As an attendee of last week’s AJC Extraordinary General Meeting, one can only give it one positive spin — it lived up to its title of being “extraordinary”. The meeting was broken in to two parts — an open forum Q&A session followed by an opportunity for current and potential board members to detail their bona fides. The Q&A was allotted half an hour, but went for at least double that.

This was a meeting to decide the Board of one of the most prestigious sporting clubs in the country, but pressing issues referred to in the questions (which were mainly statements) included the fact that the current CEO does not immediately return members phone calls, it takes too long to get a cup of tea on race days and that there is problems with parking for older members. It was fair to say that “senior” members of the AJC were of the great majority at the meeting — perhaps as a result of the 2pm Thursday start time. Some members referred to the recent change in constitution, one change of which actually allowed the meeting to take place, but most questions were irrelevant.

At one point Ross Smyth-Kirk advised that all these issues had been covered in an interview he did for the Telegraph, which was howled down with a chorus of “do we look like the sort of people that read The Telegraph?!”

All current and potential board members spoke with dignity, but the SOA members seemed unaware they would have an opportunity to speak. The Q and A and statement stage went for three hours, which would have been longer had the SOA decided to give their thoughts on why current members should be deposed. This opportunity was not once taken. One SOA member was given a rousing character reference by a completely impartial source, his brother.

The whole thing was a debacle from the start. The way the motions were worded, it would have been possible for the Board to have no members at all by meeting’s end — or 19. The motives of all involved should not be questioned, but by the end of the meeting on Thursday, I’m sure most wished they were not a part of it.

I have been involved in the real estate industry for 25 years. I have operated in blue chip suburbs in the last 10 years … a TSUNAMI IS APPROACHING … at the top end values will decrease by 50% and unfortunately a lot of wealth has been destroyed. Let’s face the facts; we all borrowed too much money. I am really frightened that people like myself in the short to medium time frame will conclude that our assets may not be worth as much as our liabilities.

The big news about Qantas shedding jobs and downgrading profits got a major run in all news outlets last night and this morning — right? Well, almost all news outlets. Not a word of it was reported on the National Nine TV News shown on a peak-time Qantas flight from Sydney to Melbourne yesterday evening. Must have been omitted due to a technical glitch.

What’s going on at Tiger Air? I booked tickets online with Tiger Air on Saturday, 11th April. I have rung them at least 20 times since then, trying to get information not available on their website. I’ve been phoning their only Australian contact number — 03 9335 3033. All I get is the recorded message or an engaged signal and cannot proceed to speak to anyone or even leave a message. I thought it might have been because of the Easter holidays, but as the same thing is happening today, I am completely at a loss to know how to contact them.

I have also tried faxing the number 03 9335 3455 six times this morning, and the fax is continually unanswered. Surely there are regulations that state Tiger must be able to be contacted? Have they decided to close down their operations in Australia? Are they in strife like Qantas?

Why are Optus representatives doorknocking in Perth suburbs and saying “we are working from the local telephone exchange and checking services”, but not identifying that they are in fact working for Optus and then launching into their sales spiel which fails to mention Optus. They only identified Optus when I directly challenged them to identify who they were working for. Isn’t this unethical to not identify the company they worked for?

Chronic understaffing at Myer continues. I witnessed a fight break out between customers and a very harassed staff member at Myer Castle Hill on Monday afternoon due to waiting times extending beyond the ridiculous. The shoe department was similarly chaotic, now down to just one staff member. How much longer will Myer customers put up with this appalling level of service?

Since the recent power outages in Sydney’s CBD, all power substations around my house in Surry Hills have had security guards posted near them 24/7.

Good to see the Media Monitors mic front and centre as Julia Gillard bemoaned the loss of Qantas jobs. Will the mic be hovering when MM quietly sacks Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane staff in the next few months?

Meanwhile, on the grassy knoll: FPA is a front for a secret organisation. Your readers should be informed that the FPA, which pretends to be the peak body representing individual Financial Planners, is actually the Financial Product Association representing the interests of major financial product suppliers, who use docile Financial Planner members as their compliant sales force.

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.