tip off

Tips and rumours

Finance types enjoy Xmas banquet … while posties lament a thermos gift … is BHP Billiton cutting safety, enviro staff? …

From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Life’s a dream in Adelaide … Here’s a heart-warming tale of an awesome work Christmas party — and of some poor hard-working souls who missed out:

Finance section of SA Parliament was treated to trip out to the Barossa to dine at 1918. Meanwhile the ALP forgot to invite poor House of Assembly committees to their Parliament shin dig.”

Trust the finance guys to get the good tucker! Crikey is enjoying hearing your tips about the best and the worst of staff Christmas parties — turns out the traditional work ham is not dead, so don’t throw out your ham bag just yet. Be sure to keep us in the loop about your work parties and gifts.

… while Scrooge visits Melbourne Uni. This from a mole from the dreaming spires of Carlton:

Within the Melbourne School of Population Health, the large working team were at the the end of last week unexpectedly called in for a team meeting to be told that they should be looking for grants of their own or new jobs as they will soon be shown the door. Many were upset at the cold and blunt way in which they were told of their fate and more than a few are moping about the building trying to find some Christmas cheer.”

Christmas tip #3. Meanwhile it always seems to be feast or famine for the good people at Australia Post. The Age brought us some gossip on their shrinking Christmas bonuses, while we heard this from a mole whose partner has been a postie for more than 20 years:

About 10 years ago, the Xmas ‘bonus’ was a thermal flask — Australia Post logo propaganda of course — following the next year with four matching thermal cups that should have been part of the set — tight-wads!”

We agree, although we suspect these Australia Post thermal flasks and cups would fetch a high price in the better-known second-hand shops on Brunswick St, in the Socialist Republic of Fitzroy. Retro kitsch!

What an iron bore. BHP Billiton is taking the axe to its iron ore operations — third parties reckon 200 jobs could be going. We’ve heard a tip that the company’s majority-owned Yandi mine in the Pilbara may be losing some environmental and safety staff. Is that correct? Very hard to know, according to the spin we got from BHP.

A company spokesperson confirmed “there may be some impact on jobs in some areas”  but said “we haven’t and don’t intend to provide any detail about specific adjustments”. The PR person talked about the company trying to redeploy “impacted people” across the business. They said “throughout this process, our commitment to health, safety, environment and the community will not be compromised.”

So to sum up: BHP won’t say if they’ve cut environmental and safety staff. Perhaps our readers will be more forthcoming? If you know more, tell us.

Kelly’s last stand. Prime ministerial media stalwart Sean Kelly, much-admired in the press gallery for his magnificent head of hair, is leaving the PMO. There’s been a bit of turnover in the PMO bunker of late — anything to do with the reign of brusque comms director John McTernan? (There’s an excellent window into the man here). Feel free to pass on your anonymous tips.

Pranking the Epworth? A caller to radio station 3AW reckons that last week, after the prank call had been placed to the UK hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge for morning sickness, a male and a female rang the Melbourne hospital treating Bert Newton, claiming to be Bert’s family (Bert was discharged last Thursday). The caller reckons the call was put through to security and the callers promptly hung up. Any truth to that rumour of a possible prank?

On the prank subject, it would be interesting to know which section of Southern Cross Austereo pushed for the prank call to UK hospital to be aired. The network appeared to have failed to obtain consent of the people recorded, and some industry insiders reckon it’s unusual to go ahead and air such a call without permission. So who was behind the decision to broadcast? We heard last night from the two presenters who made the call, saying that it was not their responsibility, not their decision. So which part of the network was responsible? Insiders can pass on what they know — and stay anonymous — here.

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

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    Shaniq'ua Shardonn'ay
    Posted Tuesday, 11 December 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of Retro kitsch how much do you think I’d get for a an ashtray with the good old Telecom logo on it? It’s out the back been used as a water bowl for the Cats.

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