tip off

Tips and rumours

Our very own birther claim … can it be true, cutbacks in WA mining? … ex-Age journo defects to Daniel Andrews’ office …

From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

The politics of politics. With a big weekend in politics out of the way, and more to come, various rumours are swirling through Crikey HQ. We hear some ACT Greens members are disgruntled about ex-GetUp! chief Simon Sheikh seeking Greens preselection for the Senate — there are claims that anyone who joins the party is only a provisional member for the first three months. So how long has Sheikh been signed up for, and is it correct that the party’s executive agreed to waive the usual joining requirements? We hear that “a few grassroots members are deeply unhappy at talk of his Senate preselection being in the bag and are threatening, in the first instance, to challenge his membership”.

Meanwhile, head coastwards from Canberra and the next spot of excitement is Alex Greenwich, who won the state seat of Sydney at a byelection. A tipster claims “the newly elected member for Sydney was born in New Zealand — it is rumoured that he is a duel national and may face a challenge under section 44 of the constitution prohibiting duel nationals from being elected to public office!” Could this be our very own birther drama? Where is Donald Trump when you need him?

If you can help Crikey clear up either of these claims, please do so here; and, if you’ve got some fresh rumours, you can stay anonymous

Boom or bust? Declaring if/whether/when the mining boom is over has become something of a national pass time. Here’s an inside tip from someone who works in the mining and mineral processing sector in WA:

Work here has stopped — Hatch, SNC Lavalin, WorleyParsons and Jacobs are all either dead quiet or laying people off (we lost three from our group of 12) and there is no new work in sight. Goss here is that it will take six months or so before a pickup. Mind — oil and gas jobs are still going strong.”

Andrews adviser takes office. Widely-respected former Age journo Sally Finlay has taken up the cudgels as media director for resurgent Victorian opposition leader Daniel Andrews. Finlay was press sec to both Rob Hulls and John Brumby until 2007 before heading off to Hulls’ Victorian Law Reform Commission, jumping ship in good time before Labor’s 2010 state election loss. Roles at the ACCC and the Brotherhood of St Laurence followed. Finlay, a regular presence outside adviser watering hole of choice Meyer’s Place in the Melbourne CBD, will go head-to-head with slick Baillieu spinner Paul Price.

Read all about it. We’ve heard that those people who stand in Melbourne’s train stations and on corners handing out the pesky free MX paper “get paid $11 an hour cash in hand, for a 2:30-6pm shift. And they mainly get South American backpackers to do it”. Does that meet our workplace laws?

What’s up, doc. We heard a tip that “all senior medical staff (staff specialists, Visiting Medical Officers) at Queensland’s largest teaching hospital, the Royal Brisbane & Women’s, received invitations to volunteer for redundancy” last week. Our tipster wanted to know exactly how the redundos were going to be handled without harming frontline services? But the tip is not true, said the hospital, in a statement to Crikey:

Senior medical staff were sent a memo extending an invitation to ask questions and seek advice from the office of the RBWH Executive Director Medical Services regarding structural changes. This memo did not offer voluntary redundancies to these staff, but rather invited them to seek further information. All redundancy decisions will be made in line with service realignment and restructuring and staff will be consulted once any decisions have been made.”

*Do you know more? Send your tips to boss@crikey.com.au or use our guaranteed anonymous form.

3
  • 1
    RoseL
    Posted Monday, 29 October 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    A tipster claims “the newly elected member for Sydney was born in New Zealand — it is rumoured that he is a duel national and may face a challenge under section 44 of the constitution prohibiting duel nationals from being elected to public office!”

    What exactly is a “duel national”? Will it be settled by pistols at dawn?

  • 2
    paul noonan
    Posted Monday, 29 October 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Re your tip that Alex Greenwich is a “duel national” can your correspondent let us know Mr Greenwich’s weapons of choice?

  • 3
    Tim
    Posted Monday, 29 October 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Tipster needs to brush up on their Constitution.

    Section 44 refers to the Australian Constitution and the prohibitions apply only to candidates for the House of Representatives and Senate.

    The NSW Constitution Act** does contain some disqualifications (at Sections 13 and 13 - http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca1902188/s13a.html) but, interestingly being a dual national at the time of nomination may not be a bar to election.

    The provision is framed in such a way that it appears that only a Member who takes out foreign citizenship *after* their election loses their seat.

    Dual citizenship prior to an election seems ok.

    (Section 13A)
    “(1) If a Member of either House of Parliament:

    (b) takes any oath or makes any declaration or acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience or adherence to any foreign prince or power or does or concurs in or adopts any act whereby he may become a subject or citizen of any foreign state or power or become entitled to the rights, privileges or immunities of a subject of any foreign state or power,

    …his seat as a Member of that House shall thereby become vacant.”

    Someone should ask Anne Twomey to do a Crikey Clarifier.

    ** The NSW Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act 1912 also sets out some disqualifications. But, importantly, it says that “79(1) Every person enrolled as an elector for any district as at 6 pm on the date of issue of the writ for an election for a district shall be qualified to be nominated as a candidate to be elected for that or any other district, unless disqualified under the Constitution Act 1902 or this Act.”

    Unlike the Federal Constitution, an ordinary Act of the NSW Parliament can amend, or repeal part of the NSW Constitution (subject to some qualifications which may or may not be relevant).

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