NSW Premier Iemma may be about to bolt. Most staffers are now actively looking for other jobs, especially in Canberra.

Friends from Darwin have informed me that the story around Australian one-day cricketer Andrew Symonds going fishing is apparently a coverup. Rumour has it that Symonds had a massive day on the grog at Darwin RSL, his credit card was left on the bar and he proceeded to try and drink it out.

The FIRB area of Treasury is in crisis. Staff are leaving, even long-term skilled people have had enough. Workload is increasing and no one knows how the Treasurer wants to implement the policy. It is only a matter of time before people lose faith in the system and investment goes elsewhere.

A small unit at the Victorian Department of Justice monitoring prisoner health and coordinating health service delivery is in disarray. I now have it from two independent sources. The experienced staff at this previously harmonious and productive unit are all leaving or trying to. The projects in train are a mess.

The present, and possibly next Lord Mayor of Melbourne, John So has, apparently offered the job of Deputy Lord Mayor to Cr David Wilson (a sitting councillor and factional ally); Kimberley Kitching (a former councillor and ALP-right grouper); Will Fowles (30yo darling of the ALP-left); and at least one other. How many deputies can you have?

So the Labor Unity dominated Administrative Committee of the ALP has decided to go against the wishes of the locals and have a free for all in the upcoming Melbourne City Council elections. This means that Kimberley Kitching can run. Local ALP branches are horrified at the thought of Kimberley being back on council as are local business. Kimberley will certainly see the wrath of local branches when she does run or shock horror, gets back on council — this will be fun!

I had a “Channel Ten” moment last night watching Andrew Denton’s interview with British comedian, actor and comedian Bill Bailey, closely followed by a Bill Bailey tour, sponsored by ABC Events. Is there any relationship between talent selected for Enough Rope and sponsorship?

Fairfax 1. Confusion mounts at Fairfax’s Fort Fumble over the Carlton sacking from his SMH column. There are two camps. The pragmatists, stunned by an unexpected and embarrassing torrent of reader support for Carlton, want to reinstate him. The ostriches fear his return would undermine their tinpot authority and encourage rebellion in the ranks. All depends on whether the Herald is published for its readers or its executives.

Fairfax 2. Was Peter Fitzsimons given the same treatment as Mike Carlton? His regular column did not appear in either the Saturday or Sunday editions.

Who said architects couldn’t spell:

Meanwhile…

A Crikey competition.

An anonymous tipster writes: There needs to be a contest for the highest charging Council in Australia. My vote goes to Glamorgan Spring Bay Council in Tasmania. For a leased property with a Capital Value of $9000 and an AAV of $360 they charge $488 per annum rates! This includes Fire Levy $50, Waste Management $67 and Medical Charge $11.00. The property is a jetty. (Email [email protected] with the headline “Highest charging Council in Australia”.)

Peter Fray

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