Angela Priestley, editor of The Power Index, writes:

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Here’s today’s latest profile from our Top 10 Most Powerful Political Fixers:

Top 10 Political Fixers #7: Nick Minchin. Leader of the Right and keeper of the Howard flame, Nick Minchin is still regarded by some as the Liberal Party’s spiritual leader.

“He’s the Mullah Omah of the Libs,” says one prominent party moderate, “a hero to the likes of Santo Santoro and Eric Abetz.”

Tallish, thin, greying and bespectacled, the ascetic South Australian senator announced he was leaving full-time politics in June 2010 and left the Senate a year later. But he can still rally supporters to his cause, as he proved days before his departure, when he lobbied for Alan Stockdale to beat off Peter Reith’s bid to grab the job of Liberal Party president.

“He’s the only Liberal with the muscle of the ALP powerbrokers,” says one party insider, who claims Minchin can count on the vote of a third of the Liberals in federal parliament. But the real question is: will his power will survive retirement? — Paul Barry (read the rest here)

Money mover helps gallery acquire $5.2 million painting. The National Gallery of Victoria has made a splash in the art world, acquiring its most-expensive ever painting — an Italian Renaissance painting by Correggio — for $5.2 million. The purchase of Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist was made with the help of a single trustee, Melbourne fund manager Andrew Sisson.

Sisson, a rebel fund manager who famously stared down a private equity bid for Qantas a few years ago, is flush with cash at the moment after recently selling his Balanced Equity Management firm to US giant Franklin Templeton. — Tom Cowie (read the rest here)

Alan Joyce finds friend in market. Qantas chief Alan Joyce may be having a difficult week attempting to sell his restructure for the business, but there’s one key supporter backing him — the market.

Qantas shares closed five cents higher yesterday at $1.575. This followed a relatively slow day Tuesday when Joyce announced that the airline would axe 1000 jobs in Australia, launch two new airlines in Asia and put in an order for new aircraft worth billions of dollars.

The rally came in the face of politicians, unions, pilots, engineers and some parts of the media urging Joyce to re-think the plans. — Angela Priestley (read the rest here)

Bolt and Negus back for Ten in 2012. Channel Ten programming boss David Mott has decided to bring back Andrew Bolt’s The Bolt Report, as well as 6.30 with George Negus next year, despite their dismal ratings performances.

Mott made the announcement as part of the network’s 2012 line-up announcement to of an audience of advertisers and media buyers in Sydney last night. — Matthew Knott (read the rest here)

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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