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No worries in the NT for Tom

No worries in the NT for Tom

Baby-faced bookie Tom Waterhouse might have his detractors but if any of them think allegations of conflict of interest levelled against Tom's mum Gai "Leave My Boy Alone" Waterhouse by adman John Singleton are likely to have any consequences for Tom, they are betting on the wrong horse.

Tom, of course, has denied making the statements Singleton alleged and has strongly defended his mother's reputation. In any event, Waterhouse's modestly named company Tom Waterhouse NT is licensed in the Northern Territory and, if a case last year is any guide, tropical authorities are extremely reluctant to strip licenses.

The Territory's Racing Commission found bookmaker Betezy, run by Ryan Kay, had breached multiple terms of its licence, including not notifying the commission of legal stoushes with the taxman and coal baronet Nathan Tinkler's Newcastle Knights.

"It is of concern to the commission that a prevailing culture of arrogance, passive governance, and complete administrative disorganisation has prevailed at Betezy for quite some time," chairman Richard O'Sullivan said in his July 2 ruling. "Management seem particularly insensitive to the role and duties of the regulator. Betezy have failed to be transparent and honest to the commission in many instances." But despite the scathing words, the commission appears to share the laid-back Territorian attitude that gave us the two-litre Darwin stubby and swimming with monster crocs. Rather than having its licence suspended or cancelled, Betezy was fined $45,000 and told to get its house in order.

Future shock

Now we'll never find out what the Superpower Product Department actually does.

Clothing company China Puda planned to pump a quarter of the $10 million to be raised through a partial float on secondary bourse the NSX on "far infrared technology for application into apparel and footwear products and other non-fashion industry products".

According to one website, knickers made from far infrared cloth are "a great means for holistic healing" and can help improve blood circulation, relieve arthritis, promote healing, increase blood supply to the brain, boost the immune system and burn off fat".

Sounds totally convincing, but sadly the Australian Securities and Investments Commission doesn't appear terribly enthusiastic.

On Friday it permanently banned China Puda's prospectus, which offered lucky local investors 25 per cent of the company.

Under the now-canned proposal, chairman Cheng Chin-Jung and the man who controls two of China Puda's big suppliers, Liu Yongjin, would have controlled 49.08 per cent of shares through a company in the British Virgin Islands. An additional 19.92 per cent of the company was to be handed over to Cheng's nominees, for a total of a round 69 per cent.

Cheng was to be paid just $60,000 a year for his services. Let's hope it's not his only source of income, because otherwise it will take quite some time for him to pay back the $5.1 million he owes the company.

If China Puda had managed to get the float away and that extra money to fund its R&D Centre, R&D Department, Scientific Research Department (part-time) and of course Superpower Product Department (part-time), who knows what bounty the future might have held.

At face value

There must have been something in the air that night. A recent Administrative Appeals case may be the first time slap-headed crooner Phil Collins has been cited in a legal ruling.

Peter Vogel, the inventor of ubiquitous '80s-era synthesiser the Fairlight, was appealing against a decision by Austrade not to give his new company, which sells a very similar instrument, any export assistance grants. This prompted AAT senior member Narelle Bell to quote from the liner notes to Collins' 1985 hit album No Jacket Required: "There is no Fairlight on this record."

Austrade argued that the old Fairlight company already got its fair share of grants back in the day, so the new one wasn't entitled to any fresh taxpayer handouts.

However, the AAT hearing proved to be another day in paradise for Vogel, who successfully argued that the new Fairlight had so little in common with the old that it deserved to be considered on its own merits.

Got a tip?

bbutler@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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