Word in some circles in Canberra is that no less than five Liberal MPs are suffering serious psychological difficulties post their election loss. They’re not just feeling down in the dumps but are having real difficulties coping. It is not known whether any are receiving medical treatment.  

Yesterday’s “Tips and rumours” asked : “Are there any eagle-eyed readers of Saturday’s Courier Mail newspaper that spotted the offending ad that this refers to?” Well here it is…

Have just been watching ACA and saw a disturbing interview between a reporter sitting in a recording studio who was intercutting questions into what was obviously a statement made by a Miami police officer about Wayne Carey’s arrest last October. I do not know what is more disturbing, the fact that the reporter thinks I will believe it is a real interview or that the network decided that a man accused of glassing his girlfriend was not newsworthy until he lost his job in the incestuous Australian media and became fair game.

Currently, all Ministerial and Parliamentary Services publications, including entitlement reports to members of parliament and payslips to public servants bear the Australian Coat of Arms and the following: “Australian Government: Department of Finance and Deregulation”.

Just following up on your stories regarding the AGSM in recent days – I responded to a survey request in the Weekend AFR for people intending to undertake a part-time MBA in Sydney in coming years. The survey conducted by Forethought was not on behalf of a specific academic institution but it was clear from the questions asked and from a final conclusionary question based on my responses that the purpose of the survey was to gauge interest in studying for a part time MBA from Melbourne Business School … in Sydney CBD. AGSM will now face competition in its backyard from the only other Financial Times Top 100 business school in Australia.

Look at Mick Keelty’s new 5 year contract negotiated just before the election- making sure he was a winner either way. Keelty knows where the bodies are buried — metaphorically speaking of course but he is well placed to get what he wanted from the Howard mob. After all he was hand in glove on the Terror Raids on Indo then Iranian communities which yielded sweet bugger all. One raided family were allowed access to a phone at 7am, 2 hours after the home invasion by AFP. Indignant call to ASIO desk in Canberra asking why these “thugs have been sent to frighten my family”. ASIO response was unreserved apology and request to speak to AFP. AFP refused to speak to ASIO. Could it be that AFP relationship with Howard locked out their mates in ASIO…?

Launceston air traffic control tower was closed for all of Tuesday and most of Wednesday: I’m sure this is due to organised union tactics, not the fact that management have allowed there to be basically half the required staff on station.

Re. the Rudd reappointment of Departmental Secretaries, there is also some angst about the awarding of a five year contract to Patricia Scott in the Dept of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. Scott didn’t cover herself with glory in her previous post in Human Services and hasn’t received rave reviews since taking on DCITA. But as the department was restructured (albeit only slimmed down) it is technically a new appointment so she gets the new five year contract – one wonders if she had a pay cut to match the reduced responsibilities. Clearly Secretaries in roles that haven’t changed (e.g. Treasury) don’t need new contracts, but the approach has the bizarre consequence that the more doubtful secretaries seem to have the better tenure. Clearly Rudd is trying to restore the idea of a professional service, but he has to make sure that the people he is trusting in that role share his understanding of what that entails. Maybe he will really enforce the performance standards of the contracts. In the private sector one would expect at least one in ten senior execs to get “managed out” in any year.

Peter Fray

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