Bumper year-ender: Melbourne v Manningham, Governance, disclosure, Planning models, pokies win, ASA, AGM season, debt, rich list and then some

December 28, 2012

Dear 16,000 Mayne Report readers,

Greetings for the first time since our last email edition on October 19 and for only the 9th time in 2012. If you'd rather not receive these not-even-monthly newsletters, click here to unsubscribe. If you like it, send this URL of the edition to your friends and encourage them to subscribe. It's free.

Apologies for the lack of service of late but the combined gigs of being elected to Melbourne City Council and taking on a consultancy as Policy and Engagement Co-Ordinator for the Australian Shareholders' Association has left little time for much else.

Indeed, after 12 years of weekly appearances on 774 ABC Melbourne's Drive program, even that has been given the chop given the workload and potential conflict issues arising from the council elections.

The memoir has also been formally put on hold.

The regular spot on ABC Sydney went in 2009 to free up time for Manningham City Council commitments and it now looks like the other media gigs, including this newsletter, will also take a back seat in the period ahead.

If any journos out there are cashed up with a redundancy cheque and looking to get off to a flying start with an independent online publishing venture, do drop us a line to Stephen@maynereport.com. This 16,000-strong email list could do with some better servicing and resourcing going forward and there's a big archive to work with, such as all these lists.

All going well at City of Melbourne

After a roller coaster 3 and a half years at Manningham, the past 2 months as a City of Melbourne councillor has been an excellent experience with high-calibre people, plenty of resources and intellectual stimulation across a range of areas.

The election campaign was uglier than expected, but it all settled down pretty quickly in the aftermath. Check out the results here and you'll see that 3828 primaries, 6% of the total formal votes, was enough to stay in the race until preferences delivered the 10% quota as the 8th elected councillor of 9. No money was spent on the campaign, but plenty of media visibility around the AGM season probably helped.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has taken the approach of loading up the commitments and so far it has kept me out of trouble.

As chair of the Finance and Governance Committee, there is an endless amount of issues to get across, starting with the $400 million budget and the $3.333 billion in net assets on the balance sheet. Manningham's equivalent numbers were more like $100 million and $1.5 billion but Melbourne is bigger again when you consider that it also owns Citywide, a large services business which operates nationally and separately with a commercial board.

Then there are big juicy issues such as redeveloping the historic Queen Victoria Market, better integrating Docklands with the Hoddle grid, getting behind big rail projects such as Metro 1 and Doncaster Rail and how Melbourne should manage $90 million of annual parking fees and fines, just to name a few.

Can Melbourne become Australia's most transparent council?

On the governance front, the Lord Mayor has enthusiastically embraced the idea of making Melbourne "Australia's most transparent council" which will be a breathe of fresh air compared with Manningham where every disclosure proposal was hard fought and many were regularly opposed, especially by some of the more negative councillors. This transparency aspiration will be going into Melbourne's 4 year Council Plan, which must be signed off by June 30, 2013. Once it is in the plan, the arguments in favour of a disclosure culture will have formally prevailed and then the detail will flow.

Despite much opposition along the way, Manningham is currently Australia's most transparent council, even though I failed at the last hurdle on the question of majority support for disclosing the valuations on all individual land and building assets owned by the ratepayers.

Still, the positive ledger is quite strong and it will be interesting to see if any of this is unwound in the period ahead under new Manningham mayor Jennifer Yang and Joe Carbone, who was announced as the new CEO last week.

No other Victorian council has yet produced what Manningham did on page 110 of the 2011-12 annual report with specific disclosures around the entitlements, positions and contract terms of the 5 most senior officers. The sky hasn't fallen it since that appeared. Indeed, it sailed straight through to the keeper unnoticed in the wider world - until this missive.

Similarly, this recently published lease register disclosure on the Manningham website is also a first because it reveals the subsidised rental arrangements with all groups occupying council-owned facilities. There is no agenda around ending subsidies or evicting tenants, it's just appropriate that these arrangements involving public assets be disclosed to their owners - the public.

Manningham also took a big step forward over the past two years when it published an indicative 10 year capital works budget. Check out the 132 different projects or spending categories laid out from page 76 in Appendix D of this year's budget.

Once you tell the community what you own, who has access to it, on what terms and what council proposes to spend on it over 10 years, you can then have a far more informed debate with the public around the allocation of scarce capital and appropriate returns (not just financial) for the community.

For instance, wouldn't it have been a whole lot better if there had been more comprehensive public disclosure of coal mining leasing arrangements in NSW. At least we're now getting it thanks to ICAC.

The comprehensive Manningham at VCAT disclosure on the home page will also hopefully be rolled out at Melbourne but there is no huge immediate rush as this is a 4-year sentence and it will be important to get the detail right, bring officers and council colleagues along with each decision and avoid any unintended consequences or excessive new workloads.

Portfolio allocations and Planning issues in Melbourne

Whilst the Lord Mayor and I had a detailed private discussion around the Finance and Governance portfolio, it came as a complete surprise when he announced in a councillor-only session that he also wanted me to be deputy chair of the complicated and contentious Planning portfolio. Thanks a lot!

The question of allocating portfolios was the most delicate issue to resolve with the arrival of 6 new councillors. The previous council had delegated this authority to Robert Doyle shortly after he was first elected in late 2008 and this would have continued if Team Doyle had won a majority on the current council. Instead, Team Doyle finished with 5 and there were 6 others, all of whom supported the idea of portfolio allocations (and any subsequent changes) being a decision made in open council.

The outcome worked well in the end because there wasn't a lot competition for the various portfolios, hence the Lord Mayor was able to speak individually with everyone and then come up with an allocation which broadly satisfied most parties. I was surprised but ultimately didn't resist his Planning deputy idea and look forward to getting stuck in for the next two years, after which all portfolio allocations will be formally reviewed and then reshuffled in an open public vote involving all 11 councillors.

One of the trickiest issues in Planning will be managing the permit applications of those who have donated to Team Doyle. The complete list has recently gone up on the City of Melbourne website and the present advice is that the full Team Doyle will have to declare a conflict every time any donor applies for the permit over the next 4 years. This does seem a little over the top - especially if there continues to be limited block voting - and will perhaps evolve as issues emerge down the track.

Cr Ken Ong, who is the continuing chair of the Planning Committee and a person with an impressive grasp on the detail, will also have more conflict of interest issues in the period ahead courtesy of his lengthy list of disclosed donors. I've already had to chair one planning matter in public involving an objecting ASX100 chair because Cr Ong received a $5000 donation from a prominent developer who happened to be one of the other objectors on this application. We never got this sort of colour at Manningham!

One good thing about being an independent running an el cheapo campaign is that there are no favours owed to anyone, conflicts of interest or perceptions of influence. Indeed, even just the ability to publish this newsletter is an example of complete independence. For the record, here is the "zero donations" declaration. Perhaps the Victorian Government might care to look at recent reforms in Queensland and NSW around developer donations as the big spending and record donations around the City of Melbourne campaign will be nothing on the 2014 state election.

It would be interesting to understand how conflict of interest situations work with developer donations to state politicians and parties. Our situation gets quite complicated with any Central Equity permit applications because it does look like 6 councillors would have to declare a conflict of interest, as The Age pointed out in this rather breathless page 1 splash on December 7.

Given that any individual councillor can call in an application to come to the Future Melbourne Committee and/or the monthly full council meeting in the chamber, there is a potential to make mischief here around the lack of a quorom as The Age describes.

However, when Central Equity lobs an application it will most likely be a case of letting the officers make a decision under delegation, as is done in the vast majority of planning permits.

In 3 and a half years at Manningham, I never once voted against an officer recommendation on planning matters and look forward to backing Melbourne's highly regarded planning officers in a similar way, although there has already been one minor rolling related to the address of a Grollo development in North Melbourne.

Officers, developers, councillors and objectors - who should do what in planning applications?

Over the past 4 years at Manningham, all councillors sat through more than 100 presentations by developers or their representatives on a Tuesday night at the lengthy Special Briefing Sessions (aka SBS), which typically lasted for about 3 hours. Virtually all of these applications were then debated in public at a full council meeting under a system which saw developments above a certain scale automatically dealt with in public.

Contrast that with the situation at Melbourne since 2008 where officers were only given 1 hour a week to brief councillors (now extended to 90 minutes) at what is called "councillor forum" and not one planning applicant ever presented to the full councillor group during these briefings.

On being told the Manningham system, one Melbourne councillor observed that it was inappropriate to meet with developers without giving objectors the same opportunity.

But Manningham did provide this opportunity at what was called a "submitters meeting" on the night before a council meeting where councillors, officers, objectors and the applicant would typically spend half an hour trying to resolve any issues.

By having this session 24 hours before the council meeting, it left enough time to hammer out any compromises, add conditions or work up an alternative to the officer recommendation.

The bottom line of this system is that no councillor ever found themselves dealing with issues on the fly in public without having already discussed it in detail. It also meant that no objector was able to speak about their concerns at the formal council meeting where the decision was made.

There are many different elements to the Melbourne model. For starters, even the largest and most contentious applications are automatically dealt with by officers under delegation unless an individual councillor calls it in to the Future Melbourne Committee, which meets in public twice a month on a Tuesday night, although Planning matters are only meant to be dealt with at one of these meetings. We are already looking at whether we should introduce a trigger which automatically brings the larger applications to FMC, thereby reducing the importance of councillor call-ins. Objectors can speak for up to 3 minutes at these meetings in front of all councillors.

The problem with councillor call-ins is that you find yourself hearing verbally from developers and objectors for the first time at a public FMC meeting when a decision is meant to be made. There is no opportunity to go offline with officers and councillors and kick around the arguments presented before coming up with a compromise outcome.

The experience so far has been that this leads to more deferrals so that the councillors can think about the issues and parties can go away and try and thrash out a solution.

The other big difference from Manningham is the role of Melbourne's Planning Committee chair, who is quite deeply embedded in the process having regular meetings with officers to go through various issues. There was no elected Planning czar at Manningham. As deputy chair of the committee, I'm intending to tag along to most of the meetings, but am uncomfortable with issuing directions to professional planning officers or being the arbiter of what should be called in.

For mine, we need far more round-table discussions involving all councillors and officers but that is impossible if you only allocate 1 hour a week for these briefing sessions. A little bit of planning has been injected now that these briefings are out to 90 minutes, but so far we have spent lots of public time dealing with two particular planning issues when a better approach might see a greater number of planning permits (focusing on bigger applications) dealt with publicly, in addition to a far greater number of briefings on permit applications to all councillors in private sessions.

It's all very well having lots of briefing papers available to read, but this is never as good as having a lively verbal debate around the table with ideas flowing back and forth. I always enjoyed challenging Manningham developers in front of the officers during private sessions and then later asking the officers what they thought of the answers. There's limited opportunity to do this at Melbourne.

The Governance portfolio has a pretty wide brief, so all these procedural, disclosure and administrative issues will be systematically worked through over the period ahead. Ultimately, these are system design issues where you try and best blend professional advice with elected representatives and have a philosophy which is favourably disposed towards maximising disclosure and ensuring public visibility, whilst not eliminating free flowing discussions in private sessions.

A headline grabbing 2012 AGM season for ASA

The 2012 AGM season was a very busy time for the Australian Shareholders' Association with monitors attending more than 100 meetings in just 9 weeks and close to 200 reports being published on the ASA website. In addition to the normal focus on ASX200 companies, we also covered a number of smaller companies that were facing a “second strike” on their remuneration reports.

ASA generated a record amount of public discussion this season, largely due to the tactic of drawing greater attention to our various Voting Intentions reports. Whilst proxy advisors provide expensive private voting advice to institutional clients, ASA is the only body which deliberates on corporate voting and places our written recommendations into the public domain.

Voting Intentions with the likes of Centro, Billabong, Fairfax Media, Cabcharge, Tatts, Toll Holdings, Virgin Australia, Bluescope Steel and Mirvac all generated media coverage ahead of the AGM.

And with that greater focus on our written reports, there was consequently also increased media coverage of the issues raised verbally by ASA monitors at AGMs across the country.

AGM commentary and voting by our monitors with the likes of ANZ, NAB, Stockland, Brambles, Goodman Group, Macmahon Holdings, Cochlear, Seven West Media, News Corp, Whitehaven Coal, Tabcorp, Linc Energy, QR National, Woolworths, BHP-Billiton, Paperlinx and Penrice Soda were all featured in mainstream media reports.

AGM reports averaging 400-600 words have been pouring in and almost 100 of these are now freely available on the ASA website in the Company Reports section.

Reducing this down to 35 written reports of about 350 words each for our bumper summer edition of Equity magazine was never going to be an easy task, but ASA members can go here to see how it came together.

ASA will publish another bumper edition in the February edition of Equity with more than 30 printed AGM reports. This will take in all the December AGMs such as Westpac, NAB, ANZ and Incitec Pivot, plus about 20 reports from the back half of the main 2012 season.

A quick read of the reports show a continuing strong focus on remuneration issues, plus ongoing strength in our proxy voting power. For instance, consider these facts for a moment:

BHP-Billiton: only 481 shareholders attended the AGM in Sydney but ASA represented 3107 shareholders who owned 13.6m shares worth approximately $470 million.

National Australia Bank: only 315 shareholders attended the AGM in Perth but ASA represented 3048 shareholders who owned 11.77m shares worth approximately $315 million.

Woolworths: 490 shareholders attended the AGM in Adelaide but ASA represented 2304 shareholder who owned 6.83m shares worth approximately $200 million.

It is now clear that ASA is typically representing up to 10 times as many shareholders who actually attend the AGM.

When it came to using this growing voting power, ASA recommended against a lot less remuneration reports this season (49 out of 101) and the overall against voting was significantly lower, which suggests the “two strikes” regime is working and boards are putting in place more appropriate remuneration arrangements.

Better managing AGM debate

The following is a brief extract from ASA's 2200 word submission to CAMAC, the Federal Government's Companies and Markets Advisory Committee, which has been charged with reviewing the operation of the AGM and proxy voting for public companies. This interesting CAMAC discussion paper set the scene for what is an important debate for ASA. Check out all submissions here:

ASA is well aware of criticism that AGMs can be hijacked by special interests or long-winded dissertations on irrelevant issues such as customer complaints. Anyone who has sat through a 4 hour Telstra or BHP-Billiton AGM in recent years knows that it is not an enjoyable or constructive experience.

However, untidy public discussion is no reason to jeopardise the key function of AGMs which is an accountability mechanism for owners and their agents on the board.

In recent years, the bigger problem of AGMs has been a lack of debate – ASA representatives are often the only speakers at AGMs as occurred again in 2012 at major public companies such as Myer, Seek and Carsales.com.

AGMs would be a lot better if the brokers, fund managers and research analysts took the opportunity to ask well-researched questions in public. Instead, these professional players use other forums or direct engagement to access information.

This situation leaves ASA as the most important stakeholder and participant on this question around the future of the AGM. We completely support the retention of the AGM but do acknowledge there are areas of improvement. For instance, many chairs are too tolerant of long-winded speakers pursuing irrelevant issues.

ASA has no problem if a chair wishes to restrict shareholders to a set time frame or a limited number of questions, provided that no shareholder is prevented from commenting on a specific item of business or that the overall debate is not needlessly curtailed.

The best run AGMs will commence with 20-30 minutes of formal presentations and then conclude after approximately 1 hour of debate featuring contributions from a range of speakers.

However, if a company has run into trouble, AGMs can still be thoroughly worthwhile after much lengthier debate as was the case with Fairfax Media's 2012 AGM which ran for 3 and a half hours.

The worst AGMs conclude after just a few minutes when boards don't take the trouble to make detailed presentations and then shareholders decline to engage in debate.

An important win at VCAT for Melbourne against the pokies

Whilst Robert Doyle has accepted donations from pokies operators or industry groups for both his successful election campaigns, it hasn't led to blanket support for pokies proposals.

Indeed, City of Melbourne councillors unanimously rejected an application for 32 pokies from the Francis Hotel in Lonsdale Street, even though it was recommended by the officers.

The matter went off to VCAT and Melbourne ran a sophisticated case around clustering and social impact which prevailed, overturning much of the existing case law. Check out the full decision.

Paul Bendat, a lawyer and entrepreneur who runs the Pokieact website, knows much about the detail of these cases and describes the implications as follows: "The VCAT decision on the Francis Hotel trashes the Geotech model that has been the basis of so many decisions in favour of new machines. It implies that Mr Whitehead (ex Tatts) is conflicted. Wallis community surveys are rejected. Finally, there is focus on defining the community, something I have been advocating for years. This judgement is groundbreaking."

Sounds pretty good all round.

Meanwhile, check out this 30 second anti-pokies ad made by Paul Bendat featuring our daughter Alice, who was 6 at the time:

Firing up our Youtube channel again

When The Mayne Report first launched in 2007 we were posting daily videos on our Youtube channel. Alas, the cost and time of in-house video production, plus the lack of any revenue, made this model unviable. Besides, daily videos 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 mainstream media video platforms. People watch Q&A, Inside Business and The Project.

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

Some of the playlists on our video site include the following:

11 rounds with Rupert Murdoch

A few rounds with the Millionaires at Macquarie Group

Bye bye Babcock & Brown

The pokies

Gender equity and media trustworthiness in Intelligence Squared debates

Skewering Col Allan on Channel Nine's Sunday program

Australia's public debt and superannuation liabilities continues to soar

It was very strange to hear out-going Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens make the following statement in 2010: "There is virtually no net public debt in the country at all in contrast to much of the developed world."

The Federal Government's own debt management website puts the gross debt figure at more than $260 billion and the bond issues are continuing at a rapid rate.

Indeed, as this statement on the Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) website discloses, Federal bond issues were initially budgeted at $35 billion in 2012-13, but this blew out to $45 billion with the budget update in October. For some strange reason, there has been no update on the borrowing program since Wayne Swan's belated pre-Christmas admission that we were headed for a budget deficit this year due to a $4 billion revenue shortfall.

The AOFM is a very important government agency which is rarely covered by the mainstream media. Indeed, this speech last October by AOFM CEO Rob Nicholl is well worth a read.

Both sides of politics try to quote a net debt figure which includes the $70 billion held by the Future Fund. But this is outrageous double counting because Future Fund reserves are specifically set aside to pay for public service superannuation liabilities which are still more than $60 billion unfunded.

The City of Melbourne takes a different approach. We are about to write a cheque for $10 million to ensure our defined benefit liabilities are 100% cash-backed after a shortfall was identified in the latest actuarial review. That was still leave us debt free and with close to $100 million in the bank come June 30, 2013.

If the Victorian Government was to do the same and fully fund its defined benefit superannuation liabilities, they would need to borrow $29 billion on top of the $25 billion-plus in debt already outstanding. Ouch.

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. This is easily the most popular feature on our website as we've got more than 1500 names with those who've fallen back below $10 million now italicised. Below are our latest new or updated entries:

Michael and George Argyrou: founded Melbourne-based construction company Hickory Developments in 1991 and continue to power ahead after the credit crunch.

Carney family: own The Block Arcade in Collins Street along with other property interests.

Obeid Family: who says Labor politicians don't know how to manage money. Eddie Obeid and his 5 sons have acquired tens of millions down the years through various interesting means which are increasingly becoming public courtesy of ICAC.

From the press room: two AGM season sessions on Inside Business

I don't know how Alan Kohler keeps up with everything but he certainly anchors a good show in ABC1's Inside Business.

It was both interesting and enjoyable being on the couch for the following episodes during the AGM season:

November 25 episode

October 14 episode

Crikey yarns since last edition

There were 56 Crikey stories in total for 2012 but the last quarter has been particularly quiet with only these three:

If Lachlan wasn't a Murdoch he'd be out of Ten by now
Crikey, Friday, December 7, 2012

Media cuddles up to Packer with few hard questions
Crikey, October 26, 2012

The real story behind the Cochlear pay revolt
Crikey, October 17, 2012

Crikey, News Ltd and the Bruce Wilson AWU saga

The ASA gig during the AGM season and being elected to the City of Melbourne conspired to eat into any available time to file for Crikey, but I was also annoyed by their refusal to realistically cover the AWU yarn.

When Glenn Milne and Mike Smith were both sacked over this story last year, The Mayne Report was one of the few publications to properly cover the issues in this detailed analysis.

Crikey's Bernard Keane has been behaving like a Julia Gillard press secretary on this issue, lashing out at all and sundry for even daring to cover the story.

That said, since my argument with Bernard a few months back, the Murdoch propaganda machine has definitely gone over the top with the sheer volume of material published.

The Australian's Hedley Thomas has produced a series of genuine scoops, but when you also consider everything produced by the likes of Andrew Bolt, the overall picture presented by News Ltd is hardly balanced or proportionate.

Sure, Labor has an issue with excessive union power and the corruption that can flow from that. But how much is too much from News Ltd? And this is the same outfit that moaned about The AFR daring to produce 50,000 words on News Corp's pay-TV piracy controversies - claiming it was simply too much attention on an old story.

Tales from the talk circuit - plus helping deliver ASA 2013 conference

There was 44 engagements on the talk circuit in 2012 and we're now involved at a different level in this space as ASA prepares for its 2013 Conference next May in Sydney.

We've got an excellent line-up of speakers so do check out the details here. I'll be chairing a couple of sessions and trying to make things as lively as possible.

Meanwhile, click here to read feedback after some earlier speeches and drop Paula a line on Paula@maynereport.com if you fancy an engagement in 2013.

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From the member edition archive

The Mayne Report goes to more than 16,000 people but if you're a relatively new reader, here are links to our meatiest email editions from the past 5 years with the greatest focus in the GFC chaos of 2008 when we sent a whopping 172 email editions.

Life as a local councillor made it difficult to maintain that level of productivity, but just 9 editions in 2012 was certainly on the light side.

Anyway, do enjoy some of these hits and memories from the archive:


Backing Rudd, Lachlan Murdoch, Bob Brown media debate, Manningham governance, Gunns, Darebin, Lend Lease and St Kilda AGM appearance
Monday, February 20, 2012

The OZ goes mad, Murdoch piracy, AFR, pokies double rate, Gina unfit for Ten, council super blowout, BoQ rip-off, power speech and AGM mini-season
Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Murdoch special, media inquiry, pokies, Manningham win, Zara, secretive Shortenite councillors and a Vodafone take-down
Thursday, September 15, 2011

Elected to ASA board, pokies, Rio, Santos, RHG, Hartigan, Manningham, capital raisings and Rich List
Thursday, May 19, 2011


Election wash-up, Mayne Report strategic review, Manningham, Ten, Gina, Falloon for Fairfax, Orica AGM, ABC year-ender, Cornwall, Rich List and then some
Friday, December 17, 2010

Woolies anti-pokies campaign speech, Manningham mayor boxes on, campaigning for women, Bob Brown, pokies forum, HTVs, Rich List and then some
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Paperlinx, Packer, Murdoch, Manningham, pokies, Rich ex wives, foreign takeovers and much more
Saturday, October 23, 2010

DJs, legislate women on boards, ex Lib goes no pokies, preferences, Pratt-Shorten, Labor's debt, AG's report, Manningham council audio and then some
August 3, 2010

Director rankings, Rio, Westfield, New Matilda, MAP, Manningham, Paatsch, state election, Darebin, Moreland, rich list, pokies and much more
June 9, 2010

Political donations, Stokes, Westfield tower, Richard Colless, Manningham nursing home, state debt, Rich List, Grand Prix and more
February 23, 2010


Woolies, Higgins, Manningham, upcoming elections, Fairfax, Centro, Rich List, Rams, Fitzie and much more
December 6, 2009

Seven AGM, crazy Perth visit, Fairfax, Telstra, Transfield, capital raisings and much more
November 9, 2009

News Corp AGM, Packer, Fairfax, James Strong, Woolies, Eastern Golf, Kohler-Gatto and much more
October 20, 2009

Bad Bendigo, Mark Day, Manningham, pokies, NAB, Asciano, Rich List, Paladin, hostile EGMs and much more
September 15, 2009

Macquarie AGM, Melbourne's decline, Asciano EGM, capital raisings, Goyder's pokies, speeches, fire, AGM diary and much more
July 28, 2009


Collingwood AGM, Rizzo survives, ANZ shareholders MIA and Qantas delusions
December 19, 2008

ABC Learning, CBA's Centro brutality, sworn in, pokies, PacBrands and SPP plays
December 10, 2008

After 37 straight defeats, the drought is broken
December 1, 2008

71% backing at Centro, $11bn backing at BHP and huge Qantas protest
November 28, 2008

BHP backflip after $7bn backed our tilt
November 26, 2008

Combank's $700m ABC Learning debacle
November 13, 2008

Computershare AGM, Seven wash-up, audio highlights and ABC Learning chair under pump at Lend Lease
November 11, 2008

Round 10 with James Packer, BBI, Allco and ABC Learning
November 6, 2008

Toll board skewered over $55m executive rort
October 30, 2008

Transurban shareholder revolution - chairman almost defeated
October 28, 2008

A huuuuge day for Australian corporate governance
October 22, 2008

Rupert's accountability dodge, Macquarie's Italian hit, Babcock funds revamp, pokieact.org and rich lists.
October 20, 2008

Rupert runs scared after just 3 of our 8 questions
October 20, 2008

BHP and Woolies tilts, AFIC push on Stan Wallis, ASX-Kohler yarn and new Rich Listers
September 26, 2008

Risk Metrics nails Macquarie and Babcock
September 18, 2008

AWB, Babcock, ANZ, Gunns, Hegarty...what a week
August 22, 2008

Brisconnections tanks with conflicts and spin everywhere
July 31, 2008

Macquarie videos, Stokes raid, new board tilt, Oz Minerals, share trading and much more
July 25, 2008

Hegarty Payout rolled, history is made
July 18, 2008

Pratt, Macquarie, Babcock, insider trading, Futuris, Telstra gravy train, tax loss selling and Background Briefing
June 25, 2008

Babcock: Nosworthy video, Glover interview, EBB related deals, Leigh Hall and Stephen Loosely
June 13, 2008

Great debate at the Babcock AGM
May 30, 2008

Our liveliest edition yet
Thursday, May 8, 2008

Winning from the floor at Alumina
May 1, 2008

Margin calls, director dealings, Kohler and WA News
March 10, 2008

Burrows quits, Rupert, donations, long-serving directors and much more
January 31, 2008

Markets tumble, Rupert book deal, Centro, Rich List, Xenophon, AFR tips and our buying spree
January 17, 2008


Fortescue Metals AGM: time for Twiggy and FMG to grow up
Sunday, November 8, 2007, 10.30pm

How $5bn worth of votes backed us against Rupert's dodgy gerrymander
Saturday, 20 October, 2007, 7.20am

Mayne family news - Captain Laura and a re-elected Piccinini!

2012 has been a very busy time for Paula who cranked up her work in family dispute resolution and was also re-elected to the RACV for another 3 year term. She's juggled plenty and remained in good spirits all the way through, including the past 2 days at Phillip Island alone with the kids whilst I played golf in the annual school mates tournament and spent a few hours pumping out this belated year-end edition.

The kids are all great, enjoying school and wide range of other activities.

Our eldest, 11-year-old Laura Mayne, was very excited to be elected female school captain of our local primary school in 2013.

There was speeches, a secret ballot of students, interviews with the principal and, thankfully, no involvement with the school council given that Paula is President.

With former pupil Nicola Roxon unavailable, Paula also did the honours at the recent completion of the $3.5 million school upgrade, which would have to be one of the last BER projects to complete in Australia.

Still, prep enrollments for 2013 are at their strongest in a decade so the make-over has certainly done the trick and Laura is looking forward to a year of student leadership at a growing school in 2013.

There has been lots of soccer and basketball in 2012 and we're looking to give tennis a bigger push in 2013. There are also endless City of Melbourne events that can involve the kids.

For instance, I took 9 year old Alice to the East Melbourne Group's annual Christmas Party at Punt Road and promised her there would be other kids in attendance. Turns out I was the second youngest person there, but she ended up helping sell raffle tickets and dish out prizes, in between exploring the redeveloped Tigerland home base and scoffing lots of lemon fizz.

We also had a great time as a family at the official lighting of the City of Melbourne Christmas tree in the City Square, where the laser show in Town Hall each night has been a huge success. The New Year's Eve fireworks in town will also be a great experience to share with the kids.

That's all for now. We'll hopefully be back with more in the not-too-distant future. Do send any feedback or suggestions through to Stephen@maynereport.com.

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.