fancy giving us a hand to help fund our activism and keep us going on the political and AGM circuit, just click on the image below:

From the press room

Here are a selection of recent media mentions and engagements:


No perfect Ten for James Packer
October 25, 2010


James Packer should run the gauntlet of an AGM vote at Ten
October 29, 2010

Heidelberg Leader

First shot at Carbines
Hannah Donnellan, November 2, 2010

Manningham Leader

Letter - Time to stop silly game
Stephen Mayne, October 20, 2010

Cr Mayne labelled a Latham

Danielle Crowe, October 20, 2010


666 ABC Canberra - discussing ASX takeover bid from Singapore.
Monday, November 1

774 ABC Melbourne - good debate with Jon Faine about the The Ten Network chair Nick Falloon stepping down.
Friday, October 29

936 ABC Hobart - discussing ASX takeover.
Tuesday, October 26

702 ABC Sydney - discussing Singapore bid for ASX.
Monday, October 25

612 ABC Brisbane - discussing Singapore bid for ASX.
Monday, October 25


Anger as MG pays boss' wife
Simone Smith and Andrew Mole, Wednesday, November 3

Click the link below to get the latest radio and AGM audio:

More gems from Mark Cornwall on former PM Howard's book


Sign up for campaign and governance Tweets

Click on the image above to join more than 2600 followers on Twitter. Here are some of the more recent Tweets since the last edition:

10.33am November 1: Good chat on 666 ABC Canberra about the ASX takeover bid http://urlm.in/fyzn

10.14am November 1: Having joined Crown board, Harold Mitchell is badly conflicted telling Ten to sort out shareholding issues quickly (ie yield to Packer now!)

10.04am November 1: Hot tip. Wesfarmers is about to write off $20m loan to Foodworks after Pitcher Partners took 12 weeks to sign off on audit. A Bi-lo hangover

10.03am November 1: Network Ten have just confirmed Nick Falloon is using the CEO exemption and won't be submitting himself for election at Dec 9 AGM. Dodgy.

4.47pm October 31: Spent an hour with Fiona Patten from Australian Sex Party this arvo as we're both contesting Vic election in Northern Metro upper house area

9.31am October 31: Bronwyn Pike calls Brian Walters a hypocrite for taking legal briefs. Hmm, Pike's a former anti-pokies campaigner turned industry apologist.

7.41pm October 29: Lively exchanges at Tatts AGM this arvo. Go here for edited audio highlights: http://www.maynereport.com/articles/2010/10/29-1629-397.html

1.39pm October 29: Toll Holdings board defeated on new constitution that makes it hard for external candidates to nominate. Great result, a first in Australia.

12.06pm October 29: Just had a a solid 10 minute rumble with Jon Faine over Packer-Ten-Falloon situation. He doesn't understand conflict: http://urlm.in/fyml

6.31pm October 27: Katie Lahey to run Korn Ferry Australasia - first time in 40 years a big 5 head hunter firm has had a female CEO Down Under. About time.

4.37pm October 27: Just got the James Packer representative on his feet at the Melbourne Aquarium during the Living and Leisure AGM...not happy talking!

2.45pm October 27: Starting a month of formal leave from council today so full steam ahead with campaign to get up as indie in Northern Metro in Vic election.

11.43am October 27: After 26 written question from public starting 11.30pm at council last night, delighted we voted 7-1 to have oral questions at start in 2011

11.23am October 27: Council meeting finished at 12.23am this morn. 5 hrs and 23 minutes is longest anyone can recall but was big agenda and a better meeting.

1.40pm October 26: Massive protest against the #Transurban remuneration report of 55%. Listen to all the edited audio here http://urlm.in/fxsk

11.04am October 26: Discussing the #ASX takeover on 936 ABC Hobart http://urlm.in/fxqy

10.23am October 26: A big day. 7am at council, 8.45am chat on ASX takeover on ABC Tas, attending Transurban AGM 11am, speech at Crown, council meeting tonight.

7.17pm October 25: Interview on 612 ABC Brisbane about the Singapore bid for ASX http://urlm.in/fxmj

4.43pm October 25: Ten minute chat with Richard Glover on 702 ABC Sydney about Singapore bid for ASX. http://urlm.in/fxmc

4.21pm October 25: Fairfax just run this big piece calling for Packer to be banned from Ten board http://www.maynereport.com/articles/2009/03/24-1218-2882.html

1.43pm October 25: Had a heavy exchange over CEO payouts at Tabcorp AGM. Chair John Storey twice said "sit down". Listen here: http://www.maynereport.com/

9.29am October 25: Check out this bumper Saturday morning email edition for full 13000: http://www.maynereport.com/articles/2010/10/14-1117-6554.html

9.27am October 25: Off to clashing PacBrands and Tabcorp AGMs at 10am. Have some sensitive material to run with. Will need to be careful not to overplay hand.

That's all for now.

Do ya best, Stephen Mayne

* The Mayne Report is a multi-media governance website published by shareholder activist, local government councillor and Crikey founder Stephen Mayne with regular email editions. To unsubscribe from the free emails click here.