News Ltd must be seeing some nasty sales drops for the Sunday and Daily Telegraphs in Sydney. A group of 150 selected Sydney newsagencies are in a promotion whereby people who buy four copies of the Teles, starting Sunday 9 November and ending on Sunday 16 November, go into a draw to “Win $10,000 cash for Xmas”, or five lots of $500 for the runners up. The newsagents in question have to go to a day long seminar in Sydney tomorrow to hear News Ltd circulation bosses rev them up as part of the promotion. Is this trying to arrest the weakness in circulation revenues from Australian newspapers mentioned in last week’s quarterly financial report from News Corp?

A senior Sydney Morning Herald sports writer, made redundant at considerable expense to Fairfax last month has now signed to an exclusive reporting deal … with the Sydney Morning Herald.

The whole child care thing is a racket. As a non-bank lender I was approached recently by someone who owns a chain of centres (about seven) looking for money. Their main source of revenue was the government. Two main factors determine the size of the Fed’s contribution: how many bums on seats, and the income status of the parents. The more kids they have, and the broker the parents, the more dough the Feds kick in. So their strategy was to place centres in low income suburbs and then charge $1 per day! That way the centres filled up with low income families. So when they say 40% of centres weren’t profitable, I wonder if that is before or after the handouts?

Following Crikey’s “Tips and rumours” last week suggesting that The Australian is running a campaign against Queensland’s south-east recycling water project — it’s interesting to see a media release today from the NHMRC retracting comments attributed to Don Bursill by reporter Greg Roberts in yesterday’s Australian:

10 November 2008
NHMRC HAS NOT WARNED THE QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT ON RECYCLING WATER

The National Health and Medical Research Council has never warned the Queensland Government it should not go ahead with its water recycling plan, as was incorrectly reported in today’s Australian, the CEO of the NHMRC, Professor Warwick Anderson, says.

“The role of the NHMRC is to produce and endorse national guidelines, in this case the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling — Augmentation of Drinking Water Supplies, for agencies to follow to protect public health.

“Public health is of paramount importance and the national guidelines reflect this. Responsibility for recycling water lies with state or local jurisdictions.

“I am informed by Professor Don Bursill, the chair of our Water Quality Advisory Committee, that he was not interviewed by the Australian and did not warn the Queensland Government it should not proceed.”

What he did say last week (to The Australian Science Media Centre, in a “rapid roundup” on recycled water, which they circulated to media, on 30 October) which was not reported in The Australian, was: The Queensland Government has prepared itself well for this strategy, they have built up their water quality expertise in the regulatory area, they have taken note of the new Australian Water Recycling Guidelines and they have passed the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Bill in May this year. This is a significant improvement in the way in which water quality is regulated in Queensland and will improve the chances of it being a success.

Don’t you just love MPs who think they are tech savvy, and “online” only to join groups that are just wrong. Here’s Christopher Pyne’s latest Facebook group that he has joined just this morning. Along with Joe Hockey and 2611 other misguided Liberals. Here’s the text of the group that they have just joined. Someone should let them know John Howard is not their leader for 2010, or is there something we don’t know about, and who ever said Christopher isn’t a Howard man?:

Elect the Liberal/National Coalition in 2010

Ensure the election of the Liberal/National team at the next Federal election

Beneficiary: Donations to the cause benefit:

INTERNATIONAL YOUNG DEMOCRAT UNION INC

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit

Positions:

1. A strong, secure and united Australia

2. A new era of growth, prosperity and opportunity

3. A committment to individual economic choice and freedom

Category: Political Campaigns

Description: Despite the hype regarding the arrogant and inexperienced Kevin Rudd and his incompetent and unproven team of Union Officials in the ALP, John Howard and the Liberal/National Coalition stand as the only choice to ensure the continuation of the world class economic conditions to which Australians have become accustomed. Only John Howard and his team are committed to keeping taxes, interest rates and unemployment at their record lows while providing working families with the choices to ensure their future prosperity and livelihood.

The Liberal/National team is also committed to ensuring the moral and social standards that Australians believe in and to which they accept as part of mainstream Australian society remain in place. While Kevin Rudd’s concept of “Foreign Affairs” is the taxpayer-funded frequenting of New York strip clubs, the Coalition remain working tirelessly to uphold Australian family values and the quality of life that makes Australia the best nation on earth. John Howard’s proven leadership is no less evident than the esteem in which he has been held by other world leaders at the recent APEC Conference in Sydney — testament to Australia rising to a better future.

NOTE: The Facebook causes application only allows donations to US-based organisations. Thus, the registered charity is the International Young Democrat Union — an international grouping of conservative youth movements, of which the Young Liberal Movement is a member. To donate to the Liberal Party of Australia, please visit…

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW