Did the Queensland conservative merger go ahead? Federal Liberal staff helping the Queensland Libs on the state campaign? That’s not really a story. What’s more interesting are claims that federal Liberal MPs – ministers, maybe – are putting their office facilities at the disposal of Nationals candidates.

Iemma calls in the emergency services? More rumours are doing the rounds that NSW Rural Fire Services chief Phil Koperberg will be parachuted into Attorney General Bob Debus’s seat of Blue Mountains. Koperberg, stories say, was spotted on Sussex Street at Labor head office last week.

Hardie luck story? Does Treasurer Peter Costello have something personal against James Hardie Australia and its management? As the delays and doubts continue over compensation for asbestos victims, that’s one charge being levelled.