Slowing down for the greenhouse u-turn? Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt has given a very interesting speech this morning. He was talking to the Energy Supply Association of Australia’s Chief Executive’s Forum on Climate Change.  And his message? We’ll use his words. They’re simple and straightforward: “Climate change will have major ramifications for all sectors of our economy. Many will need to adapt to climate change and reduce their emissions.”

Kissin’ Cousins. More Telstra fun – revealed by Labor accountability spokesman Kelvin Thomson: “Who benefits from the sale of Telstra… There would be the advertising agencies. The government spent $12.4 million promoting the first tranche of the sale of Telstra. It spent $13.1 million promoting the second tranche of the sale of Telstra. And now it is out there at it again, kissing goodbye to $20 million of taxpayers’ money to sell the rest of Telstra… Who gets this money? If we look at the newly released government contracts we find that George Patterson Young and Rubicam entered a $1,870,950 contract on 1 May this year for ‘advertising agency services for the Telstra sale’… Geoff Cousins was Chief Executive of George Patterson Australia from 1983 to 1987 and chairman of the company from 1984 to 1992. You guessed it: this is the same Geoff Cousins who was responsible for running Liberal Party election campaigns such as the federal campaign in 1990. This is the same Geoff Cousins whom the Prime Minister has decided has to be on the Telstra board… In the case of the Telstra board, Telstra cannot choose its cousins but the government can choose its mates.”

Old colleagues fall out? There’s a famous yarn that claims Malcolm Turnbull had to tell Bob Carr how to negotiate a pay rise when they both worked as journos at the Bulletin. Carr fluffed it, the story says. Whatever. Carr’s back in the Bulletin today, writing about water – and puts his old colleague and his ambitions under the pump.

Presidential politics. The election for the federal Labor party presidency is as good as settled. John Faulkner is home and dry. Which is a little embarrassing for the Bomber and his preferred candidate, SA Premier Mike Rann. Faulkner ran a very low key campaign. Rann did the opposite. He even co-opted Al Gore.

Surreal security. Have you ever seen a bomb sniffer dog go over a full-sized harp? That’s what was happening outside the Senate Entrance to Parliament House late yesterday afternoon. Weirder than a Warhol happening down at The Factory at the height of the 60s.

Democracy in action. Did the Baby Bruvvers of the Young Labor’s Right really require delegates to their conference last week to hand over blank ballot forms for the motion in support of the removal of the three mines policy so they could ensure it was carried?

Brokeback Mountain must be WA. From the “notice paper” for this week’s WA Mock Parliament featuring Young Labor, Young Nationals, the little Libs and the Green shoots “Motion: That the 2006 WA Mock Parliament support Civil Unions, for same sex partnerships”. And it’s from the Young Nats. Pity their votes didn’t keep David on Big Brother.

Useful idiots. “I saw a lefty idiot at the bus stop today. He had a Mao t-shirt and a ‘Free Tibet’ badge. He’s a living breathing oxymoron.” And there are more examples of the left intelligentsia over at Tim Blair’s blog.

Friends in high places. If ACT Liberal Gary Humphries really thinks Crikey “represents the future of Australian access to news and information” as he told the Senate last night, will he please get on the blower to the Treasurer when we ask to be allowed into next year’s Budget lock-up – like any other media organisation with Canberra Press Gallery accreditation.

Peter Fray

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