Crikey obviously does not think I have an inherent and ongoing conflict of
interest in going into a joint venture with Carnegie Wylie, because if it did
it would say so. Instead, yesterday’s item talked about a “possible conflict of
interest that could arise”. So did a conflict arise with my piece on Pacific
Hydro or not? I did not discuss Pacific Hydro with anyone from Carnegie Wylie
last week and never have, and the piece on Saturday was not favourable to the
firm or its client.

Other clients include BHP Billiton, Coles Myer and Lend Lease (to name a few I
know about). I’ve written about or interviewed all of those companies in the
past few weeks – in each case there has been no contact with Carnegie Wylie. So
what was the basis of his item yesterday hinting at a conflict of interest on
Pacific Hydro? That he thought there might have been a possible conflict, but
then he found out there wasn’t? Or perhaps he just doesn’t believe I had no
contact with Carnegie Wylie.

He says “so sensitive is Kohler to this potential conflict of interest that he
had sworn off talking to Mark Carnegie and John Wylie for any Fairfax column or Inside Business story”. How about scrupulous?

Yes, I’m sensitive about it. My reputation is my livelihood and Stephen Mayne
casually impugns it. Are we going to have a Kohler/Carnegie Wylie watch? Every
time I write about a client of the firm is it time for an item about “a
possible conflict of interest that could arise”, or will it be just when
Stephen feels like it, or has nothing else to write about?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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