Peter and Tanya Costello were on QF435 from Sydney to Melbourne on Saturday, 13 December. Costello was waiting in line with an adviser; he was somewhat taken aback when two women ran over to hug him. When we finally got on, it turned out Tanya was already on the plane. He was reading 1776 by David McCullough (not a great year for monarchists) and she was reading Vanishing Act (although unsure who the author was). I wanted to ask “When, please?” but a hostie moved me on.

The ANZ Annual Meeting will be held in Brisbane on Thursday and here’s something for those upset at the slump in the share price to get their teeth into. A correspondent writes that the bank is really cutting 3000 jobs, not 800 at stated by the bank, because a major program has failed. This is The One ANZ project. Somehow the numbers aren’t adding up, so the cuts are being made. The Finance Sector Union believes the cuts are bigger than the bank says. But there’s also another problem inside the ANZ emerging. It’s called the District Of The Future program, which the correspondent says is imploding and the results are not stacking up.

This is supposed to locate all relationship managers to a central location (The NAB is sort of doing this already without brilliant results.) These failures will affect operating performance and returns. And still on banks. last week Westpac saw 40% of shareholders vote against the remuneration report at its AGM.On a wet Friday in the wealthy Sydney Eastern suburb of Woollahara, we found out why. The suburb is either the richest or second richest in Australia. Westpac has the one bank ATM in the shopping centre. There’s a high cost non-bank machine in the pub up the road. The nearest bank ATMs are on Oxford Street or in Double Pay, sorry Double Bay. On Friday the local merchants reported that the Westpac ATM was out all day. It is the second lengthy outage in a fortnight they said.

So what did Gail Kelly say about lifting the game? It ain’t there yet if the experience in Woollahara’s Queen Street on Friday is any guide.’s may have suffered an early death. While there was a flurry of activity on the website on November 10 and 11, it has ground to a halt with the last video update being added on the 20th of November.

The Combat Sports Bill 2008 (Assented on 10 December 2008 – Act No 116 of 2008) when gazetted will finally make amateur boxing for women in NSW legal.

The union campaign against the ABCC is in turmoil after four CFMEU officials locked themselves in the lunchrooms on a Melbourne building site on Friday morning and one of them allegedly assaulted an ABCC inspector. The site where the incident took place was the controversial Bovis Lend Lease Royal Childrens Hospital site where disputes have been running over the last three months in relation to a security card system called Blu-Glue.

Remember when the Ansett fleet was grounded before it collapsed? Did you know that the reasons used by CASA to ground the fleet are the same problems that Qantas has had recently — but Qantas has been allowed to continue flying.

In regards to the Australian newspaper situation, ink sales to newspapers (that is ink to print with) are down 20% on last year. For what it’s worth…

Overheard outside Fairfax’s Board meeting after it annointed former Rural Press CEO Bryan McCarthy as Fairfax CEO, Fairfax ex-Fred Hilmer, ex David Kirk, spinner Bruce Wolpe telling McCarthy’s personal assistant “Our man got the job”.

Bah humbug. In true Christmas spirit the cheapskates at The Age have pulled the plug on their free Leunig calendar. Appalling, especially since the Sydney Mionring Herald went ahead and printed theirs. What is it with The Age? (Ed: Age readers denied their Leunig calendars might like to console themselves with a Firstdogonthemoon version. Order yours here).

Like many corporates, HP have decided to cancel all Christmas parties this year. It is however galling to then have the management seek $25 from each employee’s own pocket to fund a substitute, especially after announcing many billions of dollars profit last financial year — someone needs to redefine “reward”.

Crikey/Media Monitors radio rumour watch reports:

  • Presenter Chris Dittmar heard that Channel TEN newsreader George Donikian goes to the hairdresser every single day. — 6.38am 5AA (Adelaide)
  • Caller “Early Election” claims the Victorian Government will call an election next year. He says the next election must be called two years from now, but an early election can legally be called early next year. — 7.11am 3AW (Melbourne)
  • Caller Geoff heard Woolworths will open on New Year’s Day, so Coles are also considering this. Presenter Jason Morrison says government regulations permit retailers to do this. He remembers ex-NSW Treasurer Michael Costa promising shops wouldn’t open on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day as families deserved a holiday. — 6.14am 2GB