What a bemusing coincidence that AMP and Unions NSW should both find themselves in very much the same pickle – having to defend legal actions arising from accepting low bids for prize assets. Neither body’s reputation will be enhanced as details come to light.

It is also bemusing that both fights are being led by the unsuccessful over-bidders rather than the parties one might think were most disadvantaged by the way the sales were conducted, respectively AMP shareholders and NSW union members.

As reported by the Oz’s Susannah Moran, AACo’s barrister Alan Myers QC already has an interesting tale to tell of potential conflicts of interests and strange behaviour as he pursues allegations of deceptive and misleading conduct.

But when it comes to strange behaviour, it’s very hard to beat the old NSW Labor Council and the government it shares with various developers and gambling houses.

The mysterious flogging of the Pittwater waterfront property Currawong for half the top bid has already raised plenty of eyebrows and attracted the federal parliamentary interest of Tony Abbott, but the closeness of relationships and potential conflicts are brought together very nicely, perhaps provocatively, by Elizabeth Farrelly in the SMH.

It should be enough to say the yarn involves Michael Costa, Frank Sartor and various Labor mates and appointees. Throw in waterfront property and you have a very, very Sydney story.

There is indeed more to do but it’s not at all clear they’re on the right track.

Peter Fray

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