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The Power 50 for 2013

It’s a new political and economic era – so who’s pulling the strings? Who are the 50 most powerful people in Australia? Crikey’s crack editorial team has debated the contenders and delivers the verdict, across politics, business, media and beyond.

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The Power Index: election deciders, campaign directors #1

Crikey has been counting down the most powerful people in the fight for the 2013 federal election. Here’s our number one: the campaign directors. Who are these people, and what tack are they taking in 2013?

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The Power Index: election deciders, the fixers at #2

Our top pollies’ chiefs of staff Ben Hubbard and Peta Credlin are invaluable to their respective leaders, sending their troops into battle, calming hot tempers and negotiating back-room deals. The Power Index finds out what makes these political powerbrokers tick.

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The Power Index: election deciders, the spinners at #3

The election is roughly 100 days away, and the parties’ spinners are fired up — planting stories, shilling images, shaping the message and the nightly news. These wily party types massage the message and try to get their candidate’s face on TV — for all the right reasons. But do Gillard and Abbott have the best spinners in place?

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The Power Index: election deciders, trade unions at #4

That the industrial relations issue has been neutralised in the federal election campaign is testament to the power unions still hold over federal politics. Can the labour movement regroup to help Labor at the polls in 2013?

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The Power Index: election deciders, corporate lobbyists at #5

Government not spruiking your particular corporate interest enough? No worries — just take to the airwaves yourself with a relatively small ad buy, as these special interests have done, and you can easily influence policy, win elections and even topple leaders.

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The Power Index: election deciders, the tabloid editors at #9

How much power do the nation’s tabloid editors really wield when it comes to influencing our electoral process? Plenty, if you believe political operatives. Not only for what’s in print but how they influence the agenda for the rest of the day. For Labor it’s a lost cause.

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Cracks in the glass ceiling: women wielding power on boards

Female company directors control twice as much capital than their representation on ASX companies would suggest, suggesting the fight for boardroom equality is closer than first thought.

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The Power Index: it’s who Malcolm Broomhead knows that counts

Nobody is more connected in Australian business than former Orica chief Malcolm Broomhead. That’s the result of The Power Index crunching Optimice’s data on a boardroom connectedness basis.

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The Power Index: biz directors, Robert Millner at #5

Robert Millner flies under the radar of corporate Australia. But with tentacles in a number of key markets, his family-backed conglomerate of interests and chairmanships makes him one of the most influential directors in Australian business. And a target of shareholder fury.

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The Power Index: biz directors, Bob Every at #7

Bob Every is responsible for a lot of jobs as chairman of retail giant Wesfarmers and building products manufacturer Boral. But the corporate veteran who helps steer the country’s biggest retailers — and dolls out big salaries to its bosses — would rather talk about his charity work.

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The Power Index: follow the wealth to powerful directors

As The Power Index counts down Australia’s most influential business directors, the market capitalisation of ASX companies throws up new names as controllers of the country’s corporate wealth. Sitting in a mining company boardroom is the best bet.

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The Power Index: biz directors, Kevin McCann at #8

A failed political tilt turned into a glittering corporate career for Kevin McCann, who steers the boards of millionaire factory Macquarie and Origin Energy among other high-profile business gigs. Name nearly any sector of the Australian economy and he’s touched it.

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The Power Index: biz directors, Roger Corbett at #9

From former Woolworths boss to chairman of a failing media brand, Roger Corbett’s stocks have fallen dramatically in recent years. But he remains among the most powerful business directors in the country through a wide-ranging collection of ASX gigs.

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Who’s the most powerful person in Australian boardrooms?

Who are the most powerful people in Australian boardrooms? Beyond the bosses, a small clutch of well-connected, highly influential directors are driving corporate strategy.

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THE POWER INDEX | FEDERAL|

The queen of arts funding in Oz

Kathy Keele is well acquainted with the f-word. As boss of the Australia Council, she’s responsible for distributing more than $170 million worth of government funding for the arts every year. Tom Cowie chats with her about her power.

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The Power Index: the #1 rich crusader is … Graeme Wood

Internet entrepreneur Graeme Wood is not a billionaire. And he hasn’t made it into Wayne Swan’s terrible trio of greedy rich people who oppose the Gillard government. Yet. But he’s doing his level best. And he’s taken out our title of No. 1 Rich Crusader. In 2010, Wood set a new Australian record for political […]

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Follow the Power: big dollars for new NGV boss … footy billionaire soapie … Conroy smiles …

Frank Lowy hits back at Clive Palmer, Stephen Conroy gets a win, art world salaries ramp up and Clover Moore could be up against US-style primaries. Here’s a run-down of today’s power moves by Angela Priestley.

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When diving into PR it’s the degree of difficulty

The Power Index’s top 10 PR people raises some fascinating questions about how you judge PR people.

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THE POWER INDEX | ADVERTISING|

“Show pony” PR spinner Sue Cato

When the media pack is baying for blood, PR spinner Sue Cato is the one you want in your corner. Matthew Knott profiles the controversial spin doctor who’s helped Mark McInnes, Gunns and Bill Henson.

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THE POWER INDEX | FEDERAL|

The spin doctor who’ll go where others refuse

Toby Ralph has no office, no job title and no qualms about spinning for the forces of darkness. “I’ll work for anyone who pays me,” Liberal campaign veteran Ralph tells Matthew Knott< .

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THE POWER INDEX | LINKS|

Julian Assange: Australia’s most powerful thinker

Townsville’s most famous former computer hacker is changing how the media and diplomats operate. Julian Assange speaks Tom Cowie about the role of WikiLeaks and its power.

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THE POWER INDEX | FEDERAL|

The divisive feminist

When it comes to pulling down the patriarchy, there aren’t too many in the sisterhood willing to go in as hard, or as often, as Leslie Cannold, writes Tom Cowie, in this profile on the influential feminist.

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THE POWER INDEX | LINKS|

Dictator Watch: the ten you need to know about

It’s been a bad year for dictators, especially in the Middle East. There they were, cruising along comfortably for 30 or 40 years, terrorising their subjects and stashing billions in Switzerland, and suddenly it all fell apart, writes Paul Barry.

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THE POWER INDEX | LINKS|

The boss of Seven, Kerry Stokes

Kerry Stokes is one of our last old-style media moguls, but he’s no Lord Copper. But even though he controls Channel Seven, Pacific Magazines and The West Australian, he tells Paul Barry that he doesn’t wield any power.

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