Apparently the Federal Govt is holding back in announcing funding for the annual round of arts touring, placing theatre distributors and exhibitors in a decision-making no-man’s land, unsure of which product to support in this annual “lottery”. Could it possibly be the minister would rather decide in which areas (electorates?) the funding is spent, rather than the normal procedure of which productions?

Yesterday, The Australian reported: “Soldiers and civilian contractors were exposed to radioactive material in a dangerous leak that was kept secret from the public and forced the closure of an army workshop in inner Brisbane for six months. The incident, at the Bulimba Barracks four years ago, involved a substance called tritium that can cause cancer, genetic mutations or developmental defects in unborn children.” The only problem with this story is that Tritium is NOT RADIOACTIVE. It is an isotope of Hydrogen with one proton, and two neutrons, and it is stable, ie. it doesn’t undergo radioactive decay. What can this story really be about? How come all these nuclear experts are saying Tritium is radioactive when it’s not?

No wonder former ALP Member for Hunter Bob Brown is writing letters to the Newcastle Herald about preselections. His daughter, Kelly Hoare, took over from him in the seat of Charlton around ten years ago and is being threatened with losing preselection to Greg Combet. As one who witnessed Bob’s threatening and bullying antics in getting his daughter over the line in a preselection all those years ago, it’s no surprise he’s up to his old tricks. Kelly Hoare beat several much better qualified candidates due solely to her father’s sway over local branches. ALP nepotism at its worst.

Re. Fairfax redundancies. The original Fairfax statement referred to journalists and photographers, with those (presumably non-journalist) sub-editors being part of the cut and cross-rostering. The journalists in a couple of instances since have been changed to reporters. Guess someone has pointed out to David Kirk that most newspaper executives at least recognise that sub-editors are actually journalists.

Is there a certain former very, very senior DFAT person very upset about losing out on Rome who has almost single-handedly done all the Amanda Vanstone whiteanting.