Costello firms as consul favourite
Now that former Victorian premier Steve Bracks has been shafted as Australia's consul-general in New York, Liberal powerbroker Nick Minchin has been outed as a key contender for the role - though another leading Liberal figure is believed to be firming.
CBD believes former treasurer Peter Costello is in the mix to be the next to bite into the Big Apple.
Bracks was set to begin shmearing his bagels this month, but got unceremoniously relegated to off-off-Broadway after Tony Abbott's storming election win.
According to a Liberal Party source, the new Coalition government is considering handing Costello the coveted role after ditching a plan to appoint him as ambassador to the US.
Costello would have replaced former Labor leader Kim Beazley as ambassador, but the source said the plan was nixed when former prime minister Bob Hawke intervened to protect Bomber's position.
So, foreign minister-elect Julie Bishop freed up a slot last week by rescinding Bracks' appointment.
The Liberal source said Costello might be sent to New York and then replace Beazley as US ambassador when his role expires.
"One benefit will be it gets him [Costello] out of the country," quipped one Liberal Party member.
Toil and tension
There have been some late nights in the offices of Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals and Brockman Mining over recent months, as the two companies try to cope with one of the most horrendously complex and verbose regulatory processes in recent memory.
Brockman's bid to win access to Fortescue's railway has seen the companies joust via the Byzantine system of Western Australia's economic regulator, and a key point of the dispute has been to determine "floor and ceiling costs", from which the companies can try to negotiate a fair price.
After saying the words "floor and ceiling" for the millionth time, one executive involved reverted to shorthand, and started calling them "F'n'Cs", much to the horror of unsuspecting eavesdroppers.
"I have the same running joke with my wife when I ask her to get a 'fork 'n' knife'," quipped Brockman's Australian boss Russell Tipper, who was not the creator of F'n'Cs.
Tipper is one of the few ASX top brass to keep a pet kangaroo at home on his semi-rural property in WA. With Mrs Tipper being away recently helping with the arrival of the couple's latest grandchild, Mr Tipper had just one person to unwind with at the end of each day's work.
"Let's just say the 'roo and I have been having some very long conversations," he said.
Former MHM Metals chief executive Robert McAlister would like one thing made clear: he was sacked.
MHM and McAlister parted ways on Tuesday, with the company saying he had resigned and chairman Iain Kirkwood thanking him for his contribution to turning around the industrial outfit.
The bland statement was par for the course when a company and its chief executive part ways, with neither party keen to reveal whatever unpleasantness there might have been behind the scenes.
But by Friday McAlister had clearly decided that valour was after all the better part of discretion.
"Mr Robert McAlister has requested MHM to replace the statement that he resigned as chief executive officer with 'his services were terminated'," MHM said in an announcement to the exchange.
MHM recycles waste from cash-a-can aluminium recycling that would normally be dumped into landfill, turning "salt cake" and "black dross" into commodities that can be sold.
However, its most recent quarterly report reveals that MHM burnt through $1.185 million of cash in the quarter to June 30, with $2.42 million left in the bank.
The company is banking on McAlister's replacement, Matthew Keen, to turn its fortunes around.
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