Thursday, December 17, 2009

November unemployment

Statistical gyrations of the last few months up, then down, returned to somewhere in the middle in the latest ABS Labour Force numbers for FNQ released this morning. The official unemployment stat returns to double digits at 10.3%.

The gender divide remains the notable feature. In the 2 years since the series commenced in November 2007 total male employment has fallen by 2.4k while total female employment has risen by 4.7k. The female participation rate has also increased over that period to a new high. Spouses seeking work to fill the income gap from unemployed partners or just more statistical noise in low sample numbers?

Regional stats table has been updated down at Far North Unemployment Debacle.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ex Hedley pub fund still in the news

What used to be Tom Hedley's ASX listed HLG has now been renamed Redcape (RPL) but is still making some interesting news. The Sydney Morning Herald reported last Wednesday that "The chairman and chief executive of the debt-stricken pub property trust Redcape could pocket up to $8 million in bonuses between them as reward for the sale of the funds' hotels."

This report included apparent direct quotations from chairman Colin Henson that the banking syndicate involved in debt restructuring negotiations was ''keen for the management team to be properly remunerated''. Really?

The only other report I can find on this is a response which appeared in the Compost on Friday under the headline "Redcape denies bonuses claim". Redcape has relocated fropm Cairns to Melbourne to distance itself from Hedley and most of Tom's former holding is in the hands of the receivers. This report quoted Henson as saying:

"I don’t want to talk about it, but (the report) got it all wrong," he said.

"We’re ignoring it (the report). There is nothing like that on the table."

However the Compost then goes on to say that 'It is understood that management has been talking to banks about moving to a "performance-based" arrangement for senior executives.'

Most interesting however are references to comments from a 'Cairns financial analyst, who asked not to be named, (who) accused management of being "disingenuous" with shareholders' and went on to say:

"They are hiding behind a performance bonus that really just involves them selling properties at heavily written down values," he said. He said the board should "resign or be sacked over this arrangement".

How curious, and I cant help but wonder on who the analyst could be? Could they even be associated with the previous Cairns based management we wonder? KS is off out for Christmas drinks but will fill more in on this later along with some comments on the recent Redscape AGM ........

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hedley Bankrupt?

The SMH has reported that Tom Hedley "has appointed a trustee who will hold a meeting of his personal creditors before Christmas to nut out a personal insolvency agreement under the Bankruptcy Act."

The story, filed by Eliabeth Knight, contains some interesting references including that "Hedley is the stuff of legend in his home town of Cairns, where he apparently lives most of his life in a lean-to attached to one of his pubs." I presume the pub is the Red Beret but hadn't noted the "lean-to". Perhaps this is the perception of Queenslander architecture from the perspective of the Sydney McMansion?

Knight comments that "A formal statement of his financial affairs to be produced by the trustee will outline just how little he has left in the tin, how much he owes and to whom it is owed. Typically, these kinds of documents make for fascinating reading because businesses like airlines, hire car companies, florists and credit card providers tend to feature."

Kitchenslut is still curious about his partner Jeanine Cooke popping up on the HLG (now RPF) register at June 30 as the 3rd largest shareholder. He also notes that Tom would appear to have been in breach of the Corporations Act by not disclosing a change in substantial holding in RPF for some time, although this has become almost standard for Hedley.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sex in the City

The Compost has reported today that one of the two legal brothels in town is on the market! Interesting that the $300k indicated price for 5 brothel rooms corresponds closely with the price of each room similar to a poker machine under current Qld legislation and prices!