One of the features of Parliament House that received no attention in last week’s 20th anniversary celebrations was the recently installed spotlight attached to the giant flagpole. This enormous 5 KW light is operated directly from the Prime Minister’s office and is used to project a giant "R" into the Canberra sky whenever danger threatens. It is the Government’s "bat-signal" to Heather Ridout that she is urgently needed for a review.

Unlikely? Well, what else can explain the ubiquity of the chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, who is a sort of 21st Cabinet member? Julia Gillard’s first task as Deputy Prime Minister back in December was to address Ridout’s organisation, praising the AIG for working well with Labor in Opposition. Since then, Ridout has scored a number of important Government gigs.