Yesterday’s “Tips and rumours” was spot on regarding Liberal MP for Latrobe Jason Wood’s illegal placement of signs. But an illegal sign is the least of his worries, there is talk that the phone campaign to Vic Roads to have the signs removed came from sources unexpected. It appears that some hard core Lib supporters are furious that Wood has chosen to run his campaign almost like an independent, with no Liberal branding or mention of the Prime Minister on the signs and local newspaper ads. Fuel was again added to fire on last Sunday’s Channel Nine Sunday program which ran a 10-minute feature on the electorate, the Labor guy was shown working the electorate meeting people and talking up the Rudd “new leadership” line, contrasting Wood was featured alone dancing with a kangaroo at a wildlife refuge. Whilst the Labor guy had Rudd posters in almost every shot, Wood’s opportunity to promote himself as part of team Howard was lost, probably avoided.

The beleaguered Victorian HealthSMART program is facing another major hurdle as it fails to get hospitals to agree to install its new clinical system. The hospitals need extra money to run the new system and with no additional funding forthcoming the cash strapped hospitals are understandably reluctant to go even further into the red. One rumour doing the rounds is that the public service department responsible for the program is offering hospitals that agree to take on the system an interest free loan to cover the shortfall. The money would not need to be paid back for some years, by which time the public servants monitoring whether or not the money was repaid and the CEOs responsible for paying it will have moved onto new pastures. Because it is a loan the money would not show up as a project cost or as DHS expenditure

Commsec is the largest platform for share trading in Australia. On Monday 29 October, without prior advice, Commsec forced an “upgrade” for their “Profesional Trader” (Known in the industry as PT1) trading software. This software is paid for by subscription by profesional traders in the market. The result of this upgrade has: 1) Forced a crash on all traders using Windows 98. 2) Prohibited direct access to all “BUY, SELL AND AMEND” functions (this makes it virtually impossible for professional traders to operate.) Commsec seem to be unable to re-instate the previous working version of the software.

Coles senior execs have spent the last month arranging massive bonus departure payments for themselves and are now madly scrambling to have those bonuses paid out before the vote for Wesfarmers to take over comes into effect. They are hoping that by the time Wesfarmers takes over, it will be too late to recall.