So the staff at the Mersey General Hospital will not go on AWAs … So, how popular are these thing in the public service generally? Well, trolling through annual reports does unearth some gems. For example, Defence, the largest of the departments has exactly 28 (apart from their senior executives that is).

If you want a real “climate change” scoop, you should try to get an interview with the head of China’s Suntech Solar company, Dr Shi Zhengrong. He was a student in Queensland, and approached the Australian government for funding into Solar technologies. Australian Government told him not interested, so he next approached the Chinese Government. They gave him $600 million dollars. He’s now one of the richest men in China, and still an Australian Citizen! See his Wikipedia page and a CNN article.

I run a small courier business in Adelaide. I have to be at the airport at around 0430. Yesterday morning at around 0405 I heard the sound of a low-flying jet above my house which is not on the normal flightpath for a west-bound landing. When I got to the airport I saw a Virgin 737 parked in front of the old terminal nose-out. This was most unusual. Staff at the Australian Air Freight shed first told me that “the plane made an emergency landing and that four men had been taken off a Perth-bound flight” for being drunk on the flight. I knew that this could not be true as the flight would had to have taken off at 3am Melbourne time. The plane took off at 0530. Both the landing and take-off were outside curfew hours. At about 0550 the staff at Virgin Freight told me that in fact the plane was the red-eye Perth-Brisbane service which left Perth at around midnight. The incident was in fact caused by a single woman. This means that the plane must have been somewhere over the north of SA and so the diversion would have taken at least an hour including obtaining clearance for out-of-curfew landing etc. The word around the traps is that the passenger will be up for at least $20,000 for her little tantrum.

This is second hand but my informant knows the REX passenger who was in the cockpit. 1) The replacement aircraft was delayed while it took on more fuel to accommodate the extra passenger and extra baggage. 2) The passenger in the cockpit was a woman in her 50s. 3) During the flight she wore a set of headphones provided by the crew and was able to listen in on conversations regarding traffic, a thunderstorm on the flight path and a possible emergency landing by another aircraft at Port Macquarie.

The Liberal Member for Latrobe and former policeman, Jason Wood has erected eight or nine election billboards by the roadside around Belgrave South, Beaconsfield and Harkaway. Most of them are on VicRoads land. VicRoads have advised him they are there without permission. VicRoads then issued him an order to remove them within 48 hours and he has ignored that order. It’s it incredible that Jason is running a community campaign portraying himself as a community champion at the same time he is holding that community in contempt by erecting his Billboards on VicRoads land without permission and leaving them there in defiance of an order to remove them. The Vic Road order is in relation to the following signs: Corner of Wellington and Hallam-Belgrave Rds, Belgrave South; Corner of Princes Hwy and Berwick Bypass, Beaconsfield; Berwick Rd, Harkaway.

The St George Leagues Club Board is in crisis after their decision for the Dragons to abandon Kogarah in 2008 and go to Homebush. A split is developing on the Board following an ongoing successful PR campaign from the R2K group (Return To Kogarah – www.r2k.info). Dragons CEO Peter Doust has been out of the country and some Board members are wondering if the time has come to oust Doust so the Dragons can celebrate the NRL’s Centenary year with peace and stability. The Dragons claim they left Kogarah for 2008 due to redevelopment but the venue’s development has been postponed indefinitely while the Dragons try and milk several million dollars more from Iemma (Saints’ supporter). The Leagues Club has cut funding by 44% at the same time that the Dragons took a financial carrot from Telstra Stadium in Homebush. PM Howard hasn’t promised any more cash despite being Club patron.

Meanwhile, on the grassy knoll: Since the smoke filled plane incident in Baghdad John Howard has been quite wonky. What are the chances he suffered a stroke? Check out his recent body language…

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Peter Fray
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