Student elections are on at University of Queensland. The Young Liberal Party are playing dirty, running a fake party called “greens on Campus” to try and split the left vote. This isn’t particularly necessary as it is likely the left would win anyway. At least one of the Young Lib members (I’m not sure who his accomplice was) trashed the womens room at UQ and wrote homophobic (among other things) graffiti all over the wall. Here are some photos of what they did.
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He was also intoxicated when he did it and snuck into the Union area at night, the President is aware of this but has done nothing to punish him. They have also changed the university constitution so that they can give out food vouchers to “encourage” students to vote. They are also allowing assistants in the polling booths to “help” people fill out the ballot.
Telstra issued a contract with Service Stream Communications PTY LTD for the installation and maintenance of its Payphone Services. This is a national contract worth about $40,000,000 pa. Start of contract July 07. The nature of the contract was open ticket — in other words the more the payphones went faulty the more the sub contractors and therefore Service Stream earned. Well guess what? Telstra has had a 700% increase in its vandalism clear codes. Now the sh-t has hit the fan and Telstra has twigged. Two weeks ago Telstra hit on Service Stream for $6.9 million. Now Service Stream State managers are knocking on their subbies front door trying to extort up to 95k each with settlement in seven days or they lose their contracts. It’s really getting ugly. This is fact as I am in the middle of it.
Watch out for the Four Corners program to be aired next Monday October 6. Five-time Walkley Award winning reporter Liz Jackson and producer Sarah Curnow have been jetting around the world following the Frank Lowy money trail. They have been to Lichtenstein, Germany, the British Virgin Islands and the US in the highest budgeted story in years. There is speculation that they may have scored an interview with Heinrich Kieber the man that stole highly secretive tax information from the Lichtenstein Bank and then sold it to the German Government for $8.5M. He has been provided witness protection and is believed to be in hiding in Western Australia. Sources reveal that there has been a revolving door at ABC studios in Ultimo Sydney as many current and former tax officials have been spilling the beans about the ATO’s losing fight against tax havens.
Matthew Warren, former Director of External Affairs for the New South Wales Mineral Council turned environmental reporter with The Australian and has just been announced as the new CEO of the Clean Energy Council. What are we to make of this?
Is it just me or was the AFR‘s annual “Power” issue quite wide of the political mark? The “Covert Power” list was seriously out of kilter with the reality. Knowing the Canberra scene and the major players fairly well, albeit from the outside, there were some serious errors and omissions. To put Epstein and number two is absurd. Yes, by right of his position he deserves to be there, but nowhere near the top. As Laura Tingle’s article notes, and Christine Jackman’s Inside Kevin07 book notes, Rudd trusts Deputy Chief of Staff Alister Jordan most of all. Yet Jordan squeaks in at number 10. His ranking should be swapped with Epstein. Given the administrative chaos and black hole that is the PM’s office, Epstein deserves to be marked down as it is his main responsibility. It doesn’t matter that he is not well liked, it is performance that counts. He’s no Arthur Sinodinos. But what about the omissions? Recall people such as Tim Gartrell? Mark Arbib? Bruce Hawker? These people were pivotal in Rudd’s election victory, as Jackman notes. Rudd even mentioned Arbib in his poorly received election night speech.