OneSteel one day, Arrium the next. OneSteel CEO Geoff Plummer admitted over the weekend that his company’s new name, Arrium, is a made-up word.

“But when it has to work in all those countries and it’s got to be safe when you Google it, you often fall back to made-up words,” he told the ABC’s Alan Kohler yesterday.

Like Gunns, the company — which will receive over $60 million in carbon tax compensation from the government — hopes the name change will help boost its dwindling share price. The name change seems eminently sensible, given mining now accounts for 80% of OneSteel’s business.

Christine Milne lashes Business Council. New leader Christine Milne has made boosting the Greens’ economic credentials one of her top priorities, but she isn’t going to do it by cuddling up to big business lobby groups.

Milne, who features on our current Canberra power list, took aim at the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group and the Australian Chamber of Commerce over the weekend, accusing them of being stuck in the 20th century.

“What we badly need is a new organisation for progressive business that stands up clearly and says ‘the big challenge for this century is climate change and decarbonising the economy, and we need to see this as an opportunity to diversify the Australian economy’,” she told The Australian Financial Review.

Alan Jones’ Kroger power play falls flat. Sydney shock jock Alan Jones backed her. So did Barnaby Joyce. And her ex-husband, former Victorian Liberal Party president Michael Kroger. But that didn’t save Helen Kroger, Tony Abbott’s chief whip in the Senate, from being demoted from a safe position on the Victorian Senate ticket over the weekend.

Scott Ryan, the Coalition’s small business spokesperson, will take Kroger’s number two spot, leaving her in the more precarious position of number three. Ryan was backed by retired Senator Nick Minchin, ranked no. 7 on our political fixers list last year.

In the lead-up to the vote, Jones described Kroger as ”an ornament to the party and to the national political process” and “a woman with the stamp of leadership written emphatically within her DNA”.

Our number two megaphone, of course, has never wielded much clout south of the border. The real development to watch is whether the result signals the end of the era of Costello-Kroger factional dominance in Victoria.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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