NSW Premier Morris Iemma’s trade mission to China has already suffered its first diplomatic stumble. Iemma, accompanied by his Primary Industries and Energy Minister Ian Macdonald, flew to China last week with representatives from 33 NSW companies. In parliament last Thursday Iemma boasted that the delegation also comprised officials from nine NSW universities “underscoring the need to move from resources and physical capital to human capital, as China becomes a fully developed economy”. The official itinerary included a visit to the International Cultural-Industrial Fair at Shenzen, China’s burgeoning southern commercial capital. The head of the prestigious St Andrew’s College of Sydney University was in attendance at one of the exhibition sites promoting educational exchange opportunities. Although Iemma’s travelling circus was scheduled to drop in, no one turned up.

The scuttlebut amongst Perth journos is that both chief reporter Mark “Bulldog” Drummond, and senior political reporter Robert Taylor have handed their notices to West Australian editor Paul Armstrong recently. Is there more trouble at the top at The Worst? What gives?

Any doubt about how the big landlords feel about the ex-Coles Myer businesses is put to rest with a look at the tenancy for the redeveloped Westfield Doncaster in Melbourne. Myer had a watertight lease provision blocking DJs entering the centre. That was dispensed with during the Myer sale (which needed Westfield approval) and DJs is set to open in the next few months. More interestingly, the near-terminal Kmart has been replaced with a Big W, also set to open soon. Wesfarmers needed the consent of landlords when they bought Coles Group, and Westfield stipulated no Kmart for the redeveloped Doncaster. The view was that Big W was more likely to draw shoppers than the ailing Kmart.

Leightons are poised to make a big buy-out. They are asking all the managers of all the many arms of the business to get all the dollars in this month. The last time this happened they bought up a lot of small players in the power/water industry. Rumour has a big energy provider as a joint venture.

Integral Energy transition team is on hold regarding sale of retail side of business. Awaiting news from treasury but the tip is six months and it’s gone. Where will the 2000 staff go?

Round 1 of NSW Labor preselections for the upcoming local government election are about to kick off – nominations opened on Friday for Ashfield, Botany, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury, Cessnock, Hurstville, Kogarah, Lake Macquarie, Marrickville, Parramatta, Penrith, Queenbeyan, Sydney City and Waverly, and close 28 May.

The TV Guide in The Sunday Age is next to be cut after other big page cuts.

Last Friday’s Independent Weekly in Adelaide featured a gushing profile on top-rating 5AA morning announcer, Leon Byner, written by its “gun” reporter Hendrik Gout. What was noteworthy about this fabulous piece of journalism was what it omitted! Namely, all and any mention of Byner’s infamous “cash for comment” scandal which was broken by the Advertiser on 23 January 2004, and followed up on Media Watch on 27 September 2004. An interesting coincidence given that Hendrik Gout does a lengthy Q&A with Byner every Friday on the show spruiking the stories coming up in that week’s edition. Independent Weekly? … yeah right!

Regarding Qantas strikes. Resumedomain.com is a recruitment company that has 400 plus strike-breakers ready to take Australian jobs.

A little more Qantas bashing… this was for QF9 last Wednesday:

Qantas airways QF #9 Status: Landed – Delayed Event : The status of the flight has changed. Departs: 14 MAY (MEL) TULLAMARINE AIRPORT Scheduled : 03:30 PM Gate : 11:39 PM Runway : 11:52 PM Delay : 489 Minutes Late Gate : 2 9 ARRIVES: 14 MAY (SIN) CHANGI AIRPORT Scheduled : 09:05 PM Gate : 04:50 AM Runway : 04:52 AM Delay : 465 Minutes Late Gate : 1 16

Given your Qantas watch, you may be interested that Qantas are currently seeking volunteers for Sydney Airport to act as ambassadors to welcome passengers and provide advice, directions etc.

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