If you can’t say something nice ...
Christmas is usually a time for goodwill, but perhaps the end of financial year offers another opportunity for business people, politicians and bureaucrats to be nice to one another.
It started over in Queensland, where Hancock Prospecting executive director Tad Watroba got all warm and fuzzy about his boss, Gina Rinehart, when speaking at the launch of the company’s first export of coal from the Galilee Basin.
“With our earlier successful development of a part of our iron assets in Western Australia, Mrs Rinehart could just have, after repaying the banks, cashed the income and indulged herself in a high flyer lifestyle, sailing yachts in the Mediterranean or Caribbean, flying around the world in a new private jet, as some iron ore ‘kings’ do,” Mr Watroba said.
Instead, he said, Mrs Rinehart allocated that money to development. Not just anywhere, he added, her spending was in Australia, unlike multinationals and a lot of other companies.
Of course the goodwill wasn’t just one way. Mr Watroba acknowledged that one of the key parts of the Galilee Basin development was “graciously” renamed Tad’s Corner last year.
Back in the west, The Note discovered that Troy Buswell, recently restored to state cabinet after a period in the political sin bin, was already winning fans in his portfolios of housing and transport.
Property developer Nigel Satterley said Mr Buswell’s contribution had been outstanding, if brief.
“He gets things moving and is doing all he can to make home ownership more achievable,” Mr Satterley said.
Mr Satterley wasn’t as effusive as key transport mandarin Reece Waldock at a recent event, which outlined the future of Fremantle port.
“I have been in transport for nearly 20 years and I have always had wonderful ministers as you would expect, but I don’t think I have had a minister with the interest and understanding and, I think, passion in ports ever before,” Mr Waldock said.
Fremantle seems to generate that kind of thing.