Christmas island local reports that 50 Immigration staff were flown in to process 14 new boat arrivals. Locally employed GSL staff are being kept on the outer. 50 staff flown 2600 kms to process 14 boatees –not good economics.

The Senate committee inquiry into water management in the Coorong and the lower lakes of the Murray River, due to report today, has been delayed until the end of next week following a committee meeting this morning. The inquiry, set up by the Greens, is aimed in part at urgently identifying options for getting water to the Coorong and lower lakes this year.

Why was the Association of Advertisers speaking so confidently in Brisbane yesterday about what the CSIRO’s yet-to- be-released research on childhood obesity was going to show … when health and medical groups were still very much in the dark? Not a good look. Answer, the CSIRO not-yet-released data on childhood obesity had been given to the Food & Grocery Council (daDA!) since they partially funded the study (oh Government, what WERE you thinking?!). F&GC obviously passed it along to their friendlies, including the advertising bods, with the poor old health groups none the wiser. As I said: NOT A GOOD LOOK!!

Crikey may have made the call to Minister Elliot’s office, but you shouldn’t believe what you were told. “No show” Justine didn’t actually answer the charge made in your report, which referred to the Minister’s lack of presence at the not-for-profit sector’s events. The Minister replies by “rejecting” the claim but just says she has attended a number of other functions in relation to her portfolio — none hosted by the aggrieved sector. She implies that she gets asked to so many events she can afford to ignore those held by the largest part of the residential and community aged care sector, as if their invitations come too late or are not important enough. She then offers her appearance at the alternative, “for-profit” group’s peak body — Aged Care Alliance of Australia — to defend herself.

The NSW Cabinet held a closed door meeting from which all aides, especially the staff and budget people who had written memos against having the V8 Super Cars at Olympic Park, were excluded. This woefully inexperienced cabinet reasoned that they were in deep political trouble, and that by agreeing to what News Limited and the Seven Network wanted, it would deliver favourable coverage for them. That is why and how the decision to spend $30 million of NSW taxpayers’ money on the V8s at Olympic Park was made.

US Senate bailout bill. Check out Clause 503 of the bailout bill — the wooden arrow clause. This must have been critical to the negotiations … see section 503 on page 300 which notes … SEC. 503. “Exemption from excise tax for certain wooden arrows designed for use by children.”

It would seem Top Gear Australia may not turn out to be the huge ratings earner for SBS that the imported UK version has been, if blogs on the program’s fan site are to be believed.

Why was the dinner celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Australian Women’s Weekly held last week, and a special commemorative issue published in October, when the actual anniversary was June? The magazine was launched on 10 June 1933.

Peter Fray

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