Supa Centre sale an off-track win

Supa Centre sale an off-track win

Revhead heiress Betty Klimenko (pictured) has scored an off-track victory through a recent property sale. Her family group, Terrace Tower, sold the Supa Centa at Tuggerah on the NSW central coast.

Klimenko, daughter of the late property developer and co-founder of Westfield, John Saunders, is well known for her pink hair, tattoos, down-to-earth attitude and penchant for motorsport.

She owns the Erebus Motor Sport team, which runs a Mercedes-Benz that went around in Adelaide earlier this month as part of the formerly Ford and Holden-only V8 Supercar contest.

Motorsport fans should be able to spot her among the throng at next Sunday's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The Tuggerah centre, which is one of the better performers for big-box hardware chain Bunnings and includes other big name brands such as Bing Lee, Nick Scali, The Good Guys, Spotlight and others, was sold to Bunnings so it can increase the size of the store and give it a more modern format.

Image makeover

Embattled Gold Coast funds manager Peter Drake has called in the big guns to help his LM Investment Management in its stoush with Trilogy Capital Group.

Drake hired so-called "mayor maker" Graham Staerk as a lobbyist in November, and in recent weeks the former Gold Coast Bulletin columnist has been trying to repair LM's battered public image, wining and dining journalists around the country.

Staerk is no stranger to controversy - a former bankrupt, he ankled his Bully gig a couple of years ago after online newsletter Crikey revealed conflicts of interest with his lobbying clients.

He told CBD that LM wanted government to tighten access to registers of unitholders. This would make it harder for predators such as Trilogy to mount raids on the funds for which LM is the responsible entity.

"It wasn't set up to enable responsible entities to pirate each other's funds," Staerk said. "It needs to be tightened up to proscribe the misuse of the registry."

On the publicity side LM needs plenty of help, with a recent episode of ABC TV's Four Corners casting aspersions on Maddison Estate, a big Drake-backed development into which plenty of investors' funds have been poured.

However, relations with specialist website appear to have soured, with Staerk blasting editor Nelson Yap by text message last week. In the message, obtained by CBD, Staerk accuses Yap of "blatantly running Trilogy's false agenda ... this is neither ethical or balanced".

"This matter will now be passed to LM's legal team to deal with," Staerk fulminated. "I will have no further contact."

Yap told CBD the text message - and an earlier phone call from Staerk - were "mysterious".

He said his website ran just two stories about LM and hadn't heard a peep from LM's lawyers.

"We have no arguments with LM, we are just reporting the news," he said.

Battle continues

They are at war in the courts and now fashion designer Kym Ellery has brought her battle with the Myer empire headed by Bernie Brookes to more comfortable territory - glossy magazine land.

Ellery has been on something of a PR blitz, with at least two soft-as-marshmallow profiles popping up in recent weeks.

First off the presses was a three-page photo spread in the March edition of Marie Claire, purporting to depict a day in the life of the wunderkind fashionista.

If the photos are to be believed, Ellery wears four different outfits (including a wetsuit) in the course of a day that sees her take a trip to the beach, drink coffee at a Bondi cafe and get out of the office and into a new outfit in time for dinner with her boyfriend at 6pm.

On Sunday it was News Ltd's turn, rolling out a four-page feature on Ellery's friendship with actor Phoebe Tonkin.

Readers learned that Ellery doesn't like calling her secondary range L'America "a diffusion line" - which is a key part of Myer's legal argument that the designer breached her exclusivity contract with the department store.

But those hoping for an update on the state of the legal stoush were left little the wiser, with Ellery saying only that the situation was "regrettable".

The use of the past tense might also lead the unwary to believe the case is over.

In fact, it returns to the Victorian Supreme Court for a directions hearing on Tuesday.

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