Apparently Kevin Rudd has not attended a Christmas party for PM&C. Out of two he has been to none — John Howard attended nearly all Christmas parties. People in the Department think this is a deliberate snub. Although apparently he needs to have the AFP vet anywhere and anyone he talks to. John Howard is being looked on as someone in touch with the people who worked long hours for him.

Queensland Liberals are starting to think that the funny man at Telstra who issued the new LNP HQ with a phone number that ended in 666 was more on the money than he realised.

The Director General of NSW Dept of Arts, Sport and Recreation has vastly increased the staff in her own office, who do god knows what. This empire building was mentioned at the estimates hearings, so someone has noticed. We know about lots of “reviews” at huge expense. Roll those logs. Meanwhile, casuals employed in various areas of the Department have worked for several weeks unpaid because she has insisted on approving all recruitment, then failed to sign the approvals before she went to NZ for two weeks. Even by the self-serving standards of the NSW Government Senior Executive Service, this is a new low.

Is Labor’s refusal to abolish the ABCC , the industry-specific industrial relations body for the construction industry that has pretty extreme powers, perhaps Labor’s payback for the sight of CFMEU members cheering John Howard back before the 2004 election?

Although Sunday’s Great Australian Run promised first, second and third placed males and females would be awarded prizes in five separate age groups, none have been paid and the results list — which on Sunday and Monday showed age group placings — have since been amended to delete all such rankings. Further, the GAR has no contact phone number and is not responding to emails from disgruntled place-getters.

I have it on very good authority that Wizard are going on a witch hunt for staff members who may have spoken to members of the media about the NAB purchase and are breaching the Privacy Act by demanding personal phone records from staff. Information about the sale/purchase has appeared on the websites of Crikey (as you know) as well as The Sheet, Money Management and the Herald Sun. Wizard and/or GE Money management are now trying to match up the personal mobile phone records of staff with phone numbers of journalists at these publications to expose them.

Casual journalists at the Herald Sun are to be told they are no longer needed  — despite the many calls on their services to fill essential sub-editing holes, especially at school holiday periods, Christmas etc.

ANZ staff aren’t allowed to put up Xmas decorations in the office. Health and safety regulations. Talk about Scroogey.

Regarding the Oz Minerals mystery. Contrary to Ausenco’s response to the deferral of their work for Oz, in which they stated that staff working on Sepon and Martabe would be reassigned, last Friday they laid off staff in Brisbane and Perth.

Further to the tip earlier this week on Foster’s retrenchments — the actual number is 20% across the company

A house divided will not stand :

Crikey/Media Monitors radio rumour watch reports:

  • Presenter Ross Stevenson jokes racehorse Bauer was seen out with former AFL footballer Ben Cousins the night before the Melbourne Cup. — 3AW (Melbourne) 7.09am
  • A listener received a 15th birthday party invitation which asked those attending to bring their own alcohol. — 3AW (Melbourne) 7.09am
  • It is rumoured that former Tourism and Economic Development Minister Paul Wriedt is seeking a new job, possibly heading up the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. — HO FM (Tasmania) 8.00am
  • Peter from Victor Harbor claims he heard Penny Wong calling PM Kevin Rudd by his first name on ABC radio. He wonders if this is appropriate. Presenter David Bevan says there is no way Hillary Clinton would refer to Barack Obama as “Barack”; she would call him “The President”. He reckons this lack of formality with names is corroding our society at its highest levels. — ABC 891 (Adelaide) 11.37am

Peter Fray

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