Macquarie Bank has approached Singapore Airlines concerning a revised take over bid for Qantas. Singapore is said is to be very interested as it would allow it automatic control over two thirds of the domestic market as well as the long sought after trans-Pacific routes. It would also allow them to not bother with its start up Tiger Airlines. The finance required for the Qantas bid could come from the original amount set aside for Tiger.
Earlier this week Julia Gillard made much of the ALP’s intention to invite the current President of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Justice Guidice, to be the first President of the ALP’s replacement body for the AIRC, Fair Work Australia. It is understood that Justice Guidice has no intention of accepting such an appointment, as he appears to be of the view, alongside a majority of the Members of the AIRC, that Fair Work Australia would be unconstitutional, so he wants nothing to do with it.
Regarding Arthur Sinodinis – apparently he’s missing the old job very much too. He told a friend so at lunch the other day.
There seems to be something happening at ACMA. One or two well-placed watchers seem to think Canberra’s unhappy with Mr Chapman and that some kind of inquiry or removal may be in the offing. No guarantees, but might be worth a sniff.
Any idea that Simon Banks wasn’t dumped is fanciful. Those close to the office realised pretty quickly after he started that on almost every major decision in Rudd’s office, Banks was simply out of the loop. He lacked respect throughout the party and he lacked the gravitas required in the role to make it work. Nobody really knew what he was doing and he didn’t have Rudd’s ear. Shadows and their staff often complain of the chaotic nature of Rudd’s office and his workaholic staff – at all levels – and over the past few months Banks just couldn’t bring order to the show. Party figures realised as much, as did Rudd. Remember that Banks was initially chief of staff to Simon Crean, but was eventually dumped from that role for Mike Richards. Now he has been dumped again. The impending nuptuals and the wanting to live in Sydney thing had nothing to do do with it. The search for a replacement has been on for months.
Speaking of ETU officials and ALP pre-selection, how about Mike Symon in Deakin in Victoria? Thanks to irregularities in both the local and central votes, Symon got over the line by the barest of margins. His opponent, former candidate Dr Peter Lynch (who is not factionally aligned and got 65% of the local vote), lodged complaints which were ultimately upheld by former Tasmanian Premier Michael Field, sitting as the ALP National Disputes Tribunal. Field recommended to ALP National Executive that the preselection be recontested. However, National Executive refused to accept the recommendation and declared Symon the winner, despite his lack of local support and his tainted preselection victory.
Readers might like to know that a Filipino woman who is permitted to settle in Australia on a spousal visa cannot receive Centrelink benefits until she has resided here for two years. She can return to her “home country” anytime during her “probation”, but cannot claim any benefits other than Medicare – she can apply for a Medicare card!