Illustration: John Shakespeare.
With airlines in such a parlous state, I guess you gotta do what you can to make a buck.
And Qantas appears to be doing just that with the appropriately named Qantas Cash card.
The unsolicited debit card mailout to up to 12 million frequent flyer program members - including a controversial opt-in feature for 16- to 18-year-olds - is now under the scrutiny of a Senate inquiry.
But a lesser known feature ensures fees are generated from those who activate the cards but then don't use them.
A reference to page 13 of its product disclosure statement reveals you will incur a $1 charge at the start of the month if you have not made any transactions over the previous year.
Business mosh pit
Aussie PM Tony Abbott and Kiwi counterpart John Key forced their lunch guests to wait half an hour at the Trans Tasman Business Circle shindig on Friday. Not that it dimmed the excitement of the warm-up act, Commonwealth Bank chief executive, and honorary Aussie, Ian Narev.
''This is the political equivalent of the Big Day Out,'' he said. ''It's all about bringing the big acts together.''
Hmmm, the Big Day Out for CBD conjures images of sweaty kids with no T-shirts going nuts - the closest equivalent at the luncheon would have been Abbott in his budgie smugglers talking about unions.
Spotted in the audience were former federal pollie Bruce Baird, who was in an intense discussion with Virgin chief John Borghetti.
Southern Cross Media and Sydney Airports chairman Max ''The Axe'' Moore-Wilton made an appearance along with NAB chief Cameron Clyne.
BCA chief Tony Shepherd, who is also heading Abbott's Commission of Audit, was there too, as well as PM-in-waiting Malcolm Turnbull.
Qantas boss Alan Joyce was a no-show but he will be speaking at a Friends of Tourism event in Canberra on Thursday night.
We are sure he will be keen to befriend any federal minister he meets as Qantas seeks to win a helping hand from the taxpayer.
Fun at News
New News Corp chief Robert Thomson was keeping everyone amused on Friday as Rupert Murdoch's print fortress continues to cement over the Kim ''Jong Il'' Williams era at local HQ.
"Under the new leadership of Julian Clarke, who is certainly an inspiring character, there has been an improvement in the atmosphere and as crucially in the outreach to advertisers," Mr Thomson said during the quarterly results.
It probably distracted a few people from checking the latest bill from the British phone hacking scandal. News Corp reported that it incurred for the quarter ''gross fees and costs of $US51 million related to the UK Newspaper Matters compared to $US49 million incurred in the prior (corresponding period)''.
Kenny's Indus exit
All's well that ends well.
Indus Coal executive director John Kenny considered his options and his exit from the Indonesia-focused explorer ''effective immediately'', the company reports.
Kenny's decision came days after his fellow directors unanimously backed an investor resolution to turf him from the board.
''Mr Kenny was a founding shareholder and director of Indus and remains a committed and supportive shareholder,'' Indus chairman Scott Douglass said in a statement to the ASX.
Riley's Buru sale
Late filings from the East African outpost of Perth report that Buru Energy chairman Graham Riley has parted ways with 1.5 million shares worth about $3 million ''pursuant to an order of the Family Court of Western Australia''.
The stock got a big boost on Friday with the company announcing it has successfully completed its first oil shipment, which is now heading to refineries in south-east Asia.
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