Illustration: John Shakespeare.
COULD former Echo chief executive Larry Mullin be in line for a new gig?
Mullin was one of the casino executives to flee the Star City operator in September after chairman John Story was forced to resign under pressure from 10 per cent shareholder James ''Slim Jim'' Packer (an episode that drew the ire of corporate plod Greg Medcraft).
While the Echo drama put Mullin between a rock and a hard place, CBD hears whispers that a hard rock may be in his future, in the shape of the top job at the Hard Rock Casino in Florida.
The casino, run under the auspices of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, claims to be the best in south Florida.
When his departure was announced, Mullin was reported to be looking at a move back to the US when his Echo term expires at the end of next month.
The shift would put space between Mullin and Slim Jim, who retreated to friendlier Asian territory after the Las Vegas arm of his Crown empire was ravaged by the GFC.
That friendly territory appears to include the Australian Financial Review, where Packer made yet another appearance on Friday, photographed inside his Melbourne pokies palace at the Club 23 bar associated with racetrack buddy Shane Warne.
CONGRATULATIONS to BHP Billiton government relations manager Christian Bennett, who was in Canberra on Friday night to win a Walkley award - or, at least, witness his contribution towards a gong. Bennett had a big, if unwitting, role in the broadcast interviewing prize taken home by ABC TV's Leigh Sales for her 7.30 interrogation of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in August.
That's the interview where Abbott, who had been claiming BHP mothballed its Olympic Dam project because of the government's carbon and mining taxes, had to admit that he hadn't read the BHP press release saying the decision was instead due to ''subdued commodity prices and higher capital costs''.
It was Bennett who made sure the Opposition Leader's office got a copy of the BHP statement in the first place, but on the night he seemed embarrassed by his hand in the prizewinning moment.
His head was in his hands as the clip of Abbott's admission got an airing on the big screen in Parliament House's Great Hall.
Get it in the neck
IT'S the burning issue confronting Canberra.
No, not union slush funds, misogyny or refugee boats.
Specifically, the ones adorning the necks of the Comcar drivers who whisk political bigwigs from doorstop to photo op, from public speaking to cabinet meeting.
Under the Comcar customer service charter, drivers are expected to ''wear the appropriate uniform and ensure proper personal hygiene''.
While the second requirement is easily met using a stick of roll-on, it seems the first has become impossible because the Department of Finance, which runs the limo service, no longer believes the Comcar uniform is up to scratch. Even though Finance style police have no problem with the jackets, trousers, skirts, vests and socks issued to drivers, the department has called for tenders to supply new uniforms.
They're just not that keen on the neckties worn by female staff, which as far as CBD can determine were last updated in 1999.
''Overall, Finance is happy with the current colour combinations and style of the uniform, with the exception of the neckwear as well as the collar on the female blouse, which we feel needs to be changed,'' the department says in a tender document.
Sadly, while they know that they don't like the current design, which is ''not currently functional or a particularly modern style'', Finance's fashion victims don't appear to know what they would like instead.
''Finance has no particular style ideas in mind and is happy for tenderers to put forward suggestions of new neckwear as part of their tender submission,'' they unhelpfully say.
Down to business
MOST politicians fled the nation's capital on Thursday night, following the end of the sitting year, leaving Finance Minister Penny Wong and opposition telco spokesman Malcolm Turnbull looking a trifle lonely as they braved a room full of increasingly intoxicated hacks.
But there were plenty of business types at the Walkleys to press the flesh of the fourth estate, with Industry Super Network boss David Whitelely and Qantas spin chief Olivia Wirth among those spotted working the room.
While Australia Post sponsored an award, there was no sign of Australia's highest-paid public servant, chief postie Ahmed Fahour.
Perhaps his invitation got lost in the post.
PARTIAL victory for rebel shareholders at Golden Gate Petroleum, with non-executive directors Frank Petruzzelli and Frank Brophy resigning on Friday afternoon.
Also scoring a victory last week were rebels at biotech minnow Bioxyne led by an Octa Phillip fund, with Bill Harrison kicked off the board and the remuneration report given the thumbs down at the company's annual meeting on Thursday and chairman
Ian Mutton resigning after the get-together.
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