John Howard was very close to appointing a female Governor-General after Bill Deane. The vetting and security checks had been complete, Buck Palace had been informed, but at the last minute the candidate pulled out for family reasons. Instead we ended up with Abp. Hollingworth.

Telstra’s Phil Burgess just gave a speech at the CommsDay Summit in Sydney today. He launched a full scale attack on the the ACCC and Graeme Samuel. Apart from describing Samuel as a “rogue regulator” he also described the ACCC as “maggots” claiming Telstra only wanted to deal with the Government and not the “unelected regulator” Seems Burgess again fails to recognise that the ACCC is a creation of the Government and Samuel is appointed by Government! He also complained about Telstra’s competitors engaging PR specialists to mount their case against Telstra getting a monopoly on the new National Broadband Network. It was very funny coming from the highest paid spinner in the business. The entire speech was videoed so a transcript, if not the footage, should be available.

John Elliott is back at Melbourne’s esoteric but exclusive Savage Club. He was thrown out after being made a bankrupt but was spotted last Thursday holding court in the dining room!

The appointment of Mark Weinberg of the Federal Court to the Victorian Court of Appeal could mean that the current President of that Court Chris Maxwell is headed for the High Court later this year when Chief Justice Murray Gleeson retires. Maxwell is politically progressive, an outstanding jurist and would be the perfect appointment for the Rudd government as it moves to shift the court back to the centre from the right.

The exodus continues at Fairfax’s Bendigo Advertiser. Two reporters, a senior sub-editor and an editorial photographer resigned last week. You could fire a gun in the newsroom these days with very little chance of casualties. General Manager Peter Dehnert’s response that “we must have overlooked” reporters not being paid penalty rates for evening and weekend shifts for the past few years is hogwash. This was brought to management’s attention 12 months ago by a former reporter. A settlement of the back pay for existing staff is imminent, but management are refusing to contact former staff who were underpaid. The MEAA are trying to contact those who have left the paper to see if they want help to pursue claims for any amounts owed. With people management like this, its little wonder that editorial staff are voting with their feet. And the quality of the journalism on the paper? Who cares as long as the costs are kept down.

Rudd’s 2020 Summit. The people that Kevin rejects… I have on good authority that the identity of all unsuccessful nominees was disclosed by e-mail CC (carbon carbon rather than Bcc or BLIND carbon copy) to each other’s when the Department of the Prime Minster and Cabinet sent a letter of advice of their non-selection. The DPMC apologised with a follow up message, blaming “a human error”, and asked recipients to delete the addresses. My source tells me that they are now dealing with a seething quagmire of e-mails from various barrow-pushers.

S-xual harassment complainant Vivienne Dye, whose allegations about lechery, assault and s-xual misbehaviour against Commonwealth Bank executives get a prominent run in today’s Telegraph, is well known in Sydney Young Liberal circles. She’s a former president of the Paddington Young Liberals branch and girlfriend of Alex Hawke, with suggestions the Paddington branch was stacked by the Right while she was involved with Hawke. Dye previously worked at Vodafone where, a former colleague says, she received a substantial payout for s-xual harassment.

The pending changes to Australian eBay is restricted trading at its worst. In a money grabbing effort eBay are forcing buyers to pay by an eBay owned payment system called PayPal thus making money when a seller lists, sells, receives their money and withdraws their money. I have never seen the community so up in arms over a policy decision. The bigger they are the harder they fall! The smaller traders, are leaving in droves.

Rumours have been rampant for months since the launch of the iPhone in the USA back mid-2007 regarding Australia’s chance to taste the iPhone. There have been many dates and leaks of false info, so much so that some people even think Australia is never going to get it. However, Apple have been informing resellers of their iPhone strategy for Australia. Resellers have been informed of the following things: Last week of June release; More than 1 carrier; No contract lock in; Current resellers will be able to sell iPhones. More info here.