The Liberals aren’t happy with Jamie Briggs winning the Mayo pre-selection. He’s an outsider and not a local. Local Liberals are now worried that the seat could seriously be lost to the Greens given the retirement of Downer. Labor will pump a huge amount of money into the Greens to try and make some mileage. Many are saying that it should of been his wife Estee who should have run given that she’s a woman and grew up in the area and could easily identify with voters. Estee is the true genius behind Briggs with her knack of writing and publishing campaign material. Other pre-selection candidates that ran are p-ssed off with the underhanded way the preselection campaign was run with formal complaints being made to the Liberal Secretariat over Jamie’s continual manipulation of the media during the period when all candidates were explicitly told not to speak to the media.

Thought you’d find it amusing to see that there is a horse called “Vizard” going around in Western Australia at the moment. The five-year-old is by “Magic of Money” out of “Tickle The Till” who in turn is by “Corporate Raider”. Well-named dare I say! “Vizard” won the Beaufine Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday, paying $2.10 for the win according to TAB.

The Papal visit may have run smoothly from an event management point of view, but the impact on businesses in Sydney’s The Rocks tourist area was immense. My partner manages a restaurant, and normally they do nicely during school holidays. Last week, though, their takings were down $30,000! The Jockey Club got their compensation. Where do we send the bill?

In a speech yesterday Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon claimed lower operating costs for the Qantas group than Virgin Blue. Why hasn’t this happened sooner? Operating costs decline sharply as the size of jets go up, so for an airline flying wide body jets with 220 to 300 seats against the competition, and 300 to 400 seats jets long haul, Qantas has no excuse for not having had lower operating costs than anyone with smaller jets on average and for a very long time. But the media are too thick to work this out.

Nine Network stands to make more than $1 million profit from selling the home used in McLeod’s Daughters in South Australia. Nine paid around $380,000 back in 1999. Why didn’t the South Australian Government take a charge over the property to secure the $400,000-plus funding it put into the series to help Nine? Nine had threatened to shut it down without assistance from the Government. Talk around the network is that an offer of around $1.5 million has been accepted for the house. Elders Real Estate is said to be the agent handling the sale.

Brumby’s hold on the Murray River is certainly interesting. Murray river historians say NSW and VIC have long been at the mercy of South Australia, since the late 1960s when both states gave up substantial water rights to SA, in order to get the Dartmouth Dam built. It’s alway interesting to hear the South Aussies bleating over their share of water allocations, which is proportionally much higher than all other states.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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