Is there no limit to the magnanimity of Nick Curtis? On Tuesday the kindly rare-earth miner he chairs, Lynas, decided to drop defamation action against a Malaysian protest group.

Is there no limit to the magnanimity of Nick Curtis? On Tuesday the kindly rare-earth miner he chairs, Lynas, decided to drop defamation action against a Malaysian protest group.

Curtis vowed to "shut down" criticism of Lynas' Malaysian rare-earth plant in May last year, when the company launched its lawsuit against members of the Save Malaysia Stop Lynas group.

The group alleges radioactive waste from the processing plant is a risk to people and the environment.

Lynas said that, since start-up in November, emissions have come in under the limit set in its environmental paperwork.

Slam-dunk evidence to win that defamation lawsuit, right? Er, no. "Now that the facts are available ... there is no value in continuing disputes with members of our local community," Lynas chief executive Eric Noyrez told the ASX.

While Curtis was front and centre when the lawsuit began, he was absent from the announcement bringing it to an end. Perhaps he has lawsuits closer to home to keep an eye on, such as insider trading charges that - if found guilty - potentially could jail his son Oliver Curtis, who is married to celebrity PR woman Roxy Jacenko.

Corporate crooks

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison has been out and about talking tough about deporting foreign crooks but CBD has discovered he has gone soft on corporate crime.

A new Liberal Party policy unveiled by Morrison this week aims to "protect our streets and communities from foreign criminals", but apparently boardrooms will remain as dangerous as ever.

Under the policy any Johnny Foreigner convicted of a crime that can attract more than a year in jail will lose their visa and be deported, even if a kind-hearted beak decides not to send them to the big house.

However, the policy does not apply to "other miscellaneous offences", a category defined by the Bureau of Statistics to include financial offences.

This would seem to mean that, though many of the 13-odd pages of offences listed in the Corporations Act theoretically carry a year or more's jail, foreign business types would be able to break them without fear of deportation. CBD asked Morrison's spokesman to clarify the situation but has yet to hear back.

Undies briefing

CBD wonders if, when Pacific Brands boss John Pollaers was a lieutenant in the Royal Australian Navy, he ever imagined he would one day give a lengthy strategic briefing to a room of analysts about undies.

But that's exactly what took place on Tuesday when Pollaers, who once would sink seven or eight black coffees a day, briefed the market about his plans

for PacBrands key Y-fronts,

jockeys and knickers


Part of his "dacks day" presentation was an idea to take Aussie brands such as Bonds, owned by PacBrands, to the world. Its a kind of Fosterisation of the world, which is apt given Pollaers' last job was chief executive of Foster's.

It is unclear if "wedgies" were part of some kind of secret initiation ceremony when Pollaers was in the Navy, or if he was ever the victim of the much-feared "rear admiral" wedgie. Nonetheless, analysts reportedly were happy with Pollaers' plans to lift underwear.

Advice to trust

He's under siege from politicians of all stripes over the Commonwealth Bank financial planning scandal, so where was ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell on Tuesday?

Why, as far away from Canberra as possible, launching a website for 16-to-25-year-olds at Sydney's University of Technology. According to Kell, the MoneySmart Rookie website will help young people make financial decisions by answering questions including: "Who can they trust to give proper advice?"

That's a question alleged victims of the CBA's financial planners probably also would like answered.

Got a tip?


Related Articles