Federal Liberal Party Director Brian Loughnane and his wife Peta Credlin are desperate to maintain influence in the Turnbull led opposition. With Brian closely tied to the end of the Howard years and the disastrous 2007 campaign he’s widely considered to be on his last legs. Up until yesterday, Peta was working in Nelson’s office as self appointed “deputy chief of staff”. Prior to that she masterminded the Howard Government’s woeful broadband policy. Plugging herself as a fait accompli for Turnbull’s chief of staff they say comes as no surprise, but would be a big mistake for a leader requiring level heads, sound counsel and a clean break with the past.

You might want to check out some rumoured back-door dealings at Gold Coast City Council. A known eco-sensitive developer is rumoured to have agreed to pay research funds to wildlife researchers in exchange for relaxation on development approval conditions for a resort hotel & further development outside the urban footprint into defined koala conservation lands.

Fairfax have given their defamation and prepublications legal work to Johnson Winter Slattery — leaving Freehills empty handed. The concern for journalists is the prepublications work: to undercut the current cheap Fairfax inhouse team, JWS will most likely put junior legal staff on the job. This suggests that either Fairfax is planning on publishing such tame pap that it can be legalled by inexperienced solicitors — or that they will end up paying dearly for ditching decades of inhouse experience.

Page 139 of the Productivity Commission’s Annual Review of Regulatory Burdens says: “[The Australian Industry Group] endorsed moves to have the National Plumbing Regulator’s Forum take responsibility for the WaterMark certification scheme. However, it noted that the Forum lacked a national focus.” Shouldn’t something that calls itself the National Forum have a national focus?

Thanks for story about Lehmans. One point yet to be picked up is the enormous amount of Index money being managed against Lehman Indexes. What happens if no one is calculating the Indexes? Also these Indexes relied on Lehman bond trades for valuations.

At lunch time today copies of The Costello Memoirs were going for $34.95 at Borders in Canberra.

The sale of Channel Nine Darwin to Imparja is apparently a done deal. Just a few details to sort out, they take over next week.

Peter Fray

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