The departure of David Gyngell from the top job at Nine has all the
hallmarks of panic – and it was Kerry Packer who was doing the
panicking, says Elizabeth Knight in the SMH. It
doesn’t really matter whether Gyngell resigned after or before Sam
Chisholm was elevated to the post, she says, because it’s clear that
Packer didn’t trust Gyngell’s management talents sufficiently to leave
Nine in the hands of the 39-year-old former surf shop owner.

All-out
war has been declared between Lend Lease and General Property Trust,
after GPT’s top managers were locked out of the Sydney office the two
companies share last night, reports Carolyn Cummins in the Smage. Lend Lease announced it would offer GPT unit holders an alternative proposal on the internalisation of management today.

Communications
Minister Helen Coonan wants to free the media industry from its present
ownership restrictions as early as the end of this year, reports the Fin Review. The minister says she’s committed to removing an ownership regime that gives media companies no room to move. Also in the AFR,
outgoing Wesfarmer’s chief executive Michael Chaney has predicted a
“colossal” increase in earnings for the 2006 financial year, as he
seeks to reassure investors that his replacement Richard Goyder will
inherit a growing company despite a slew of bad news.

Australian
entrepreneurs are in Moscow all this week to promote both traditional
and novel goods from the Antipodes on the fast-growing Russian market,
reports Helen Womack in the Herald. Australia Week is Australia’s biggest trading event this year and its largest ever exhibition in Russia. And in The Age’sStrictly Private
column, Christopher Webb says that apart from playing poker with the
Spaniards over the listed Pacific Hydro, Garry Arthur Weaven is also
presiding over some smaller matters, such as dropping a writ for more
than $10 million into AMP’s lap. The Weaven associated Industry Funds
Management (Nominees) infrastructure funds group has issued proceedings
against two AMP companies, alleging they did not act honestly and in
good faith.

The Australianreports
that NAB will today announce a global restructure, which includes 4000
job cuts, the closure of one-fifth of its branch network in Britain and
retreating from Asia. Also in the Oz,
sales in Westfield Group’s 40 Australian shopping centres defied the
gloomy retail market, growing 6.1 per cent to $15.6 billion in the year
to March 31.

Peter Fray

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