After the latest redundancies from law firm Clayton Utz, and before that Mallesons, you may also want to add law firm Blakes to Crikey‘s SackWatch.

Regarding the payment that it seems has been made by the SA Government to Lance Armstrong, the media seem to have missed whether he was under a contract that required him to make certain appearances with the Premier, and thus the payment may have had a ‘promotional’ or ‘re-election’ component to it.

“The SA Government — ie, the SA taxpayer — is the sole sponsor of the Tour Down Under.” Don’t forget the hundreds of thousands of dollars of local government money paid to the State Government and suppliers to host starts and finishes by local government.

I hope you keep your eye on ABC local radio’s coverage in the aftermath of the Victorian bushfires. The directive from management, in particular Ian Mannix, is very clear. The recovery stories must start now, and they must continue with regularity.

There were delays of over 6 hours in getting messages to CFA volunteers on their very expensive new pagers when the fires were at their height on Saturday afternoon. Many active volunteers from other regions were sitting on their arses after the winds changed and the immediate threat to their own area passed — unaware of the calls for help that were coming in from areas such as Bendigo and Kinglake.

Hundreds of Centrelink staff have been trucked in from around the country to deliver the government’s payments to Victorian bushfire victims. They have left their families at home, many working 20 hour days, living in temporary accommodation and working in stressful conditions. And what do they get? Bashed by the government for doing their job and asking for identification (where possible)! After Cyclone Larry, there were hundreds of cases of fraudulent payments — people claiming payments they weren’t entitled to. Staff have a responsibility to at least ask for ID. Rudd’s willingness to put the boot in to people simply doing their job is disgraceful.

Peter Fray

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