Heather Ridout raises the ideological wars. Outgoing Australian Industry chief executive Heather Ridout has shown no signs of slowing down her lobbying ways, despite her new job as a board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Our No. 2 lobbyist — for her work at Ai Group — has slammed the Greens in an interview with The Australian Financial Review, saying the party was threatening jobs, investment and living standards with its “hard-nosed, ideological stance”.

The comments came in response to new Greens leader Christine Milne, who yesterday said the Business Council of Australia was stuck in the past.

Queensland gets a new police minister. Queensland has a new police minister, just 13 days after the state’s last police minister, David Gibson, was officially sworn in.

Bundaberg MP Jack Dempsey will take up the role after Gibson last night resigned from Campbell Newman’s government due to traffic infringement allegations.

Dempsey will give up his current responsibilities as Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs to take on the new job — which he appears more suited given his background as a local police sergeant. Let’s see if he can outlast his predecessor.

Goodbye Sydney Entertainment Centre. NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has officially handed the Sydney Entertainment Centre the same fate as its public transport cousin, the monorail.

In his long-expected announcement regarding the $1 billion overhaul of the Sydney Entertainment and Convention and Exhibition Centre precinct at Darling Harbour, O’Farrell today outlined plans to demolish the 30-year-old centre in order to make way for the new facilities.

The premier’s showing no signs of being modest about just what the new site will do for Sydney and, he hopes, his government’s legacy: “The NSW government is creating a vibrant world-class convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct at Darling Harbour that will keep Sydney centre stage as Australia’s global city,” he said today.

The Nick Greiner-led Infrastructure NSW will lead the development, via a public/private partnership.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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