Forget Labor leadership plots. The future of the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Arthur Sinodinis, is turning up in summer corridor talk in Parliament House.

Sinodinis is waiting for the right offer from the private sector, it says. He may even go before the next election. And if Sinodinis is heading off, does that mean the PM won’t stick around that long either?

Sinodinis has held his job for nine years now, since Graham Morris was forced to stand down at the height of the travel rorts rows of 1997. That’s a long time in the job. And John Howard has had his position even longer.

Which segues into election dates. The accepted wisdom has been that the 2007 poll will be held after the APEC leaders forum in Sydney at the start of September. Yet there’s also been some speculation of an earlier election.

In the wake of the US mid-terms, this story says, there are no votes in lining up with leaders like Dubya. Don’t you believe it. These sorts of meeting just highlight how the PM has been round much longer the most. Which takes us back to our starting point…

Peter Fray

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