The Fin
leads with the news that AWB directors discussed their own liability over the company’s payment of kickbacks to
Iraq and even predicted it could spark a royal

And BHP Billiton CFO
Chris Lynch yesterday emerged as the big winner from the latest management
shake-up at the world’s biggest mining company, reportsThe Australian, succeeding Bob Kirkby to head its key iron ore and coal
division, Carbon Steel Materials.

BHP is taking the
opportunity presented by Kirkby’s retirement to fine-tune its succession
planning for the day chief executive Chip Goodyear decides it’s no longer fun
at the top, says Barry FitzGerald in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Meanwhile, the new boss of BHP’s
iron ore, coking coal and manganese operations is both hard and
well-disciplined, says Matthew Stevens in The Oz. Which is a very good thing, says the Fin‘s John Durie, because he takes over at what must be the peak of
the market in price terms, with maximum pressure on project management as
demand is tipped to remain strong.

Sydney Gas’s application to the Takeovers Panel will refocus
attention on the issue of whether scrip bidders should be required to provide
target shareholders with earnings forecasts, says Bryan Frith in The Australian.

And in The Smage,
Alan Kohler wonders whether Babcock & Brown Wind Partners (BBW) is the high
watermark of Australia’s
infrastructure bubble: “A
performance fee of double the cash flow? That’s a good one.”

In other news, Qantas’s plans to pay the pilots of its proposed low-cost Asian
airline up to
$100,000 less than their mainline counterparts looks set to end in tears… The future of Australia’s
trade relations with China
is uncertain after the Chinese Government moved to control the
price it pays for Australian iron ore to feed its booming economy… And the latest twist in the Myer sale saga has the Myer
family on the verge of regaining the 106-year-old department store business.

On Wall Street, US
stocks ended mixed Tuesday
with gains for General Motors offset by a disappointing
outlook from Texas Instruments. The Dow Jones rose 22.10 points to

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey