Will the Country Liberal Party direct its federal representatives to oppose the government’s plans for a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory? New leader Jodeen Carney says the CLP is against the plan, but a second statement from her office has also said it would be contempt of the Senate if the CLP instructed Senator Nigel Scullion how to vote. Are they finally fessing up that they were wrong to dump one of their founding fathers, Grant Tambling, when he disobeyed their direction to vote against the Interactive Gambling Bill 2001? The Senate Privileges Committee report still makes interesting reading. Or are they just too scared about money after their disastrous performance in the election last month to spend a cent on legal fees? The Tambling matter reportedly cost the Territory party more that $100,000.

More public administration questions in the wake of Misha Schubert’s report in The Age today that a secret survey of Job Network staff says the $1.3 billion system often fails those who need it most and forces the unemployed into “Mickey Mouse” activities that don’t help them find a job. The Age claims “staff are swamped with red tape that robs them of time working with job seekers.” Process rich, outcomes poor? Is this policy being run for perception purposes rather than actual benefits?

The Consulting Room: “You say that Bob Carr’s plan to solve Sydney’s water problems through a desalination plant is a red herring,” a subscriber states. “Isn’t he actually a master at proposing white elephants as red herrings – likes the perpetually postponed Parramatta-Chatswood rail link?”

Good question. What do you want to know about life in the backrooms of politics? Spin doctor Christian Kerr is in the consulting room again tomorrow; ready to answer your queries at [email protected].

Peter Fray

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