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A big week for football off the field

A big week for football off the field

TO paraphrase Eddie McGuire – what a week it has been in football. The Australian national game has been embroiled in crime, drugs and sex scandals. Kangaroos captain Wayne Carey resigned from the club after admitting to an affair with the wife of teammate Anthony Stevens. And, closer to home, a probe is being conducted into reports that two Eagles were recorded ordering cocaine from a known drug dealer. In an unrelated incident, two other Eagles were witnessed in the company of a convicted drug trafficker with known links to organised crime.

HIH breaches

THREE directors of failed insurer HIH have been found guilty of breaching their duties. The New South Wales Supreme Court found Rodney Adler, Ray Williams and Dominic Fodera breached their directors in relation to a $10 million payment by a HIH subsidiary to Pacific Eagle Equities. Mr Adler was also a director of PEE. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has claimed banning orders, compensation and penalties against the defendants.

Little surprise in reports

THE tail-end of the interim reporting season has produced few stings. Murchison United suffered a loss on the back of dismal tin prices, while tantalum producer Haddington International Resources benefited from concentrate sales revenue of almost $3.3 million. For Haddington, which listed just over a year ago, this was a maiden profit, but for Murchison, a disappointing turnaround from last year. After what appeared some overselling, however, Murchison’s price began to recover.

Kimberley Oil, which also reported this week, pre-empted its results with an announcement of a workover and exploration program for the 20-year-old Blina oilfield near Derby.

Hardman lists OS

HARDMAN Resources has taken the plunge and listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market. The locally-listed oil and gas producer with multiple overseas interests, expects to benefit from an expanded investor base with a particular appreciation for projects such as the companies offshore Mauritania oil venture.

Viable sustainability

The State Government has extended the sustainability push to the dairy industry with the launch of a plan to assist producers in their attempts to remain commercially viable, yet maintain and protect natural resources. The plan recognises existing responsible practice within the industry but will formalise benchmarks.

Consumer mood up

A WESTPAC-MELBOURNE Institute consumer sentiment survey has revealed a 9.4 per cent rise in WA consumer sentiment in the past month. While the figure was a surprising 31 per cent increase on the same period last year, it continued the theme of rising confidence set by a December quarter CCI-Bankwest WA business survey and an Australian Bureau of Statistics report of a 21 per cent rise in business investment last year.

Tide’s in but not for Kimberley power THE office of the Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has repeated claims the State Government’s request for firm financial backing for a Kimberley tidal project is just one wish on a long list of those asking for money. A study commissioned by the WA Government to review options for tidal project in the region has concluded that a small-scale tidal power plant for Derby was technically and environmentally feasible, as was a larger operation, which could power the whole West Kimberley region.

Commission is go

THE WA hearings for the Cole Royal Commission into the building industry began in Perth this week, amid Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union protests and claims that the process was not sufficiently inclusive and just a “kangaroo court”. The CFMEU downed tools for a day on more than two dozen construction sites throughout Perth. The State Government denied Opposition comment that the strike was illegal.

Kirby fiasco fallout to continue

THE fall-out over the Kirby affair continued this week with Senator Bill Heffernan apologising to High Court Justice Michael Kirby under directions from Prime Minister John Howard. Mr Howard also asked for Senator Heffernan’s resignation as parliamentary secretary to Cabinet. It was a major back down from the Prime Minister who had earlier refused to criticise Senator Heffernan’s decision to make public allegations against the High Court judge under parliamentary privilege, which sought to undermine the judge’s integrity.

Mr Howard’s reversal came after travel documents Senator Heffernan produced to discredit Justice Kirby were found to be fake.

The heat has now also shifted to Attorney General Daryl Williams, who was forced to defend his position after criticism was levelled at him for not stepping in to support Justice Kirby.

Mr Williams swiftly rejected the criticism that it was his duty to assess and investigate the allegations. Instead, he said it was a matter for the NSW police.

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