Tit-for-tat tussle for Sleepout title

Tit-for-tat tussle for Sleepout title

Autumn is here, and with it comes the season when chief executives across Australia swap first class for a doss roll and sleep under the stars for charity.

The St Vincent de Paul Society is to launch its annual CEO Sleepout on Wednesday, but even before the official event executives are jostling for the title of top fund-raiser.

So far the battle is a classic Sydney versus Melbourne stoush, with the head of Victoria's Transport Accident Commission, Janet Dore, locked in a tit-for-tat tussle with Rod Harys, who runs the Sydney Kings basketball team.

"It seems like every time I go up, she goes up," Harys said. "I've actually had a few text messages from people saying, 'You're second, I'll put some money in."'

Harys said he's been "aggressively tapping away at sponsors and also family and friends". "It's growing each day and I hope to keep the meter ticking," he said.

As of Monday afternoon, Harys was in the lead with $6580 pledged, but Dore was closing fast on $6305.

Others participating in the sleepout include fashionista Deborah Hutton, Best & Less boss Holly Kramer, Microsoft Australia managing director Pip Marlow and Energy Australia's Richard McIndoe.

There's plenty of time for other contenders to seize the lead - CEOs don't lay out their sleeping bags until June 20, at venues across the country.

Among high-profile participants last year was Commonwealth Bank chief Ian Narev (pictured).

As for Harys, he's looking even further ahead, aiming to increase attendance at Kings games from an average of 6000 to 8000. "It's a very exciting time for the Kings and it's going to get better," he said.

Stuck in the muck

It seems the corporate cops are no fans of Mad Max movies, putting a temporary halt to a plan by an Australian company to get involved in producing power from pig poo.

The use of methane derived from porcine manure as a power source will be familiar to viewers of the third instalment in the adventures of Mel Gibson's deranged cop, Max Rockatansky, where it fuels Bartertown, the home of Tina Turner's character, Aunty Entity.

Tasmania-based Geopower Energy wants to buy into a methane-powered electricity plant in the US, supplied by manure from gigantic pig farm Circle Four.

Geopower has a pork-spectus out to raise $6 million from punters so it can buy almost half the plant and list on the exchange.

However, ASIC has slapped two interim stop orders on the prospectus since it was lodged in February, preventing the company raising the money.

CBD isn't sure what in the prospectus has the Australian Securities and Investments Commission carrying on like a pork chop, but Geopower CEO Ben Mead will no doubt be hoping they get on with things and approve the fund-raising document.

Geopower's option to buy into the dookie-driven design expires on October 12.

Not going for gold

Who attends the gold conference put on by Paydirt magazine? According to its website, everyone from mining executives and financiers to suppliers. However, this year nobody will be going, because the conference, scheduled for April 9 and 10 in Perth, has been cancelled. The gold sector has been under pressure of late, with the price falling from a high of $US1792 an ounce in October last year to $US1580 on Monday.

Classic feedback

CBD loves getting reader feedback and this little gem from a "former reader", apparently a reaction to coverage in Monday's column of the Institute of Public Affairs' 70th anniversary dinner, is a classic of the genre: "You are such an ugly little man ... and you don't look that good either." The missive is signed "Mickey Plunkett".

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