Winds depleted, Green tries solar

Winds depleted, Green tries solar

Back when Babcock & Brown was a success story, rather than a multibillion-dollar bust, it was Australia's biggest wind power producer. But these days, former Babcock chief executive Phil Green (pictured) has turned his attention to the sun.

He plans to install solar panels on the roof of his $4 million Point Piper mansion, a three-bedroom pile that features harbour views, a gym, wine cellar and walk-in dressing room just off the master bedroom.

The panels are just part of a reno worth up to $500,000, according to Woollahra Council planning documents. Green also plans to replace the copper roof with slate tiles, demolish the cellar and put in a new porch. But perhaps the biggest proposed change is the installation of what is described as a "retractable sliding glass wind screen" on the edge of the first-floor balcony.

CBD is not an architect but this sounds like glassing in the balcony.

In an environmental statement on the council's development approval website, Timothy Moon Architects says the reno will result in "increased energy sustainability by the inclusion of solar collectors to the roof" and the "collection of rainwater for reuse in garden irrigation".

Green, who these days plys his trade at Alceon Partners, didn't respond to CBD's email on Sunday.

Pity the poor cow

Still on property, and the chairman of loss-making recruitment and payroll group Talent2, former actor Andrew Banks, has put his Hong Kong pad on the market.

In New Zealand, Talent2 is involved in a drama rivalling Kiwi soapie Shortland Street for duration and melodrama: the botched introduction of a new payroll system for teachers.

The latest from over the ditch is that the government hopes to stabilise the system, which has paid some teachers the wrong amount or nothing at all, within three months.

Questions about Banks' real estate directed to Talent2's PR person went unanswered, but the man himself recently told the Wall Street Journal he was selling to buy a bigger place in Honkers because he spends a lot of time there. He said he spent $HK38 million - about $4.7 million - on the apartment and an additional $HK4 million doing it up.

Located in expat enclave Mid-Levels, it's on the market for $HK52 million. It was fitted out by his wife, Andrea, an interior designer, with decorations including a white cowhide dyed with zebra stripes.

"My wife couldn't stand the idea of a real zebra on her floor in the apartment. She said that was much too cruel," Banks told the WSJ. No one tell her what happened to the cow.

Take a jump

Qantas' budget offshoot, Jetstar, is still jumping mad about Toyota.

The companies are now heading for confidential "negotiations" over Toyota's attempt to trademark "Oh what a feeling" jump ads.

The two sides have agreed to suspend their argy-bargy before IP Australia, which governs trademarks, and enter talks about who star jumps actually belong to. Negotiations are a cheaper option than fighting it out in the courts, and can also fast-track the case before the trademark body but it could still take 18 months.

The case over who owns a "movement" has gripped the world of intellectual property. Jetstar is a relative latecomer to the jump. Toyota has had star jumps in the backgrounds of its "Oh what a feeling" ads for decades.

Intellectual property lawyer Jane Brown said the case would boil down to what leapt into consumers' minds when they saw the ads. And if a recent case on Facebook where many thought of Toyota when they saw a man jump is a guide, the odds in this dust-up might favour Toyota.

Qantas chief Alan Joyce might have to limit his star jumps to the gym.

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