Next Generation Consumer Action
In my Sunday Tele Column yesterday I wrote about interested parties attempting to influence the Carbon Tax debate by having an influence on the questions. My column here:
Is a very clear example of that in play in today’s Australian Newspaper.
The spinners at Rio Tinto have pulled off a nice Sunday for Monday drop into the Oz.
The drop was an Op Ed by Rio Australian CEO David Peever, read it here:
This exclusive drop - on a fairly low news Sunday - meant Rio also got a front page lead from the Australian here:
The Rio Op Ed includes this warning:
“Depending on the magnitude of the carbon price, this may be manageable when market conditions are favourable and margins are healthy. But when the cycle turns down, it will inevitably be disastrous.”
That line has been the basis of quite a bit of follow up media on Radio, TV and online this morning, and will no doubt be the basis of many questions to Government spokespeople today.
The ABC gives Combet a 2 word rebuttal here.
the original claim in the Op Ed seems at odds with Rio Tinto claims, made at the time of their earnings announcements just a few weeks ago, about the strength of their earnings outlook.
Especially considering putting a price on carbon was publicly announced Government policy well before the 10th of February 2011.
The Oz itself ran a yarn on February 10 regarding Rio’s earnings results.The piece was written by Sarah-Jane Tasker (same journalist as today’s front page) and included this quote from Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese:
“Our strong balance sheet, high quality assets and positive long-term outlook enable us to undertake our largest ever growth program at the same time as returning capital to shareholders”.
There is no mention of the looming carbon price disaster in the article. Feb 10 Oz article here:
Read Rio Tinto Chief Financial Officer Guy Elliott’s very bullish remarks reported in the Business Spectator on Feb 10 here:
On the same day the Financial Times reports the same bullish sentiment from Tom Albanese here:
On 11 February Wall Street Journal also fails to mention any concern about a carbon price in their report on Rio earnings here:
Seems Rio spinners were either way too positive in early Feb when taking about their earnings potential, or way to negative in the Oz this morning when warning about the carbon tax.
Both could also be true.
Spinners from Rio earned their pay this morning, but readers should treat the yarn with extreme caution.
Journalist reporting, and re-reporting, on the Op Ed should probably treat it with a bit more skepticism too.
Thursday 24 2011 - My appearance on Sky News “The Nation” with Ed Husic MP, Sophie Mirabella MP, and Tom Switzer.