NSW Planning Minister Frank Sartor entertained 90 guests, mainly developers, at the Art Gallery of NSW the other evening. Fainting with greed, the guests staggered out of their limousines to have Christmas drinks with the State’s planning supremo. Questions being asked around town are: who paid for the lavish reception and did Sartor, who is also Arts Minister, get the prestigious art gallery venue at mate’s rates or did he pay at all? A full inquiry should be held.

Did you notice something different in the parliamentary timetable? Look at 4 November (Melbourne Cup Day). It is designated as a public holiday style “Family Day”. What is this? Does it mean all the pollies bring their partners, kiddies and siblings to PH for a big party? Or do we all get a new public holiday to spend with the family watching a horse race?

Is Cabcharge busy buying another taxi company? The word around the ranks is that Reg Kermode has been busy running the ruler over a major Adelaide company.

The department of health is worried about the large number of workers nearing retirement age. Managers have been told to draw up a list of those they would like to keep so the department can offer them incentives to stay on. So if you’re retiring, and they don’t offer you a bribe to stay…. what a retirement present! Don’t slam the door on your way out.

Your Murray Green “Christmas cheer” story sounds familiar. Staff in a long-suffering department of the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Arts were asked to contribute $10 each to their own Christmas party. This after a year of staff cuts, increased workloads and rolling administrative restructures and “reviews”. Thanks a bunch.