NSW taxpayers are getting their knickers in a twist over the state government planning to spend a lazy $2 billion smashing down and rebuilding two of the states largest, and relatively new, stadiums.
So CBD thought we should share some words from the man who pioneered this asset recycling boom.
Former NSW premier and current NAB executive, Mike Baird, spoke of the magic fairy dust of goodness that mega infrastructure projects rains down on voters – like emissions from a ventilation stack.
How does the community benefit from these infrastructure projects? Is one of the questions posed in the NAB infomercial starring its new recruit.
“The word infrastructure will often get people glazing over,” Baird says.
“But if you understand that improving accessibility on a road will get you home 20 to 25 minutes earlier, to see your family when you otherwise might not. Whether it means taking your child to a brand new hospital rather than one that is 50 years old, great staff doing an incredible job but they haven’t got the facilities to match. Or whether it be public transport, taking congestion off our roads, improving travel times, improving quality of life and productivity which provides more jobs and employment … as a package it impacts almost every part of daily life.”
The curious thing is that the video was posted nearly a week after CBD’s colleagues broke the news that Baird’s former political colleagues had signed off on the new stadium deal, but that word does not get a single word in his spiel.
Maybe Baird’s sore that his former colleagues have revived the idea of knocking down and rebuilding both stadiums – an idea that he kyboshed as NSW premier last year.
“I strongly believe we have come to the consensus position today that is going to be truly fantastic for this city,” he said at the time.
Not that it will stop NAB – which is a major AFL sponsor – chasing the money trail on this boondoggle, if the project goes ahead. And we know who will be leading its efforts, don’t we? Chair swap
It’s usually bad news when a newly listed company has a revolving boardroom door.
But the ASX-listed fintech group Kyckr is expected to have a good story to tell when it announces another change of chairmen on Tuesday.
The Irish regulatory technology specialist has apparently scored quite a coup with Tesco Bank’s chief executive, Benny Higgins – who retires from the British challenger bank in February – set to join as its new chairman.
Higgins will replace former ANZ wealth boss John Van Der Wielen, who was recently appointed chief executive at health insurer, HBF.
Van Der Wielen replaced the well connected Albert Wong in September last year.
Both Van Der Wielen and Wong are expected to remain with the group.
Kyckr’s solutions include Know Your Customer (KYC) software that the Commonwealth Bank might be interested in having a look at following its Austrac issues. Packing up
The Israeli graft probe into its prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is operating with all the discretion of a Harvey Norman commercial.
James Packer barely had time to answer the questions posed to him by the Australian Federal Police – at the behest of Israeli authorities who were listening in – before his alleged answers starting appearing in the press.
According to reports, Packer’s testimony backed claims by his business partner, Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan, that expensive gifts given to the Netanyahu family were a result of demands made by the couple, not friendship.
“Milchan asked me to help with the gift-giving,” he allegedly told the police.
According to the reports, Packer was told he would not be questioned under caution, and his testimony would not be used against him.
A Packer spokesman would not comment on the reports. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Packer.
Israeli state employees and elected officials are forbidden from accepting gifts, but Netanyahu tried to excuse the lavish items as gifts from friends.
Packer’s testimony played second fiddle to Milchan’s assistant, Hadas Klein, who allegedly co-ordinated the gift-giving.
“On some occasions Netanyahu asked for the cigars directly from me. But not the champagnes. He would call them ‘leaves’ and showed me which cigars to buy. He’d talk to me about it on the phone and in person. Packer doesn’t smoke, but I notified the guy who works with him that the cigars were bought at his expense,” Klein reportedly told Israeli investigators.
Milchan reportedly told authorities: “It was a demand, and you don’t demand gifts. It disgusted me.” Hidden assets
Speaking of infrastructure, Macquarie Group’s asset guru Shemara Wikramanayake has come out of hiding to do only her second press interview.
“I really value privacy. Anonymity is such a luxury and I don’t think everyone appreciates that. I can wander around the local shops with my daughter and nobody looks at me,” she told Britain’s Financial Times during a recent trip to London.
The good news for her boss, Nic Moore, is that Wikramanayake is not hankering for his job.
“I’ve never spent any time thinking ‘I would like another person’s job’. I’m thinking about what we can do as a business, what’s next. Nicholas loves what he does and is doing a phenomenal job. I don’t think he is going anywhere.”
And with $61 million worth of Macquarie shares, and remuneration which has topped $17 million for the last two years, why would she want it?
Wikramanayake says she has found some upside on having a higher media profile, which drew the attention of local school children.
“They found it very uplifting to see a picture of a non-white female on the magazine cover. It helps kids to think, ‘I could do that job’.”
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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.