Wesfarmers has not been able to make headway at Coles against the entrenched culture. Long term senior managers feeling somewhat relieved at having survived the first wave of the Wesfarmers takeover activity. As the Wesfarmers team now hand over to Ian McLeod to manage, Coles managers have been a bit puzzled at the gentleness of the past six months. Okay, it was obvious from day one that the Wesfarmers team were totally overwhelmed with the size of Coles, but they didn’t even manage to reduce the head office by as much as the numbers due to go under the plans that were already underway by Fletcher. Interestingly, some who were told they were out of a job 18 months ago are still alive and well. Perhaps Ian McLeod and his new team will be able to change things. One thing they will have to battle is the ever increasing leakage of good quality people who have arrived at Coles in the past few years and decided to leave because the culture isn’t changing, whilst the long termers who have left and been paid out manage to find their way back to the comfort of the old Coles culture.

COAG’s health politics. Re. “Labor rejects AMA’s bedside manner“. Bernard Keane wrote: “The AMA opposed a COAG proposal to establish a national register of doctors — shortly after the “Butcher of Bega” revelations about Graeme Reeves — claiming it would threaten patient care.” Butcher of Bega and Dr Death were just handy political expediencies — the real reason that COAG were looking at this micro level of stuff was to enable the National E-Health Transition Authority to set up the Unique Healthcare Provider Identifier project that will be a cornerstone of the future Individual Electronic Health Record.

Graham West MP is the NSW Minister for Gaming and Racing, and Minister for Sport and Recreation. Minister West has recently agreed to give substantial funds for programs in his own and adjacent electorates. This also benefits an organisation where his policy adviser used to work. Is he doing this because his days are numbered?

And on the anniversary of the NT intervention word seeps out that the first (and only?) university to support the intervention directly, the NT’s own Charles Darwin University, is to lose both its VC, Helen Garnett and the Exec Director, corporate Scott Snyder. Following a protracted struggle with the CDU council Garnett was offered a one year contract extension which she refused and Snyder none at all.

Regarding the chronic shortages of qualified ATC staff. You will be interested to know that Airservices have a contract with the South Australian State Government to provide marine radio services, using ATC staff at the Brisbane ATC centre. Why are highly trained and specialised air traffic controllers providing marine radio services? Surely, this is a waste of an already limited resource?

Separated at birth. Belinda Neal and Martin Bryant?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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