Which high profile Hawthorn premiership player was seen jumping on car roofs and bonnets on Ruskin St, Elwood at 10pm on Saturday night? This despite team mate Brent Renouf serving an in-club suspension for doing the same thing.

BHP Billiton 1. On ABC Radio 720 Perth on Friday morning Presenter Geoff Hutchinson interviewed Ravensthorpe Shire President regarding BHP Billiton’s lack of communication with the community. BHPB are stone-walling, saying they are talking directly to those concerned and not media organisations. Well, according to the shire president they are not talking to the shire (if the shire does not represent “the community” who does?) For me the big news was that the Ravensthorpe Nickel Project Resident Mine Manager sold his substantial house, located on a farmlet back in September, when property prices were soaring in the area. Since then, he has been living in rented accommodation — inside knowledge?

BHP Billiton 2. Workers at Ravensthorpe Nickel were lied to and told the plant was being turned off as a “Safety Stop” and would be restarted that afternoon. We knew something was up when we heard rumours of extra planes and extra security staff being flown in.

Further to your Myer story last week, part time staff working in stores have had their hours cut by 20%. It affects thousands of people and impacts mainly older women — and is a incredibly sneaky way of cutting staff. In addition, quite a few people have been shown the door in the past week. For some time now, Myer has been in the spiral of cutting staff because sales are dropping, which makes it harder to get served in stores, which means shoppers go elsewhere…

Myer and DJs have been forced to fess up to the management jobs they have had to shed but they are not whispering a word about the lay-off of the way more than usual number of post Christmas/New Year sales casuals or the re-jigging, i.e., cutting back of job hours to suit ever declining customer numbers.

Claims that the corporate bookies are making money hand over fist at the expense of the TABs look a bit suspect when you take a look at how many of them have sold out or are trying to sell. IAS Bet — on the market; Sportsbet — tried to sell out to Tabcorp; Bill Hurley Sportsbook — sold to Tabcorp (now run as Luxbet); Centreracing — sold to Tattersalls; Col Tidy’s Bet Choice — on the market; Centrebet — listed 18 months ago to allow founders to cash out. And let’s not forget Lasseter — even with the profile of Gerard Daffy, it went bust after 18 months.

In December 2008 Spotless Group Limited issued letters to suppliers, signed by the MD and CEO no less, advising them of an annual “supplier administration fee” that will be deducted from their next remittance to cover the cost of “meeting legal and contractual compliance commitments, on behalf of suppliers and subcontractors”. The fee is based on a percentage of the previous 12 months of invoicing. In some cases the fee is 7.5% of the annual fees/invoices from the supplier. Guess how this has been received by suppliers? They’re screaming! Suppliers are being charged for Spotless’ inefficient compliance systems. Instead of improving their management systems they have thrown up their hands and said “bugger it … let’s just shift the cost onto someone else”. That speaks volumes of the quality of those running the company at the moment.

I wonder why the riots at Redfern on Friday night after the Big Day Out didn’t get any publicity? Cityrail services were heavily delayed for several hours, and there were people all over the tracks, but there is no coverage on any of the interwebs.

Peter Fray

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