On Thursday September 18, Telstra announced that its ISP business BigPond would be rolled back into the larger Telstra, with the loss of around 800 jobs. Fast-forward to today, almost two weeks later, and the staff of BigPond STILL haven’t been told what their new roles will be, or even if they will have an ongoing role. The latest advice is that they “should” know something “towards the end of NEXT week”. For all those BigPond customers out there who think you get treated like sh-t — just be thankful you’re not staff. These plonkers couldn’t run a bath.

The 1,000 delegates at the national aged and community services conference in Adelaide unanimously decided that the Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, was the highlight of the day’s proceedings. The only problem was she wasn’t there. Justine Elliot has been a notorious “no show” at the not for profit sector’s conferences since becoming Minister: she ducked out of a major regional function in Albury at the end of February, sending her predecessor, shadow minister Jan Mclucas (who as delegates said, at least knew what she was talking about in the speech she gave). Elliot also missed the Community care conference in Sydney in May, sending Steve Georganas, the member for Hindmarsh. This time round, she pulled the plug less than 24 hours before speaking but the organizers were ready. They refused the offer of a substitute and just told the delegates the Minister would not be appearing. As they said afterwards “it was the highlight of the day”. Instead of being told they were doing a bad job by Justine (“I make no apologies for closing down/sending in inspectors, referring matters to police” etc,) Elliot, the Minister was forthright, clear and coherent. She just wasn’t there!

Crikey: The Office of Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot rejected the claim. Minister Elliot has presented 15 major speeches on aged care in the last few months. This includes an international conference on dementia, the Population Summit in Melbourne and a major economic speech at CEDA in Perth. We get dozens of requests for the minister to address conferences in all corners of Australia, but unfortunately, we cannot attend all of them. The industry gets unprecedented access to the minister and just two weeks ago, Minister Elliot met the national board of management for Aged Care Association of Australia.

Signs of more budget cuts at SMH? They couldn’t even get a photo showing an Australian vehicle for this story about road rage by Australian drivers — (note the side of the car the steering wheel is on!)

With Eddie and LeNeve gone, Larry Anthony must be feeling a bit lonely at ABC Learning Board meetings now that he’s the only Director other than the Chair. Even the federal parliamentary National Party has more members than the ABC Board… Given that Larry (BCom, UNSW) was on the Audit Committee at ABC, let’s hope that he’s being a little more on the money with his other board appointments, which include the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and Brisbane-based bank Indue.

Meanwhile on the grassy knoll: According to these sources, Poulson and Bernanke and friends deliberately caused the crash to force/blackmail Congress to pass the bill and grab control of the banking business in the USA. If it’s true, it should be put out there. Counting on you! Market Ticker has provided charts from the Federal Reserve that prove that Bernanke has withdrawn $125 billion from the banking system “in the last four days” alone to create a crisis situation that will incite credit market mayhem and increase the likelihood of passing the bill. This is coercion of the worst kind.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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