The 4350water Blog highlights some of the issues relating to proposals for potable reuse in Toowoomba and South East Qld. 4350water blog looks at related political issues as well.

Monday, June 22, 2009

QWC's Elizabeth Nosworthy shown the door in reshuffle ...

The State Government has announced SEQ Water director Mary Boydell will take over as the new Commissioner for the restructured Queensland Water Commission (QWC) next month.

There will be one commissioner instead of three, and some responsibilities will be transferred to Government departments.

See - ABC News - Qld Govt appoints new Water Commissioner.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds good that they have made the reduction from 3 water commissioners to only 1 with what looks like more qualifications.
(we hope.)

I say don't let the door hit you on the way out Elizabeth!
She should have enough of our money to keep her in good stead for a while.

12:05 PM, June 22, 2009

Anonymous newswatch said...

The Australian:

Boardroom blunderers go well rewarded

December 27, 2008

When Brisbane lawyer Elizabeth Nosworthy was handed the chair of ailing financial engineering group Babcock & Brown as it teetered under $50 billion of group debt in August this year, eyes were rubbed in disbelief.

Surely not.

Nosworthy is a member of what many in business circles are now calling the "unflushables" - non-executive directors who, thanks to Australia's boardroom club, keep bobbing up.

This is despite being involved in corporate failures, share market collapses and value destruction that runs into the billions.

With Nosworthy as deputy chair since its 2004 listing, Babcock has been one of the poster children for the financial meltdown with its now discredited complex and opaque financial model, one that has lost 99.43 per cent of its value this year, trashing $10 billion in value.

Only months earlier, Nosworthy had handed the last company she had chaired, junior telecoms and information technology group Commander Communications, to receivers.

The group was valued at $300 million when she took the reins. It soared even higher with its shares trading as high as $2.28 in late 2006, pushing its value up to $519 million, but a dreadful deal to buy IT services group Volante the same year was the end of the road.

For presiding over Commander's collapse, Nosworthy earned over $550,000 in director's fees.
Another group on whose board Nosworthy sits, medical equipment maker Ventracor -- a tasty fee of $68,250 last year -- continues its plunge towards oblivion.

Ventracor shares have traded at more than $3, but it is yet to make a profit. Mid-year, the group's auditor said it would need to raise $18-22 million to survive another year. Its stock is now 48c.
The Australian understands that a year ago a syndicate of investment funds offered Ventracor a cash injection of up to $70 million -- buying in at 60c a share. But the offer was rejected.

Last but not least, Nosworthy is also a member at ailing property group GPT, banking a director's fee last year of $151,615. Shares in that company have plunged by 70 percent so far this year.

"The average incumbent non-executive director is returned with 96 per cent of the vote. It's an electoral rort that would make Robert Mugabe blush," Dean Paatsch, head of corporate governance consultancy Risk Metrics told The Australian. "Just as company performance is normally distributed, you would expect that non-executive director performance is variable as well."

Like many non-executive directors, Nosworthy owes these positions as much to networking as any hands-on experience running businesses. She can also thank family-based political conservative connections.

Nosworthy's father was Brisbane 1970s dealmaker Sir John Nosworthy. She studied law and followed in his footsteps, becoming a partner at one of the city's big law firms Morris Fletcher & Cross and then Freehills.

Her ship came in 1996 when she was appointed chair of the Port Brisbane Authority by the Queensland Nationals as well as on to the board of Telstra, which was soon to be privatised by the Howard government.

Over the next decade she moved from a number of positions on government authorities to a career on corporate boards; she still also chairs the Queensland Water Commission.

But now, with both Babcock and Ventracor on corporate death watch, she is in the rare position of being on a director's hat-trick.

She received $277,413 in director's fees at Babcock last year and $216,862 the previous year. As chairman this year, she is poised to receive another $300,000 or so as the company's market value hovers around $57 million.

While Nosworthy, who has pocketed in excess of $1.2 million in fees over the past five years and left thousands of shareholders and superannuation funds in the red, is perhaps the standout in a shocking 2008 for Australian boardrooms, the competition has been fierce.

6:23 PM, June 24, 2009

Anonymous newswatch said...


The global financial crisis has put Australian listed companies under the most stress since the early 1990s recession.

The countless billions of dollars in value blown up by the clutch of listed companies in the Allco Finance and B&B groups put their leaders David Coe and Phil Green in the frame as Australia's worst directors in terms of value lost.

But plenty of non-executive independent directors like Nosworthy have had their fingers -- and reputations -- burnt.

6:27 PM, June 24, 2009


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