Julia King has a reputation for enjoying regal treatment. Heaven help the Qantas first class cabin crew if she gets the board spot. It will make Margaret Jackson’s alleged in-flight movie tantrums seem sedate.

Simon Banks is well-liked because he is remarkably decent. Suggestions that he was dumped by Rudd may be wide of the mark — he is actually getting married next month and his wife does live in Sydney. Maybe the ALP brothers can’t imagine a bloke actually giving up a job for love!

Marianne Moore (Hornsby Council’s FOI officer) was seen entering the NSW Parliament House on 23 May. Apparently she was giving expert advice (to whom I don’t know) on how FOI laws could be “tightened up”.

Airservices Australia’s attempts to recruit controllers from overseas under the sponsored VISA conditions (due to an apparent skills shortage) is about to become unstuck as a result of a corporate restructure whereby up to 101 controllers are “potentially surplus” (see the Civil Air vs Airservices Australia) AIRC decision (7 May 2007) declaring all affected by the restructure potentially surplus effective 2 February 2007 and subsequently entitled to voluntary redundancy unless jobs are found at the same level/location; but those jobs don’t exist under the restructure as the whole level is being absorbed both up and down in a “flattening” of management process. Whoops, watch this space.

As a business observer to the weekend’s Liberal Federal Council, the party’s behaviour tells me that they have no idea what it is like out here. We actually need to make appointments days in advance. Apparently I am due to attend a dinner with Alexander Downer somewhere in Sydney tonight. No-one has told me where or when, even though about ten days ago I confirmed I was interested. As to what happens over the three days of the conference, apparently I will be told when I turn up.

From the grassy knoll: John Howard will resign in a month to avoid the embarrassment of a tight vote, or loss, in Bennelong, and perhaps give his party a chance since he’s on the nose. Thought is it will help him stay legendary too.

Peter Fray

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