Joel Fitzgibbon may not have been a Government Minister when he received financial favours from Ms Liu, but he was a Federal MP. As an opposition frontbencher Fitzgibbon MP enjoyed the convention of opposition (shadow) frontbenchers being briefed on the activities of DFAT, on Defence, and had access to trade sensitive Government briefings on trade and finance policies. The Prime Minister knows that, and should sack Fitzgibbon. So what if he wasn’t a Minister at the time?

Possibly Fitzgibbon’s spearheading of the coup to topple Beazley in 2007 (for Rudd) is the elephant in the room? Many of us were bewildered when Fitzgibbon appointed light weights like Daniel Cotterill as his first chief of staff. And Christian (how did he get his security clearance?) Taubenschlag as Media Officer. With the sole exception of cheap defence industry magazines both were unheard of. Taubenshclag had never worked as a political media adviser, and his sole contribution to date has been the CMAX scandal. Then there’s the SAS pay stuff up… Does anyone really think Fitzgibbon has the fire power that Combet could bring to the job?

I understand that there was a recent kerfuffle at the NAB regarding a story in the Herald bout some failed projects/teams/excursions. My further understanding is that a member of the NAB credit card fraud/investigation/that-kind-of-thing team was very recently dumped/sacked/given the brown-tipped boot for being semi-inadvertently the source of this story. This NAB team member blabbed — between the pillows — to her partner about recent troubles at the NAB. This pillow-fellow happened to be a journo of some description at the Herald.

Herald-gent got chatting water-cooler-side about pillow-mate’s troubles and the next thing you know there’s a story in the rag — then NAB-lady gets shown the fastest exit to the door and given a cardboard box for her desktop/worldly possessions.

The official line was that she spoke detrimentally of the CEO — much graver, it seems, than speaking ill of the royal family — thus, had to go. She’s now joining the rest of us at the Johnston Street Centrelink queue. Viva!

The NSW Government has taken almost two years to NOT produce a three page report. In June 2006, nine months before the state election, the NSW government launched the NSW-QLD Cross Border Transport Taskforce to allegedly look at transport options for the border region. The community were angry their rail services had been axed and this was an attempt to save the seat of Tweed. The plan failed and a National was elected. But what about the report?

It was due to be presented to cabinet in June 2007. But nothing happened. Campaigning for the Federal election in Nov 2007, the sitting ALP Federal Candidate refused to answer any questions about the rail as it was still in the hands of the NSW govt. Through 2008 there was more silence. The new state MP for Tweed tried a Freedom of Information (FOI) application and was told that a three page report existed but it was Cabinet in Confidence and so access was withheld.

On 12 March 2009 the NSW Legislative Council passed a motion demanding the government table the report within 14 days. But on 26 March the govt presented single page letter from the Ministry of Transport saying the report wasn’t yet finalised.

Do you really expect the people of NSW to believe that, Mr Rees?

If the blacklist is all about banning material that doesn’t meet censorship standards, what are all the gambling websites doing there? They’re not subject to censorship controls under the Broadcasting Services Act. And why was Conroy quoted at the Cisco convention the other day as saying gambling doesn’t fall under his portfolio? Interactive Gambling Act anyone?

Fairfax continues to p-ss off hundreds of Northern NSW and South East Queensland SMH subscribers and newsagents by persevering with their Queensland based, Rural Press’ newly installed printing press. Newsagents are lucky to receive papers by 8am, too late for home delivery and early shop sales. Previously papers were delivered ON TIME from Sydney.

I have been following the Naltrexone debate with interest. How about investigating the Compounding of Naltrexone implants within Australia (also known as extemporaneous compounding). These need no TGA approval, have no research evidence to back their efficacy, and are supposed to be safe. The length of time the implant is supposed to last is also questionable.

As we know editor of the Adelaide Review, Lachlan Colquoun, was given his marching orders last week. It was on his birthday. Apparently other staff were unaware of what was unfolding and were downstairs getting ready to sing him happy birthday while he was being “boned” upstairs!

Having launched a rabid and vitriolic attack on participants in the Public Education Forum through The Australian on Saturday morning, The Oz’s Justine Ferrari who was due to speak at the forum on that day failed to turn up. Did she dog it?

Ticketek are making staff redundant left, right and centre. Claiming that the downturn in ticket sales, especially to premium events, has put considerable pressure on operational budgets. This is at the same time that staff are given access to the tickets for “sold out” events rather than them being offered to the general public for sale — an internal system known as “Grabs”.

Minter Ellison, the big Sydney law firm, is readying a firing list among support staff and low producing legal eagles. The firm apparently has more than 50 marketing people and lots of “support” staff.

Which very fashionable Sydney design team and retailers are big debtors of companies associated with Phillip Smouha, the husband of designer Lisa Ho? Mr Souha has seen the three companies placed in administration and has been selling properties. But Sydney fashionistas have raised eyebrows at the word of whose who on the debtors list, headed by the big name team.

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