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   Jul 05

The Hawk: Fiat enjoys La Dolce Vita in the High Country with gusto

Adam Bandt’s dead-tree ways. Soccer player Harry Kewell with his Jeep. Photo: GAZi Photography
Nanjing Night Net

Details of Harry Kewell’s $1 million a year contract with Jeep – including the thousands of dollars of payments made by the Socceroos star to the personal bank account of car company’s former boss, Clyde Campbell – made headlines last week.

Kewell wasn’t the only one to land a seven-figure deal out of Fiat Chrysler courtesy of Campbell and his successor as CEO, Veronica Johns.

The latest tranche of court documents reveal that Villa Gusto, a luxury resort in Victoria’s high country, also landed a seven-figure contract – to do pretty much nothing.

If you head to the Villa Gusto website you will find you cannot make a booking at the resort until 2017. The entire place is booked out as part of a Fiat Chrysler staff and customer “loyalty program”.

The website says: “The team at Villa Gusto are very excited to announce that an exclusive contract with Fiat Chrysler Australia has come in to affect as of July 1, 2013.

“Unfortunately, this means that we are not able to take bookings for the next three years.”

The court documents say Johns signed an extension to that deal until 2017, agreeing to pay $500,000 for 2016 and a further $500,000 for 2017.

Word is you have to go back several months to find a booking on the Villa Gusto books.

Remarkably, that doesn’t matter. Fiat Chrysler are bound to  pay the money to Villa Gusto “even in the event that [Fiat Chrysler] no longer wished to continue the program at any stage prior to expiration”.

HELPING TO FLOAT CLYDE’S  BOAT

A few weeks back The Age revealed that senior Crown Resorts executiveIshan Ratnam had been caught up in Fiat Chrysler scandal.

It was alleged in court documents that Clyde Campbell funnelled money through a company called My Alfa Romeo, owned by Mr Ratnam and Mr Campbell’s wife, Simone Campbell, to buy a $400,000 “mobile outdoor floating billboard” – although Ratnam was named by an alternative spelling in documents, Ishan Kunaratnam.

What they in fact bought was a 40-foot Chris Craft yacht and slapped some Alfa Romeo decals on the side.

Court documents this week revealed that Ratnam not only helped buy the boat but it was even registered in his name.

PAPER TIGERS

It’s a brand new Green machine under the leadership of Richard Di Natale, we are told. The rules have changed so much that the member for Melbourne, Adam Bandt, has resorted to that age-old political measure of posting out printed matter.

Someone would have been chained to a tree for such a sin under the old regime.

“Adam Bandt just sent me an unnecessarily dead piece of former tree. The irony is not lost,” opined one resident of Bandt’s seat. “And it wasn’t standard photocopy weight either – felt more than 100gsm to me.”

Our friends at Parliamentary Services tell us that such white glossy pamphlets are not made out of recycled paper but they are “recyclable”.

So, if you live in the seat of Melbourne, please ensure you put Mr Bandt’s pamphlet in the correct bin. (Unless that raises concerns about greenwashing.)

THE HECKLER

A big thanks to one of m’learned friends at global law firm Baker & McKenzie, who pointed out that a name had mysteriously disappeared from the firm’s corporate website this week. Simone Campbell is a special counsel at the firm, but has been on “extended leave” for several months now. Despite this, her name  remained on the website, until this week. “Ms Campbell is on extended leave,” said a spinner for the legal eagles. “It is normal practice to remove a name from the website when they are on extended leave.” Sure it is.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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