Don’t be conned by Mark Scott’s “staged” retrenchment of ABC TV’s Production Resources staff. I have it on good authority from the highest levels of the ABC that the Board signed-off on a recommendation from Scott and Chief Operating Officer, David Pendleton, to fire ALL Production Resources staff other than those essential personnel required to produce news and current affairs TV (NewsCAff). The bomb was due to be dropped mid-March but Scott got cold feet. The retrenchments are, instead, going to be trickled out throughout the course of 2008. The REAL numbers are 800-900 production staff getting the bullet by the end of the year. And here’s another hot tip for you to follow-up: Scott to sell-off ABC shops! Put money on this one. Mark Scott and ABC Chairman, Maurice Newman, are working on a secret deal to sell ABC shops to an existing high street retailer with strong connections to SBS. If you pry a little deeper, you might even find the guy running the company being courted by the ABC has friends in high ABC places. It’s all very “grey” and shrouded in secrecy.

Stacking the Vote? Not for the Logies, surely? And surely not at the ABC? Oh dear:

Dear Colleagues,

The Race for Gold is on after Andrew Denton, Adam Hills and Chris Lilley were announced as nominees for the Gold Logie at the 50th Annual TV Week Logies awards. With 3 nominees in the race for Most Popular Personality on TV, ABC TV has greater representation than any other network, free-to-air or pay. They stand tall amongst our 21 other splendid nominations – 8 in the Most Popular categories and 13 in Most Outstanding, second only to Channel 7.

Audiences around the country have voted in record numbers and ABC TV programs and personalities have been rewarded with nominations for Logies by both the viewing public and judges drawn from the industry’s most experienced. It’s a testament to the fantastic work done by everyone in the TV Division, our colleagues in Production Resources and our independent production partners. The voting is now closed for all but the Gold Logie.

A vote for Andrew, Adam or Chris, might just give one of them the nose across the finishing line. It’s an act Norman Gunston, our last gold Logie winner in 1976, would be well proud of! If you would like to further support our Logies campaign, you can also choose to download the attached email signature to use.

Gold Logie Nominee Voting Information: To Vote for Andrew Denton phone 1902 559 592 OR SMS Andrew to 199 888 99 To Vote for Adam Hills phone 1902 559 593 OR SMS Adam to 199 888 99 To Vote for Chris Lilley phone 1902 559 595 OR SMS Chris to 199 888 99.

Censorship, Telstra style: I have just tried to get a refund for the two months our phones failed to work. “Jamie” from Telstra informed me that as there has been a “major communications breakdown” no refunds are due to anyone in this area of South East Australia. When I said “slow down … this is incredible… I want to write this down” he informed me that it is illegal to comment publicly on any conversation with Telstra, and that I would be breaking the law to report on any part of the conversation. Ooops… Bring on the hand cuffs…

Re. Fisher and Paykel. State government purchasing policy is pretty dry stuff but interesting to note that of the hundreds of thousands of stoves bought annually by government departments for public housing etc, Westinghouse (who are also Chef, and all the other brands you can name except Fisher and Paykel) are on the government tender list and you cannot buy a stove from anywhere else. In many cases they are replaced every 12-18 months at a cost to taxpayers of around $700. The absurdity of central purchasing means that better quality units such as Fisher and Paykel miss out on this huge market every year and taxpayers pay through the nose.

The SMH has been using freedom of information laws to get Sydney Uni to release the report that resulted from its investigation into Kim Walker, dean of the Conservatorium of Music. The matter is listed for hearing in the NSW ADT on Monday April 21 10am. It could be feisty because Kim Walker’s lawyers have also joined as a party to prevent the Herald from getting access to the report.

From Anglicare in Western Australia, a disgrunteld employee must speak out. We were told at large staff meeting recently that the reason we have a fleet of large petrol-devouring dinosaur 4WDs (Mitsubishi and Toyata mostly) is because of a glitch in the WA state sales tax law. We underlings were giving grief to the bosses about the need to have such a large fleet of oil-eaters. The Manager said: “Simple, we lease the fleet from a car sales company that flips (turns over their inventory) every few months and each time they do they collect sales tax for selling and kick back a portion as Revenue to Anglicare. That is used to pay our salaries.” I resent that. The system is set up so that the bigger the car (and hence the petrol tank) the more tax is collected. There is not one iota of consideration given to the environment. Basically this is tax subsidised pollution and green house gas scheme, paid for by the Australian taxpayer.