Tinkler's days at bar could be over

Tinkler's days at bar could be over

If you have a spare $5 million or so, you too can live like Nathan Tinkler. No, not in Singapore, where the embattled coal baronet rests his head, but at the Tinkler estate in Pullenvale, west of Brisbane.

Among the mansion's luxury appointments are a home cinema, gym, a climate-controlled wine cellar that can house 3500 bottles, and a nine-car garage. Other treats include a bar - complete with beer tap - that looks out over the pool.

Sadly the spread, which sits on four hectares, looks set to follow the lead of the jet and helicopter and leave Tinkler's hands. He's also trying to sell his horseracing empire, Patinack Farm.

While the Pullenvale property is listed for sale online at between $4 million and $5 million, selling agent Benjamin Smith, of Brisbane Real Estate, declined to give an asking price or comment.

It is believed, however, that Tinkler wishes to recover his purchase price and cover the costs of buying and selling the property.

Property records show it is held by his wife, Rebecca, who paid $5.2 million for it in 2007. She's rumoured to have split with Nathan, although two months ago his spokesman pooh-poohed such rumours, saying that a visit by the coal baron and personal assistant Jodie van Gilst to the Melbourne Grand Prix was strictly business.

While the home may be in Rebecca's name, its interior decoration seems very Nathan. The 1600-square-metre pile, spread across two levels, has a pool room with a blue felt table, vintage arcade game cabinet, foosball table, jukebox, bar, and sporting memorabilia.

However, there is a beauty salon and solarium. The property also has a tennis court and guesthouse.

A case of deja vu

Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd has been doing sterling work in recent weeks, telling the hapless government of Julia Gillard where it's gone wrong.

"Let's undertake an independent audit on the scope, size and efficiency of government so we can work out where the money's going and why," he thundered in an address to the National Press Club last month. "And so we can remove duplication and inefficiency."

In his day job, Shepherd deploys his wisdom as chairman of Transfield Services, which saw its share price plunge almost 24 per cent on Tuesday. Excuses - sorry, "external factors" - wheeled out by the mining services group to explain a $23 million cut to its expected earnings included "ongoing uncertainty in commodity markets".

Which sounds awfully like the line peddled by Treasurer Wayne Swan to explain his lower-than-expected resources tax take.

Axl not dead yet

Back in the day - 1998 - John James, the managing director and chairman of Vanguard Investments Australia, was a superannuation administration officer. It was the year when the 3 per cent super guarantee came in, a time of one fax machine in the boss' office, no Facebook or mobile phones.

"And I was telling a colleague, 'Have a look at the top 10 songs [for the year], four of the people in the top 10 are dead," James recalled at an industry lunch on Tuesday. "George Harrison, Michael Hutchence, Michael Jackson ... and there was Axl Rose - he's dead too."

His colleague reminded him that Axl had just had a tour.

A caring lot

Still on insurance, where the industry regulator is clearly worried about the mental health of the sector's worker bees - but not as worried as the Netherland's central bank, which hired psychologists to help assess risks in the financial system.

"I suspect you will be pleased to know that, as interesting as the idea is, we don't intend to go down that path," Australian Prudential Regulation Authority member Ian Laughlin told an actuaries conference on Monday. "However, their thinking may be a useful reference for management and board."

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