CBD Sydney: Traces of loyalty in hunt for Turnbull superspreaders – Sydney Morning Herald

Posted: June 1, 2020 at 3:49 am

Safe to assume Citowicki isnt popular with the Morrison office at present, given his actions presumably helped put the PMO at the centre of the investigation. For his part, Grant isnt prepared to comment, except to say there have been more settlements since mid-May and there are more coming.

Australias minted tech duo Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar are sitting pretty on the Australian Financial Reviews pandemic rich list with fortunes totalling $18.7 billion and $18.5 billion respectively.

But the thing about a multibillion-dollar paper fortune generated from their software business, Atlassian, is that its not going to pay the upkeep on their matching Double Bay harbourfront estates - let alone Cannon-Brookes green energy crusade.

Those pursuits require cash, which probably explains why Atlassian slipped out a modest two-page announcement early Saturday morning to explain how the Farquhar-Cannon-Brookes brains trust will be keeping themselves adequately supplied with jeans and hoodies over the next year.

The release to the US Nasdaq contained their trading plans for the coming year, detailing how many of their shares they expect to part with to pay the bills. It also said they each planned to sell up to 2.34 million Class B Atlassian shares, which convert to Class A shares before sale.

Whats the difference? As the release tells us Each Class B ordinary share is entitled to ten votes and each Class A ordinary share is entitled to one vote. Unsurprisingly, the Farquhar-Cannon-Brookes control most of the Class B shares.

As of Fridays close, Class A shares were fetching $US185.30. That would net the duo $US433 million each if they each sell all their 2.34 million share allowance, working out about $1.3 billion between them.

And its not like they need to choose between cash and control. Even if they sell up the full allocation, the duo would still hold more than 114 million Atlassian Class B shares. That works out about just under half of all the shares on issue and will still leave them with 88.79 per cent of all voting rights for the company. Not bad at all.

Southern Cross Media Group caught the attention of the media industry this week when its share price jumped 27 per cent on Wednesday. It was a surprising turn of events in a sector better known at the moment for job cuts and pay freezes.

So its little wonder the Australian Security Exchangess listing compliance adviser Dean Litis issued the company with a please explain.

And while it still isnt clear what exactly drove the spike, a change of directors note on Friday did pique our interest: it appears chief executive Grant Blackleys daughters, Olivia and Emily, are quite savvy investors. The pair, both long-term holders of the stock and each had 75,051 shares in their fathers business, both disposed of almost 50,000. Thats about $7000 each. Not a bad result, but it also raises the question - whats there to splash cash on during a pandemic? Presumably, not backpacking.

Given the vice-like grip Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has on the wowser-in-chief title, its hard to remember the days when his government actually kicked up heels.

But new documents released under a Freedom of Information request remind us that once upon a time the Andrews government knew how to party and knew how to spend vast amounts of cash, all in the aid of having a good time.

Government records tallying the amount of cash the government has spent on catering and hospitality - make that, good times - show Andrews Department of Cabinet spent $1.2 million in fiscal 2017. This figure rose to $1.3 million in 2018.

And they were good times. Just ask US Presidential candidate Joe Biden, whose state-sponsored bash in 2016 to coincide with his trip to meet Malcolm Turnbull, cost Victoria $87,000 out of the 2017 total.

Samantha is the The Age's CBD columnist. She recently covered Victorian and NSW politics and business for News Corp, and previously worked for the Australian Financial Review.

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CBD Sydney: Traces of loyalty in hunt for Turnbull superspreaders - Sydney Morning Herald

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