tip off

Tips and rumours

Kelvin Thomson for leader … unhealthy books at HSU … think of the children!

From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Charismatic Kelvin for Labor leader. Kelvin Thomson for PM! Or at least Labor leader. The push is on, though Thomson himself has no ideas where it’s come from. An online petition had attracted a modest 188 signatures this morning — a tad short of its 5000 target. Convener Chantal Teague writes:

The ALP must change its direction and look to someone who is charismatic, passionate and stands for something that truly connects with Australians. Someone who is true to their word, willing to stand up for what they believe, and not back down in the face of adversity …

Kelvin is a passionate, strong and ethical voice against an otherwise gloomy political backdrop. His stance on the environment, fairness and his modern outlook connects strongly with the views of younger Australians. The recent election has shown Kelvin to have the strongest two-party preferred vote of any Labor candidate of Australia …

This is your opportunity ALP. It is time to choose a leader who is a stark contrast to the negative, old-fashioned and corrupted opposition. We want someone who is intelligent, articulate and bold. Someone who can stand up against Tony Abbott as a beacon of hope.”

We contacted the charismatic MP for Wills this morning, but a spokesperson was sticking by his statement on Monday — Thomson is headed to the backbench and won’t be contesting the leadership. And Thomson’s office insists it had nothing to do with the petition. Sorry, Chantal.

Meanwhile, in the real battle for Labor’s top job, the “Anthony Albanese for Labor leader” Facebook page had attracted 1947 “likes” as of this morning. We couldn’t find a similar page for Bill Shorten. Sorry, Bill. And another petition demanding Labor hold a contested election for rank-and-file members to have their say — upholding the promise of Kevin Rudd — has 177 supporters.

Treasury head: out, in, out. Stephen Bartos wrote yesterday that Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson might be on the cull list under a Coalition government. But don’t, as one insider reminded us, forget about Jim Murphy — the deputy secretary who was hired by Kevin Rudd as his chief of staff in July before slipping back into Treasury HQ. It seems unlikely Joe Hockey will leave him there …

HSU trouble over the books. We hear there’s more trouble at the Health Services Union No. 1 branch — police have apparently been called over an unwanted inspection of the books. Stay tuned on this …

Children at risk in NT system? A troubling story from inside child protection services in the Northern Territory. A worker in local clinics and schools writes:

The Department of Children and Families is so dysfunctional that many doctors, nurses, and teachers do not report cases to them under the terms of mandatory reporting. This is a catastrophic situation. The reason why professionals are not reporting is because reports are invariably dealt with by a hostile and/or unhelpful person on the end of the line. I do report all cases, but invariably feel dissatisfied, angry and frustrated.

For example, I recently reported a family where the children had seen their mother bashed repeatedly, at least one child sniffing petrol and smoking gunja, and acting out in school (nine-year-old running around trying to hit teachers and students with an iron bar). The response was ‘this does not meet our criteria for investigation, there is nothing you have told me that indicates the children are at risk’. I am very concerned that the figures being released by the department are dramatically skewed by under-reporting of serious incidents. Also, clinics have had their indigenous staff numbers slashed in recent months. This flies in the face of public statements, and is further reducing morale at clinics.”

We asked the department for a response but our deadline beat them. Can you add to the story? Drop us a line — anonymity is, of course, guaranteed …

Katter gets his kit off. Here’s Queensland state MP for Mt Isa Robbie Katter …

Yikes. The photo arrived, unexplained, from Katter’s chief of staff yesterday. Now this we had to investigate. Had Bob’s son been set up? Is this Robbie’s Anthony Weiner moment? Turns out we missed the press release — the “sultry” 37-year-old former miner and land valuer agreed, charitably, to pose for the region’s Rescue Helicopter Service. “I felt very uncomfortable doing it but I hope that it helps raise some money,” he said. His staffer told us to assure ladies of North Queensland that Robbie is very much single. Contact his office for dating details.

*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips toboss@crikey.com.au or use our guaranteed anonymous form

1
  • 1
    klewso
    Posted Thursday, 12 September 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Is it only the Left of the party that has passion, conviction and commitment - do you have to have an ethical by-pass to join the Right?

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