Media Watch has apparently become aware that a major Liberal Party figure has made large payments to a leading Sydney think tank. There has been talk of interference in the story based on concerns of how the board of the ABC would react if the story is run without clear and direct evidence.

A friend at Ford tells me that executives from Ford in the US gave the order to shut down the Geelong engine factory in 2012 because of strongly-held fears that the now imminent election of a Rudd ALP government will be ruinous for the Australian motor vehicle industry. Assuming the polls remain as they are with the ALP well in front, cutbacks at the Campbellfield site may also be announced.

SA Liberal President resignation background. The deeply unpopular Chris Moriarty announced he wasn’t running for president again with only moments left before nominations closed. He was quoted in media as having made decision a month ago (after a particularly difficult State Council meeting). Now it appears he was asked to step down by Brian Loughnane with John Burston approaching the “cleanskin” candidate Sean Edwards. The right are running tired party warhorse Bob Jackson. Hard to call this result as sure to be a backlash against “backroom deal” that most delegates found out via media rather than from President (and the fact Burston is involved as he is very unpopular in Lib circles.)

If James Strong gets up as chairman of Qantas, will he demand undated resignation letters from his fellow directors — as he did at IAG? And what’s happened to those IAG resignation letters? Are they still extant? And have the two people who joined the board post his original demand submitted resignation letters too? If not, are there two classes of directors? Or three? (Strong being in a class of his own.)

Kangaroo Valley’s MOSS VALE ROAD TREES are about to be demolished — almost 100 old growth trees on a road that doesn’t need the safety changes that the RTA use as their excuse for cutting down the trees — this is happening this morning and the NSW government needs to be stopped this weekend — there is something not quite right in the RTA/Govt’s decision to i) cut down valuable trees ii) install new roadside barriers (whose contract is that?)

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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