The big decisions of politics. Have a dekko at the exciting new website NSW Liberal leader Peter Debnam has unveiled in the lead-up to the March state poll. There, right at the very top, is the great man – emerging Nausicaa-like from the waves, hoping to make the same impression on the voters as the daughter of King Alcinous made on Odysseus. But check back to the similar pitch to voters his Victorian counterpart Ted Baillieu made during that state’s campaign last year. Ted went for the budgie smugglers. Debnam has chosen trunks. No doubt it’s one of the big decisions of politics.

Santo Santoro explains. Aged Care Minister Santo Santoro hasn’t had a good summer. First there was the news that a Liberal Party mate boasted of hitting the “jackpot” after scoring a lucrative government handout for his $15.5 million nursing home venture. Then came a review of alleged rorting of valuable taxpayer-funded aged care bed licences. By the end of last week, the Minister was forced to issue a lengthy explanation to the media of the whole process. Finishing it off with the line “I will, in the words of Sergeant Schultz, ‘know nothing’ about it until it is completed,” hasn’t endeared him to his colleague. There’s a view in the party room that Santoro and that other outer-ministry bungler, Minister for Community Services John Cobb, are doing untold damage to Government’s appeal – and interest in what will happen to the pair in the reshuffle, expected later this week.

Forget Lara. Julia Gillard is rivalling the likes of former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins in FMH magazine’s poll to find Australia’s 50 sexiest women, reports over the weekend revealed. FHM said on Saturday that in the last 24 hours its website fhm.com.au was been inundated with more than 1,000 votes for Gillard. It sounds like a typical Victorian Labor Party ballot to us.

Peter Fray

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