Every miner has his (or her) day
How did the Australian media miss such a momentous event?
Aussie billionaire and Fairfax shareholder Gina Rinehart launched November 22 as the inaugural National Mining and Related Industries Day at the Hilton in BrisVegas on Friday.
"We are here today to celebrate an industry group that is too often shy about speaking of its efforts and contributions," Mrs Rinehart said in a prepared script.
Her message was that miners should not be meek and mild - you know, like when they went into combat against the mining tax.
"As a collective, we seem to prefer to stay 'beneath the radar' for fear of attracting too much of the wrong attention - and waking up the inevitable 'tall-poppy hit squad'!"
Don't for a second think the National Mining and Related Industries Day committee is some Mickey Mouse operation. Former BHP Billiton chairman Don Argus is on the board to celebrate all things mining. So is Linc Energy CEO, and minor squillionaire, Peter Bond.
Gina's gift ideas
In a separate speech that day, Mrs Rinehart gave the assembled throng some Christmas shopping tips that would help build the next generation of government-handout-hating entrepreneurs.
"When you think of Christmas gifts this year, give the gift that will keep on giving. For children, may I suggest giving a good book?" she says.
Recommendations included titles championing personal toil and initiative such as The Little Red Hen, and the Norah of Billabong series. She read the latter as a young girl at the family's Hamersley Station in Western Australia.
For older kids she recommended authors such as Ayn Rand - the doyen of liberty and free enterprise who authored Atlas Shrugged - and Milton Friedman who taught her "there is no such thing as a free lunch".
For the attention-challenged modern generation, Atlas Shrugged is available on DVD. Although it does include the lesson that not all hard work leads to success.
Atlas Shrugged Part 1 & 2 bombed at the box office, taking in a combined $US8 million, but the final part of the trilogy is still in the works, apparently, with a release date last touted for the middle of next year.
Canadian dairy company Saputo appears to be using its proximity to the North Pole to beat out Aussie suitors for the hand of Warrnambool Cheese & Butter.
Saputo boss Lino Saputo jnr says it is offering WBC shareholders a chance to cash in before Christmas with a 20¢ sweetener if its bid hits 50 per cent acceptance. "It wouldn't be the first time that I've been called Santa Clause," he joked to reporters.
Cheesy? Yes. And not as colourful as rival suitor Murray Goulburn. Its chief, Gary Helou, joked to investors about the "rip-roaring" dairy growth in China and the market's strong appetite for powder. "No matter how much you put on the market they just suck it up," he told investors on Friday.
Free TV advice
The commercial television networks have a problem and pay TV peddler - Foxtel chief Richard Freudenstein - is trying to break it to them gently.
In a speech railing against government over-regulation - and the commercial broadcasters' getting the rub of the green in areas such as anti-siphoning - Freudenstein used the widely used "yes/no" addiction test to determine if the networks had a problem.
Do you use media regulation to help you cope with problems? Do you abuse more than one media regulation at a time? You get the drift.
The networks were quick to slap back via Free TV Australia chairman Harold Mitchell, who pinned Foxtel on its aversion to fees for retransmitting Seven, Nine and Ten's, network signal. "It's curious that they find the concept so offensive here, when Fox and CBS have led the US charge for retransmission fees," he says of the US television assets owned by Foxtel's former parent, 21st Century Fox.
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