Further to your piece on the LNP and the involvement in Australian Public Affairs in the preselection of candidates … It is very curious that Australian Public Affairs which claims to “cover a full spectrum of communications roles, from public policy campaigns, through to financial PR” is NOT registered on the Federal Government’s Lobbyist register. Nor are ANY of the “team” members listed on APA’s website registered as lobbyists under the new Federal procedures? How do they offer these services and yet are not registered as lobbyists? Or is this a case of Santo’s former Chief of Staff forgetting to fill in the paperwork too?!

Malcolm Turnbull’s just added an album on his Facebook page, “My first question time as Leader of the Opposition”. What a “humble” man (his words). (Crikey: There are many Turnbull Facebook sites. The one that looks most official doesn’t have that. It does however have comments like “ur a looooooooser!”)

Another high profile Melburnian may yet enter the race for Lord Mayor with the backing of the corporate sector. At a discrete meeting over lunch at Spring Street’s renowned European on 13th September, Andrew Heslop was sounded out for a return to Melbourne and a run at Town Hall with the promise of a fully funded campaign. Heslop, 45, is a former National Communications Manager for the Australian Red Cross and Corporate Affairs Director at Yarra Trams. He’s also the founder of the annual Neighbour Day and is remembered as the head of Melbourne’s Winter Blanket Appeal for the Homeless. Until recently he was chief spinner for the resigned NSW Deputy Premier John Watkins, described by the Telegraph’s Simon Benson as the ship that left the sinking rats.

Word going around the Advertising Standards Bureau is that CEO Alison Abernethy may not enjoy a long-term future. While no one’s officially told any of us what’s going on, rumour is that players are less than impressed with the way the recent “Want Longer Lasting S-x?” billboard debacle was handled by the ASB. Predictably, there have been a few sniggers about Abernethy getting ‘boned’ and industry wanting a longer lasting CEO!

DIAC detention debt recovery 1. I don’t think the government pressures them for immediate payment — just refuses to issue them with a passport (if they are have Australian citizenship) or refuses to let them back into the country if they have got a passport. In other words they can never travel overseas.

DIAC detention debt recovery 2. I’m no GST specialist, but I do know that GST is not payable on services provided to persons outside of Australia. If detainees were outside of the “Migration Zone” for legal purposes, there’s probably a fair argument that they were outside Australia for GST purposes too.

You’ve probably already heard, another 20 jobs to go at the SMH and Sun Herald, taking the total in this round to 70. Staff found out today but no explanation was given at the so-called “information” sessions run by Lloyd Whish Wilson, who refused to take questions from staff about redundancies and seven day rosters. What a joke! Can’t wait for the next front page story that offers readers a free down load of a so-called lost song. Journalism at its best, not!

The Costello Memoirs is now selling for $12 to Sydney Uni alumni via Glebe Books.

Peter Fray

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