Stockland adds another R to its strategy

PROPERTY group Stockland has added an extra R to its so-called three R (residential, retail and retirement) strategy.

PROPERTY group Stockland has added an extra R to its so-called three R (residential, retail and retirement) strategy.

Just weeks after Stockland sought to quell investor unease by trimming the pay packet of its chief executive Matthew Quinn, about 30 redundancy slips were handed out yesterday across the company.

Included in the cull was Stockland's head of corporate affairs, Karyn Munsie, currently on maternity leave, who was paid a cool $1.2 million in the 2011 financial year.

Up to 45 staff at the property group Dexus were culled last week.

Qantas' flights of fancy

THREE fictitious Asian airlines recently conceptualised by Qantas have been given the all-clear to launch imaginary flights.

Despite Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce discontinuing talks with Malaysia Airlines in March over a proposed joint venture, the airline names RedQ, OneAsia and RedQ Executive Flyer have now been successfully trademarked in Australia.

Qantas is still waiting for its other fictitious airline, RedSky, to be included on the IP Australia register. It is believed the new airlines will have significantly lower operating costs than even Jetstar.

The Flying Kangaroo could always launch the mock airline RedHerring the next time it does battle with its Australian unions and threatens to move more of its operations to Asia.

It's officially Fiji now

AIR Pacific chief executive David Pflieger seemed to have a less complicated job renaming his partly Qantas-owned airline.

The American said yesterday it was a pretty straightforward decision to rename the airline Fiji Airways, although he did toss up other potential names such as Fiji Air and Fiji Airlines.

"This dovetails perfectly with the history of the company, and becoming the national airline of Fiji," he said from Suva yesterday. "It was pretty straightforward we wanted the country's name in the airline.

"It has been trying to become Fiji's national airline, now we are just saying, 'Let's do it'."

Drilling gets a grilling

IT SEEMS at least 200 wine quaffers are bracing for a colder-than-usual winter. The action group leading the fight against AGL Energy's plans to explore for coal seam gas in the Hunter region has tabled a survey in which more than 80 per cent of 335 respondents said they opposed gas wells being drilled in the area.

The survey conducted by the Hunter Valley Wine Country Tourism and Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association found that 63 per cent of the people who visited the Hunter Valley Tourist Information Centre over two weekends last month would consider boycotting AGL if it pushed ahead with its CSG drilling plans in the area.

"Viticulture and tourism are the lifeblood of this region and the visitors have spoken," said the executive manager of Hunter Valley Wine Country Tourism, Dean Goddard, in a statement.

The next explosive encounter is expected to occur on May 24, when AGL holds a community meeting at one of its properties in the Hunter. "Make sure that date's in your diary to go and grill AGL as to its intentions," said a recent flyer from the Hunter Valley Protection Alliance. The alliance, which is backed by several key winemakers in the area including Brian McGuigan, Max Drayton, Jay Tulloch and Bruce Tyrrell, claims the details of the meeting were buried on the AGL website.

"When were they going to let us know?" said the flyer. "Or do they just tick the community consultation box saying, 'We had a drop-in session and nobody turned up!' "

Front seat or back?

SHOULD be interesting to see whether passengers riding in the front or back seat of taxis could become a key issue ahead of the next federal election.

The north Queensland federal MP and founder of the Australian Party, Bob Katter, has put the issue front and centre in the debate over which direction the country should be heading.

"A defining characteristic [is that] we drive in the front of the taxi and every other country in the world they drive in the back," said Katter, describing the typical Australian in a promo of his new book that goes on sale today. "Now that's becoming less true in Australia," he lamented. Katter said he hoped his book, An Incredible Race of People, would have readers laughing and "wiping tears" from their eyes.

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