Illustration: Simon Letch
''SHOVE them up your arse.'' That's how outgoing Cabcharge director Sharon Doyle responded to efforts to get the taxi payments system operator to participate in a survey of corporate carbon emissions.
She also told the chief executive of the Investor Group on Climate Change, Nathan Fabian, that he was ''completely brain dead'', a halfwit and an idiot.
After less than a year at the boardroom table, Doyle is retiring as a director of Cabcharge at its annual meeting on Wednesday.
But the stoush took place in 2010, when she was Cabcharge's company secretary. Back then, the IGCC, which provides research on the effects of climate change to institutional members including CBUS, Perpetual and UBS, was questioning companies on behalf of the Carbon Disclosure Project, a survey of the carbon emissions of about 3000 companies around the world. (The CDP has since taken over the Australian survey.)
On June 5, 2010, the CDP team at the IGCC sent an email to Cabcharge reminding the company that it hadn't responded to the survey, sent out in February.
The team pointed out it was acting on behalf of many large instos, ''likely to own a significant proportion of your company and have asked for the information request to be completed''.
While the deadline for responses had passed, Cabcharge was offered an extension to June 30. By return email Doyle asked for details of the investors represented by the IGCC.
''It seems very strange that they would request the information form [sic] you when in fact we have a very open line of communication here with investors,'' she wrote.
Fabian responded on June 9, referring Doyle to the list of members on the IGCC website.
''We are not in the habit of providing contact details, but we will certainly relay your written communication and advise these investors of your decision regarding participation,'' he said.
Mild words, perhaps, but Doyle was unimpressed.
''For the record I would appreciate a copy of the email to which you claim I sent but I suspect there isn't one and this just part of your tactics to try and make me regret not filling in your self-serving and no doubt time-consuming survey so the company you work for can gain some credibility and somehow make money,'' she said in a June 10 email.
She said Cabcharge's ''dedication to the environment is second to none. Of particular annoyance to me however is the attitude of organisations like the one you are employed by that try and wring as much money out of the topic as possible by providing information to investors about how each company deals with it.
''I would almost place a bet on the fact that the organisation that you work for couldn't give a collective rats clacker about the effect of the environment, although I suspect that your company should be replanting a forest in South America on a daily basis to make up for the global warming from the hot air you all produce over there.
''I do not appreciate your tactics Nathan and would ask that you cease and desist from any further attempts to bully Cabcharge into providing you information so that you can on sell it.''
FABIAN responded on June 28 with a note pointing out the email Doyle doubted was to be found at the bottom of the email chain in which she was participating. Cabcharge would be recorded as having declined to participate in the survey, he said.
It was this missive that provoked the allegations of brain death, half-wittedness and idiocy.
''I have absolutely no problem with you including my correspondence in whatever publication that surprisingly somehow allows you to be gainfully employed,'' Doyle wrote back that day. ''In fact Nathan, subject to you being comfortable with everyone realising that you are in fact as I suspected completely brain dead I would be more than delighted for you [to] share that fact with the world.
''I do not usually provide gratuitous legal advice to idiots incapable of independent thought but if you do publish the emails Nathan it is you who has published them so when the jokes about you start circulating please do not think that I will in any way be liable for the outcome to your reputation (if you have one).''
She told Fabian that ''attempted blackmail isn't really the best way to go about luring potential clients but I must say Nathan that I would not have expected anything less from you. Now take your publication and your threats Nathan and shove them up your arse.''
Fabian confirmed the email chain was genuine but declined to comment on its content.
''IGCC never charged anyone to participate in the CDP,'' he told CBD. He said the organisation did not charge for its reports, which are available on its website. Doyle has yet to return CBD's call.
NO SIGNS of board evolution at Genesis, where angry shareholders led by interim Ivanhoe CEO Ines Scotland sacked all but two directors at the gold explorer's annual meeting on Monday. Instead, one big shareholder proposes a judgment day at which the sacked board would rise from the earth to be remade flesh and blood.
In a notice lodged on Monday, Lim Kim Heng told the ASX that the 18.1 per cent of Genesis shares held by his company, S Active Holding, was not voted at the meeting ''due to a technical error in completing the proxy form''.
Lim said he was aware that seven of eight resolutions put to the meeting had failed but believed they would have passed ''if S Active had been permitted to exercise its substantial voting power''. He called for an extraordinary general meeting to reappoint the four directors sacked on Monday and increase the director remuneration pool to $300,000.
Genesis told the exchange that it will hold a meeting within 21 days, and use the ''opportune moment'' to resubmit a motion that was the subject of some confusion on Monday.
The motion, to ratify the issue of 11.8 million shares at 12¢ each, was on the notice paper as a special resolution, requiring a 75 per cent majority, but barely scraped home at the meeting when it was voted on as an ordinary resolution, requiring 50 per cent. And the name of the company to whom the shares were issued? S Active Holding.