Paul Daley is going from weekly to Monthly. The Bulletin victim is in discussion with Morry Schwartz’s mag.

All new MPs go through an induction process run by Ministerial & Parliamentary Services and the Joint House Department where they learn about their entitlements and the Parliament House facilities, like the new child care centre. Recently, when the JHD people were explaining how many child care spots were allocated for cleaners, how many for security staff, how many for Hansard, how many for MPs etcetera, a new high profile Labor MP put their hand up and asked “So you mean MPs’ children will be sharing the facilities with cleaners’ children?” It wasn’t Greg Combet. He just looked down and shook his head.

DFAT continue to drag their feet on the Trent Smith case, despite Smith’s reinstatement by the Industrial Relations Commission and public discrediting of DFAT’s star witness, Dr Matthew Hyndes. There was a delicious session in the Senate Estimates hearings yesterday which saw Senator Robert Ray grilling the Department’s senior executive (yet again) on the matter. However, this time, Senator Ray’s former co-inquisitor, Senator John Faulkner, was sitting with the DFAT team as their ministerial representative. Faulkner endorsed Ray’s points, much to the obvious discomfort of DFAT’s best and brightest.

Foxtel “loses” 80,000 customers – Foxtel have implemented a brand new computer system but when all the client details were migrated across from the old system, 80,000 customers were deleted.

Air Traffic Controller News: More airspace reductions occurring for three hours Thursday night; see the map here: Two people were available instead of 3 and as such they reduced services at C0822/08 delays can be expected for traffic intending to transit airspace as follows: Due to ATC staff shortage, Melbourne Centre 120.75, 119.4 AND 124.0 (South Eastern NSW, Eastern VIC). Contingency map available  here. Aerodomes in this area include YBNS YCOM YMES YLTV YMCO YMER YMRY YORB YWSL YYRM. Departures from ML/EN/SY/CB/AY into this airspace may require a start-up clearance. Aircraft planning to conduct AWK or SVY flights may be severely restricted. From 02 210530 Tto 02 210830.

I am surprised at the lacklustre media response to major booksellers refusing to stock the Cruise biography by Andrew Morton. Page 239 has some trenchant commentary on James Packer which may have dampened journalists’ enthusiasm for white-hot pursuit.

(Our friends at Readings in Melbourne provided the following extract: “Tom set about this task with gusto. When he was filming The Last Samurai in New Zealand, he gave James Packer, son of Australia’s richest man, Kerry Packer, a role as a samurai extra in the movie. Dominated by his larger-then-life father, James Packer cut a sorry figure, overweight and out of shape. Not only had his One.Tel communications business collapsed, but his wife of just two years had walked out on him. His “ruin” was obvious to anyone – and it did not take long before he was reading Scientology Literature, attending courses at the Scientology center in Dundas, and flying to the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood. When he attended Tom’s fortieth birthday party in July 2002, it seemed that it was the thirty-five-year-old businessman who going through midlife crisis and not the older actor. Packer later said that he admired Cruise “enormously. The way he behaves, his humility, his values, his decency.” Packer was a perfect recruit. Not only was he wildly wealthy and emotionally confused, he was a well-known figure in a country that has been hostile to the faith, a 1965 government report accusing Scientology of being “evil”. He was but one smorgasbord of celebrities Tom endeavored to bring into his faith, targeting those who were not just rich and famous but who had standing in their own countries or communities.” )

The mystery of the Golden Carriage of North Head solved. In an article almost as twee as its subject, today the Murdoch Manly Daily gave us the breathless definitive answer as to where you can find and see the over-the-top and wasteful contribution to the Royal Toy Collection! ( click here or on the image to read the full article )

Peter Fray

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