It is now becoming clear that the deal which delivered recent massive pay increases to Victorian teachers is about to fall over. Many teachers including a number of non union members say the increases which range from $5000 to $10,000 each year over three years is not enough. If the deal falls over it means that teachers will have to go back to the negotiating table with the State government and the offer of 3.5% is all the government will offer. This means that teachers will have to start the negotiating again from scratch which takes them back 18 months. There will be no offer as the best paid teachers in Australia. No back pay, no increases for at least 18 months, and the government will offer no more than 3.5%.

So, what with the large teacher backlash in Victoria over the Draft Agreement with the Brumby Government, rumours are Mary Bluett is set to resign. Oh, and this agreement is set to be overwhelmingly knocked down.

Load of Croc Darwin’s NT News cut references to local writer Andrew McMillan from a story published in last Saturday’s edition following an uncomplimentary comment McMillan made about the tabloid at an NT Writer’s Festival event the previous Sunday. The story was about the AFL’s “Dreamtime at the G” match and the hoped for spin-off publicity this would generate for a new local book titled Yiloga – Tiwi Footy featuring images by photographers Monica Napper and Peter Eve. In what is considered a first, the text is in both the Tiwi and English languages – oh, and it’s written by McMillan. The word is the NT News editor was less than impressed by McMillan’s comments regarding the newspaper’s journalistic standards which he referred to as “a joke” during an event put on by the Darwin-based “Foreign Correspondents Club”. To place it all in context, any journalist working in the Territory whose stories are filed to any Southern Australian media outlet can become a member of the “club”. But beware — if a member is caught filing a story that in any way mentions crocodiles, the penalty is the purchase of a dozen bottles of red wine to be enjoyed by fellow members. McMillan’s comment about the standards of the NT News was made in reference to this rule and the tabloid’s penchant for croc stories – but it seems the editor is somewhat sensitive on this issue. The moral is be nice or be censored.

What prompted the Australian Federal Police to raid the National Gallery of Australia over the art of Bill Henson, which the NGA has been collecting since 1979? It wouldn’t have been a “complaint” from a national newspaper, would it?

From a WorkCover Victoria media release: 29 May 2008 WorkSafe blitz on manual handling at food manufacturers. A state-wide campaign targeting manual handling safety begins on 1 July when food manufacturers and processors will be visited by WorkSafe Victoria inspectors. Is it still a blitz if you give a month’s notice?

The online ticket purchase for public transport in Melbourne is down for two weeks while they source new hardware. And they “apologise for this delay and any inconvenience it may cause,” – well known line for any Melbourne commuters.

The Opposition hasn’t yet met the standard of the heady Faulkner/Ray days in Estimates committees but there’s hope judging from the response to some sharp questions by ‘While I’m on a Roll’ Abetz during the Finance and Deregulation Portfolio Estimates committee hearings this week. Abetz’s questions centred on the appointment and remuneration of those given the job of conducting an ‘audit’ (read witchhunt) of the Northern Land Council in relation to the recent difficulties that statutory authority has been going through. It seems that at least one of those appointed is close to some senior staff in FaHCSIA (hangovers from Brough’s days and thus known in inner circles as ‘Brough’s Bullies’) who see the ‘audit’ as an opportunity to bring the NLC to heel…and to initiate a few of their wacky ideas about the governance of Commonwealth statutory authorities (at least the black ones). Reports from the Estimates Hearings note a very uncomfortable silence from those at the sharp end of the Abetz grilling and distinct awkwardness when it was realised the appointment/s had been made without going to tender and without their knowledge – particularly about how much this exercise might be costing. These concerns may well be compounded by the fact that much of the ‘auditors’ work may come to naught — due to their incompetence they failed to understand their own terms of reference and powers under the legislation and much of their work may have to be given the flick!

Channel Ten is promoting their YouTube page on their own video site, but when you go to YouTube all the videos have been removed. The statement says: “This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.”

How long does it take to get an email reply from 702 Sydney? Apparently 15 days if my experience is anything to go by. When is the ABC going to realise their level of service just isn’t good enough.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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