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Daily Archives: April 25th, 2009

April 25, 2009 12:01am

CONSTRUCTION has begun at the $118 million Honeymoon uranium mine in SA’s north-east, 37 years after yellowcake was first found at the site.

Canadian-based Uranium One and its Japanese joint venture partner Mitsui & Co are building the mine, which will begin production in the second half of 2010.

The mine is SA’s third and Australia’s fourth uranium mine and the first since the Labor Party scrapped its `no new mines’ policy in 2007.

Uranium One and Mitsui have already invested $39 million in the mine and will spend a further $79 million to bring the mine into production. One hundred and twenty will work on the site during the construction phase until early next year, after which between 50 and 70 people will operate the project.

Four hundred tonnes of uranium oxide will be extracted from the deposit each year, generating $80 million.

Uranium One executive vice president Greg Cochran said the construction of Honeymoon marked a new era of mining development in the state.

“It has been a long time between drinks as some might say in the development of uranium mines in Australia,” he said.

“There is no doubt Honeymoon is unique. For so long it represented the hopes and aspirations of an industry that legitimately wanted to pursue its business, but was artificially withheld and prevented from doing that. Now that has all changed.”

Mr Cochran said Uranium One was also undertaking drilling work at Gould’s Dam, 75 km north-west of Honeymoon, which is earmarked to come on stream as Honeymoon winds up in six years.

“That is our existing plan – we anticipate that Gould’s Dam would be a replacement for Honeymoon.”

Mr Cochran said the design of Honeymoon would allow for plant and equipment to be moved to other mines at a later date. Most of the uranium oxide produced will be sent to Europe, the U.S. or Canada, where it will be converted before being sold to Japanese and European buyers for nuclear energy generation.

Speaking at the ceremony yesterday, Premier Mike Rann said the change in ALP policy would ensure future growth in SA’s mining sector.

“It was critically important for South Australia’s future development, that we changed the policy which was essentially an artificial impediment which would have stopped a whole series of mines from going ahead,” Mr Rann said.

Natasha Bita | April 09, 2009
Article from: The Australian
PAID maternity leave remains affordable despite the global financial crisis, according to secret costings being weighed by the Rudd Government ahead of next month’s budget.

Productivity Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald said yesterday there was “no question” the community could deliver 18 weeks’ paid leave for parents to care for their babies, despite the economic problems.

“The commission is acutely aware of the difficulties for government and business,” he told The Australian. “We certainly put a scheme to the Government we think is implementable. The proposals we put couldn’t possibly harm business too much.”

Mr Fitzgerald’s remarks ahead of the budget deliberations next week will breathe new life into the campaign for parental pay, which lost political momentum as the economy slowed.

The commission recommended working mothers be paid 18 weeks’ leave, based on the adult minimum wage of $544 a week, in a draft report to the Government last September.

Women who were not in the workforce would continue to be paid the $5000 baby bonus.

Small business groups opposed the scheme, calculated to cost taxpayers $450 million a year in paid leave, and business $75million in superannuation payments and administrative costs.

The commission delivered a more “robust analysis” to the Government in February, but the costings remain secret.

Mr Fitzgerald refused to discuss the final report yesterday but said compliance costs were minimal and business would have to spend less than $100 million a year in superannuation payments to parents on baby leave.

“Our view is that the investment … would pay dividends,” he said. “If you can support parents being home with a child for at least the first six months, there are benefits to the children and the parents. It allows a mother to breastfeed her child. It allows greater bonding between the parents and the child in a more stable environment.”

The collapse of the ABC Learning childcare company, and the Government’s planned reforms to the childcare industry, are adding to pressure to implement paid parental leave.

State and territory children’s commissioners have told the Government it would ease pressure on the childcare system.

“To have the best possible outcomes for children’s wellbeing and development, we believe parents need to be supported to spend time at home with their babies through a universal paid parental leave scheme of at least 12 months,” the commissioners of NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and the ACT told the Government in its review of childcare services.

NSW Commissioner for Children Gillian Calvert said the next-best option would be to employ one childcare worker for every two infants. “You can’t provide the sort of interactions infants need in a childcare centre,” she said.

“To do that, there are high staff costs, because you would need a ratio of one carer for two children.”

New mother Kim Futcher, a Brisbane doctor, saved throughout her pregnancy so she could enjoy nine months with daughter Ava, now four months. She plans to return to work part-time in September, but regards the period of bonding with baby as crucial.

“It’s important developmentally because babies need the stimulus and nurturing mum can give,” she said. “I really do feel for women who don’t have the choice to spend time with their little one.”

From correspondents in Auckland, New Zealand
April 21, 2009 09:06am
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A SYDNEY man has triggered a rash of anti-Aussie sentiment across the Tasman after banning an entire New Zealand town from staying at his motel.

Steve Donnelly, the Australian owner of Supreme Motor Lodge in the central North Island town of Palmerston North, has put a block on bookings from any of the 16,000 residents of Wainuiomata, close to the capital, Wellington.

Mr Donnelly, who has lived in New Zealand for two years, claimed the town was full of young “troublemakers” who consistently trashed his motel during visits for sporting events, and says all residents are now banished.

“Having had about a hundred people from there over the last couple of years and maybe one that we liked … it is not worth it and we would do the same to anyone who causes us that level of stress,” he told The Marlborough Express.

But his ban has some New Zealanders spitting tacks.

They say it’s stupid, unfair and outrageous, and have labelled Mr Donnelly the country’s Basil Fawlty, the bumbling John Cleese character in the Fawlty Towers series.

Newspapers have run headlines like “Australian bans town” and a senior Labour politician, Trevor Mallard, born and bred in Wainuiomata, said: “I’m not surprised he’s Australian.”

“His actions show the sort of blind prejudice I thought we didn’t have in New Zealand anymore.”

Another group of prominent residents said they planned to book in just to spite the Australian.

“Give me the the number and I’ll go and book myself in for the week,” one man told the Dominion Post newspaper.

Mr Donnelly, for his part, says he’s furious that New Zealanders are making a point about his home country.

“Whenever something goes on that the Kiwis don’t like they seem to take great pleasure in pointing out the Australian connection,” he said.

“But I don’t get it. Is it that I’m nasty? Is it that I’m short-sighted or arrogant or intolerant, or what?

“Me being an Aussie has got absolutely nothing to do with the awful behaviour of these people, that’s for certain.”

Mr Donnelly said visiting sports teams from the town had consistently behaved badly, spitting, swearing and playing loud music at night.

“I’m not saying there aren’t any nice people in Wainuiomata, but plenty of them are bad and we don’t want them here,” he said.

The Motel Association of New Zealand said the Supreme Motor Lodge was well within its rights to ban a town.,28318,25363739-5014090,00.html?referrer=email&source=eDM_newspulse

April 24, 2009 02:45pm

Coincidence?… The iconic Australian Iced Vo-Vo, and the Krispy Kreme Iced Dough-Vo (inset).

ARNOTT’S, maker of the iconic Iced Vo-Vo biscuit, is threatening legal action against the Krispy Kreme doughnut chain if it doesn’t stop selling “Iced Dough-Vo” doughnuts.

Arnott’s lawyers Mallesons Stephen Jaques on Monday sent a letter to Krispy Kreme alleging Iced Dough-Vo doughnuts infringed the biscuit maker’s intellectual property.

It said the name given to the doughnuts, topped with a pink fondant icing sprinkled with coconut, was deceptively similar to Arnott’s Vo-Vo trademarks and sounded almost identical.

It also said Arnott’s was prepared to take whatever steps necessary to protect the name.

Arnott’s gave the Australian arm of the doughnut chain until 5pm today to stop using the name and to undertake not to use similar names in the future.

However, Krispy Kreme Australia CEO John McGuigan said after taking legal advice, the company had decided to continue selling the Iced Dough-Vo.

He said the Iced Dough-Vo and a Rocky Road doughnut were part of a Fair Dinkum Doughnuts promotion that aimed to “put a smile on the faces of our customers and, in a sense, pay homage to some Aussie household favourites”.

He said Krispy Kreme customers understood the difference between a doughnut and a biscuit.

“The word ‘iced’ is pretty well used, and the word ‘dough’ I don’t think has got anything to do with what Arnott’s do, and the word ‘vo’, I’m not sure what it means, but it goes well with ‘dough’.”

Arnott’s has been using the Vo-Vo, Iced Vo-Vo and Iced Vo Vo trademarks since first registering the Vo-Vo name in 1906.

The much loved Iced Vo-Vo, with its strips of pink fondant and jam sprinkled with coconut, is a favourite of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who mentioned it in his 2007 election victory speech.,27753,25379774-462,00.html

By Malcolm Farr
The Daily Telegraph
April 25, 2009 12:01am

Robin Hood … Treasurer Wayne Swan is expected to slug high earners in the upcoming

THE nation’s big earners, on $150,000 a year or more, will be hit to pay for pension reform.

Earners taking in more than twice the average wage could lose so-called middle-class welfare as the Federal Government prunes “programs that may not be essential”.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said a pledge for long-term pension reform would begin this Budget, with an increase in the single aged payment. He said this would require “additional support from those who are better off”.

The Daily Telegraph has reported that senior ministers are looking at possible cuts in private health insurance subsidies for the well off and elimination of some of their superannuation concessions.

Mr Rudd defended the Government’s growing debt as it funds measures to blunt the impact of recession while also seeing its own revenue shrink.

“Either you completely slash and burn everything government does and throw tens of thousands of extra people on to the unemployment queues and cut funding for hospitals and schools, or you engage in temporary borrowing,” he said.

Mr Rudd again said the increase in the first home owners scheme would end as scheduled on May 30, with subsidies reverting to their original levels.

Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner said the issue was still under consideration in final preparations of the May 12 Budget.

“That issue, along with a number of others, is something we’re still actively considering,” he said.

The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday that the Budget would renew the improved scheme, which doubled the usual payment for buyers of their first home from existing stock to $14,000, and tripled it to $21,000 for first home buyers of new houses.

Around 36,000 people nationally have taken up the higher grants since they began four months ago.

A renewed scheme could emphasise new home construction, an area Mr Rudd said was important.

“This boost has helped keep our housing construction figures up when the rest of the world has been falling,” he said.,27574,25383598-5012587,00.html?referrer=email&source=eDM_newspulse

By Rachel Hewitt
Herald Sun
April 25, 2009 12:01am

THE James Hardie court decision has been described as a “big wake-up call” to the nation’s boardrooms.

Australian Shareholders’ Association chief executive Stuart Wilson said the judgment reinforced the need for non-executive directors to take a “much more meaningful interest” in the companies they serve.

“We have said for a long time that simply turning up to board meetings and reading the board papers on the flight over is insufficient.”

The fallout from the landmark judgment in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday continued as industry groups and governance experts said they expected non-executive company directors would now be more vigilant in their duties, the Herald Sun reports.

Hardie’s former chairwoman Meredith Hellicar, who Justice Ian Gzell described in scathing terms in his judgment, resigned from her remaining corporate role yesterday.

Ms Hellicar, one of seven non-executive directors denounced in the decision, stood down from the board of entertainment, hospitality and tourism company Amalgamated Holdings.

She has also resigned as a director of AMP and left the boards of Garvan Research Foundation, the Sydney Institute and the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

Ms Hellicar and other former Hardie board members are liable for fines of up to $200,000 and disqualification from running a company after the judge found they breached the Corporations Act by approving misleading statements about an asbestos compensation fund in 2001.

Three former executives, including then-chief executive Peter Macdonald, were also found to have breached the Act.

James Hardie said yesterday it was considering an appeal against the judgment.

ASA’s Mr Wilson said the judgment was “a big wake-up call for directors and we would expect an increase in their efforts to deal with issues surrounding risk management.”

He said the judge was “particularly damning” of some of the directors who were in the witness box, “and as shareholders we will have to take those comments into account when looking at some of the other directorships that any director may hold”.

Associate Professor John Howe from Melbourne University’s law school said the decision put directors “on notice” that they needed to be more vigilant about “these sort of public relations exercises”.

“That they (need to) actually make inquiries as to whether the information in the release is accurate rather than just accepting the advice or statements of other directors or even the public relations people”.

Justice Gzell described Ms Hellicar as “a most unsatisfactory witness” and said she “feigned” shock during cross-examination.

Another former board member, Peter Willcox, is now on the Telstra board.

Fellow ex-director Phillip Morley is on the board of biotech company Tyrian Diagnostics.

A spokesman for construction and engineering services company Thomas & Coffey said board member Dan O’Brien, another former James Hardie director, continued to “enjoy the full support of the board”.

“Dan O’Brien has kept the Thomas & Coffey board fully informed with respect to the James Hardie situation,” he told AAP.

“The matter is still before the courts and is not yet finalised.”

Corporate governance group RiskMetrics analyst Martin Lawrence expected there would be a lot of comments about how hard it was to be a non-executive director.

But he said that would have to be weighed against the fact there had not been many successful prosecutions of this kind in Australia.

“There really have not been many cases like this,” Mr Lawrence said.

James Hardie shares were down 8, or 1.89 per cent, to $4.15 yesterday.,27753,25383609-462,00.html?referrer=email&source=eDM_newspulse

Patrick Walters
The Australian
April 25, 2009 12:01am

Military boost … Australia faces a challenging and uncertain security outlook in Asia over the next two decades

KEVIN Rudd is set to announce Australia’s biggest military build-up since World War II, led by a multi-billion-dollar investment in maritime defence, including 100 new F-35 fighters, a doubling of the submarine fleet, and powerful new surface warships.

The new defence white paper will outline plans for a fundamental shake-up of Australia’s defence organisation to ensure that the nation can meet what the Prime Minister sees as a far more challenging and uncertain security outlook in Asia over the next two decades.

China’s steadily growing military might and the prospect of sharper strategic competition among Asia’s great powers are driving the maritime build-up, which will see new-generation submarines and warships equipped with cruise missiles, and a big new investment in anti-submarine warfare and electronic warfare platforms, including new naval helicopters.

The white paper will consider the emerging non-traditional threats to Australia, including cyber security, climate change and its associated risk of large uncontrolled people movements, The Australian reports.

Senior government sources say Mr Rudd has insisted that defence spending remain largely insulated from the Government’s budget difficulties, but the Defence Department will still have to find at least $15 billion of internal savings over the next decade to help pay for the $100 billion-plus long-term equipment plan.

Mr Rudd said yesterday the delivery of the white paper was proving “acutely challenging as we work to defend ourselves from the global economic storm”.

“It is the most difficult environment to frame the Australian budget in modern economic history. It is also the most difficult environment to frame our long-term defence planning in modern economic history as well,” he told the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.

“Nevertheless the Government will not resile even in the difficult times from the requirement for long-term coherence of our defence planning for the long-term security of our nation. This is core business for government.

“That is why we have forged ahead in our preparation of the defence white paper because national security needs do not disappear because of the global recession. If anything, those needs become more acute.”

Funding pressures will mean the navy will not get a fourth air warfare destroyer, and the delivery of the first batch of the RAAF’s F-35 joint strike fighters will slip by at least one year to 2014-15.

The huge cost of paying for the next-generation defence force, due to be detailed in the white paper and the forthcoming 10-year defence capability plan, will have little impact on the defence budget over the the next four years.

Apart from the air warfare destroyers and the F-35 fighters, most of the planned defence purchases will not have to be paid for until well into the next decade and beyond.

Mr Rudd and Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon are expected to release the long-awaited white paper as early as next week, with the more detailed 10-year defence capability plan due to published by mid-year.

The naval build-up will be led by a planned 12-strong submarine fleet expected to replace the Collins-class boats from 2025.

It will enable the RAN to deploy up to seven boats to protect Australia’s northern approaches, including key maritime straits running through the Indonesian archipelago, at times of high threat.

The white paper will outline the requirement for a new class of eight 7000-tonne warships equipped with ballistic missile defence systems similar to the three air warfare destroyers already on order that will eventually replace the Anzac frigates.

A new class of 1500-tonne corvette-size patrol boats able to take a helicopter is slated to replace the Armidale-class vessels from the mid-2020s.

By staff writers

April 24, 2009 08:00am
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A POLICE officer in Scotland has confessed to following the Jedi faith beloved of Star Wars film fans, respected policing analysis group Jane’s reports.

Pam Fleming, a 45-year-old beat officer in Glasgow for Strathclyde Police, said that she thought all police officers “should be Jedis,” when interviewed by Jane’s Police Review.

“For me, it is not a joke,” she said. “Being a Jedi is a way of life.

“I love the Star Wars films and the concept of being a Jedi, that the faith is not divisive.”

Ms Fleming said she knew of other Jedis in Strathclyde Police – the force apparently has eight in total.

She told The Sun she uses Jedi mind tricks to get the truth out of suspects during interviews.

However, Ms Fleming said she does not use her powers to influence what suspects say or do.

“I have even started calling my probationer as a joke my Padawan (Jedi apprentice),” she said, “although I am not sure he likes that.”

Your Say
When Did Dobby become a Jedi Knight? or am i mixing scenes, guess i had too much too smoke this morning.

(Read More)

Gary of Jedi Knight School of Wizards and Witchery According to Britain’s Office for National Statistics, a total of 390,000 people in England and Wales listed their religion as Jedi in the most recent census in 2001.

Scotland has a reported 14,000 followers.

But it noted that this may have been largely due to an internet campaign launched in the run-up to the census. Jedi followers are grouped under atheist.,27574,25378901-13762,00.html

6:13 PM Wednesday February 4, 2009

Tags:Communication, Getting buy-in, Personal effectiveness

Managers of the last century, gave speeches, then had their assistants send snail mail letters with the text, and maybe followed up by a phone call to see if it was received.

Managers of the 21st century send an email and think they’ve taken care of everything. Message received. Action underway. Done deal.


In my experience, people don’t “get” the important messages leaders try to send the first time around. This isn’t intentional, but there’s too much noise and too many distractions. And leaders with a lot of ideas find that people wait to see which ones take priority, which ones will be acted on, and which ones the leader really cares about.

I also find that people don’t automatically read all of their emails or download attachments. They read the subject line to see if they should. If the subject line is blank, there’s a risk that the message will be missed. (I now try to stuff the gist of the message in the subject line.)

Furthermore, even if people hear something once, they don’t necessarily remember that they did. Busy people with multiple projects might forget that something has already been discussed and raise it again at a meeting. Leaders cannot assume that just because it has been said, it has been heard.

So use the principle of redundancy. If the message is very important, send it through multiple media, in various forms, and do it a few times. It seems annoying, I know, but the delete key is so easy to use. I never mind a polite follow up (after a little time has passed), especially if it is easy to respond.

As for speeches, make those headlines dramatic, repeat them several times, and keep the theme going in the next few speeches.

I don’t think redundancy is waste; I think it provides focus. If you want everyone to be on the same page, put the page in front of them conveniently and often.

For sceptics of the Resource Based view of the Firm…


April 13, 2009 – 9:25AM

More than three months into a medical leave from Apple, chief executive Steve Jobs remains closely involved in key aspects of running the company, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Chief operating officer Tim Cook runs the day-to-day operations, but Jobs has continued to work on the company’s most important strategies and products from home, the newspaper said in a story on its website.

He regularly reviews products and product plans, and was particularly involved in the user interface of the new iPhone operating system that Apple unveiled last month, the Journal said.

Jobs, an Apple co-founder who is considered the company’s creative leader, is also involved in the development of future projects, the paper said, citing people with knowledge of the company’s strategy.

Jobs, 54, who was treated in 2004 for a rare form of pancreatic cancer, took a medical leave in early January, saying he would return in June and would remain involved in “major strategic decisions while I am out.”

But he has made no public appearances or statements since then, and it has been unclear just how involved he continued to be, the Journal said.

Jobs didn’t respond to requests for comment, the paper said. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling told the Journal: “Steve continues to look forward to returning to Apple at the end of June.”

Apple stock has suffered since last summer on speculation about his condition.