The panel assessing the Victorian Government’s Channel Deepening Project is about to be hit with information on the impact of rock blasting at the Entrance, such that no fair assessment could allow it to proceed. Whither then the hundreds of millions already spent and the future of the port? Naturally, there is no plan B.

Recently Nine booked out the entire facilities of a major post-production house, installing a large team in several edit suites. They were working on an internal production, a mock history series along the lines of “What if…?” (What if the Japanese had won the Pacific War etc.) The idea had come from a youthful internal producer and it wasn’t until well in the production that in-house lawyers discovered very similar speculative history series, even with the same name, existed already in both the UK and US … and that wunderkind producer had failed to secure the format rights. They dumped all the trouble back on the producer who had foolishly gone into production under his own company. The edit facilities were abandoned with one hour’s notice and suppliers all over Sydney are screaming to get paid — with Nine ducking responsibility for the disaster.

Who is the backpacking travel blogger writing for a major weekend paper on the trials of being a single woman traveler — while her partner (and traveling companion!) is also filing stories for another travel page? Single indeed — apparently her paper is fully aware of her bogus status but publishes anyway.

Head honchos at the NSW branch of the St. Vincent De Paul Society are head banging their already overworked, underpaid, and very much beleaguered paid and voluntary staff. Not content with having recently summarily dismissed two long-term workers for asserting their rights to collectively bargain, St. Vinnie’s also disregarded a recommendation of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission by sacking them before sitting down and talking turkey with the union. St. Vinnie’s is coy about this because it is still “before the courts” (next date in the Industrial Relations Commission is Tuesday, 26 June). Corporatisation, an implicit preference for a WorkChoices paradigm, dodgy new employment contracts, a forcing on employees of the Enterprise Bargaining approach, non-disclosure of work changes and a preference for a non-Award work environment all make for a sour taste in the mouth. All this from one of Australia’s best-loved charities. If those good folk who send their donations only knew the half of it. Paid staff are leaving in droves or are up in arms, and a real showdown is imminent. Watch this space! 

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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