News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Harding drives Rio Tinto restructure; ICAC to consider recommending criminal charges; and union pushes for more visa controls.

Staff Reporter

Harding drives Rio Tinto restructure

New Rio Tinto iron ore boss Andrew Harding has placed his stamp on the miner’s biggest business with a new, streamlined management structure that will lead to the exit of high-profile Pilbara operations head Greg Lilleyman, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The changes, announced to staff on Tuesday, will result in Lilleyman heading to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business for an executive training course before returning to Rio in a senior role with another division that has yet to be determined.

Lilleyman was a contender for the top iron ore job when Sam Walsh vacated it to take up the group chief executive role, but former head of copper, Harding, eventually emerged as the winner.

Lilleyman, who joined Rio in 1990, was said to have harmed his chances internally when he told a newspaper in December that he’d “love” to succeed Walsh in the iron ore job.

ICAC to consider recommending criminal charges

Now that the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption’s marathon hearings about a trio of investigations of former Labor figures have ended, the focus turns to the possibility of criminal charges being laid against one or more ministers in the former NSW Labor government, or the businessmen who are in the watchdog’s sights, according to the Australian Financial Review.

ICAC will deliver its findings from July, including recommendations about whether the Director of Public Prosecutions should consider prosecuting any of the men implicated in the hearings. It does not have the power itself to lay criminal charges.

Among those who could face criminal charges are Ian Macdonald and his political ally, former NSW Labor powerbroker and minister Eddie Obeid. Another is the former national secretary of the Construction, Foresty, Mining and Energy Union, John Maitland.

Union pushes for more visa controls

Australian workers should have a legislated right of appeal if they miss out on jobs filled by foreign workers on 457 visas, under a pre-election push by unions to have the Gillard government change the federal migration and workplace laws, according to The Australian.

Opening up a new battlefront over the use of temporary overseas workers, the construction union was also calling on the government to force employers engaging 457 workers to notify all unsuccessful Australian applicants as to why they were not considered suitable.

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