The retiring type. Poor Rod Kemp. The Minister for the Arts and Sports offered to stand down from his portfolio when he announced he was retiring earlier this year, but has been kept on. Now, corridor murmurings about the work – or lack of – being conducted in his portfolio, while the jollies continue on, have lead to his office being named Suite Studio 54.
Full and frank advice. David L Edwards from the Queensland Department of State Development has sent an interesting email to his colleagues: “Today I accepted an offer to take up a three year secondment to the position of Principal Policy Advisor to the Leader of the Queensland Opposition… I am a committed career public servant but for Queensland to be served well by its public service requires a Government that is held accountable by a strong Opposition. Queensland has been poorly served by its Opposition in recent years and instead of bemoaning why this is the case, I have decided to try and do something about it… People may think I’m mad going to such a high risk role…” Yowsers! Edwards says in his email that he plays a straight bat – but will he ever have the chance to be as full and frank again?
The biggest punt of the Spring Carnival. From the Your Rights at Work Campaign: “At this pivotal point in the campaign against the IR laws, the ACTU has taken the unprecedented step of purchasing advertising space on one of Australia’s busiest roads… Hired for the entire month of November, nearly two million people will be confronted by the Rights at Work billboard on the Tullamarine Freeway, Melbourne. At least 60,000 vehicles pass directly under the billboard per day, including all interstate visitors from around Australia who travel from the airport into the city. We can expect even more visitors than usual because November is peak tourism time due to the Melbourne Cup… This is the first time the ACTU has ever booked such a high impact advertising space. It’s a huge gamble. Billboards like this do not come cheap and this one will cost $40,000. Help us get the word out to more than two million people, donate now…”
Who’s the weirdo? Eric Abetz talks about the Australia Institute’s Clive Hamilton while responding to a question on drought: “The head of this institute is also the author of a book called The Mystic Economist, and it appears that mysticism informs his economic prognostications, such as those he made yesterday. Let me explain. Some time ago on the ABC Radio National program The Search for Meaning, Dr Hamilton said this—and I would invite all honourable senators to listen very carefully: ‘Out of the blackness appeared the figure of my shadow. He’d shown himself several times in dreams over the previous months I realised subsequently, especially in one where this figure appeared as a murderer and as an abuser of women … I entered into a dialogue with this figure who appeared before me. I spoke to him … and he told me that his name was Jacob. And from his mouth spewed the most foul salvo of abuse that was imaginable, and I was wracked by overpowering emotion—almost more than I could bear … And so I talked to Jacob and calmed him down and befriended him, and ultimately forgave him for being part of me’.” You don’t expect anything other than new age nonsense from Hamilton or The Search for Meaning – but did Eric have a spiritual experience with a bottle of scotch before Question Time?