Pharmacists at one of Melbourne’s high-profile private hospital are flat-out filling scripts for Tamiflu, with many written by psychiatrists. While it’s hard to refuse well-paying customers, surely a placebo would be in the national interest?

The mooted redundancies by troubled US internet veteran Yahoo! have hit local joint venture Yahoo!7. More than five staff (so far as I know) were walked after 5pm Wednesday, including an engineer who relocated here from Singapore with his family.

Things are tightening up at Rupert’s suburban network. Outer offices for several newspapers will be shut down and all staff relocated to central divisions, making it tricky for those papers covering huge outer lying areas to cover the news. Your not so local Leader?

Mr 20.55% was back in town, chatting to old friends at News Ltd’s bunker in Holt Street, Surry Hills in Sydney, drinking and eating in a few of his old haunts in the area and further east, and not showing an once ounce of shame about the near death experience his New York newspaper suffered in the six months to March. The chap concerned is legendary luncher, Col Allan, former Editor of the Sydney Daily Telegraph and currently in charge of the implosion at the New York Post. He’s got a charmed life has our Col, he must be a favourite of Rupert Murdoch to have surveyed a 20.55% plunge in daily sales in the latest US audit survey for the March six months. The Post shed 114,000 copies a day over the six months, or 19,000 a month. If Col had stood outside a newsstand in Manhattan for two days in March, he would have seen his sales shrink visibly. So far, The Australian‘s Media section on Mondays hasn’t run the sort of in-house interview with Col that it did with Robert Thomson, the editor of the Wall Street Journal, over two issues a week or so back. Col’s a tabloid hack from way back, so any interview would be naturally short, and to the point. But then News Ltd papers in Australia don’t report the bad news about News Corp, such as slumping newspaper sales at the chairman’s first significant newspaper purchase in America. What will Rupert say about the fall at next Thursday morning (Australian time) briefing after the third quarter results?

What’s this about the Nine Network’s David Gyngell boasting to anyone who has a chat to him in his office about how he doesn’t answer to anyone at PBL Media and how he’s got a “pot of gold” (said to be hundreds of millions of dollars) to finance his TV program ambitions? Is Ian Law, the nominal CEO of PBL Media, that supine that he would let Mr Gyngell spend his way into more debt problems next year? Does his insouciance about spending and costs explain why Mr Law has gutted ACP Magazines to the point where the next editors meeting could be held in the phone box down the road from Nine’s HQ in Artarmon Road, Willoughby?

This appeared in one of my social network forums:

I have heard some interesting “Rumours” lately about our beloved Australian PV Industry and felt that I should share what I have heard; I would appreciate any additional “Rumours”, facts or even “Leaks”. More importantly I would just like your feedback.

Due to a possible announcement in the federal budget, applications for the $8000 PV rebate will cease one week prior (5th May) to the budget.

The above mentioned announcement will be a national feed in tariff.

The above mentioned announcement will be the scrapping of the REC multiplier program.

The lack of parliament sitting time will mean that the REC multiplier legislation will be delayed until Sept/Oct 2009.

BP are giving fuel cards to environmental volunteers…

Just received a phone call from a very nice lady conducting a survey on behalf of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics. Other than demographic information (and whether I was a voter), I was asked whether I had been a victim of crime, whether it was a violent crime, and how much crime I thought took place in my area. The big question was (paraphrasing). “Now we want to find out how much NSW residents are prepared to pay for crime prevention. Each taxpayer pays approximately $6.50 per week to maintain prisoners in custodial sentences and community service programs. If a policy were introduced time served under current sentences by one year (which has been shown to reduce crime in other countries), how much would you be prepared to pay per week for a 10% reduction in crime?” No question about whether I thought this was a good idea, no specifics about what studies were conducted and where, just the money shot. I got the distinct impression the 10% figure was something of a non-sequitur too, but can’t recall the question verbatim.

Whilst the Tasmanian election is not scheduled for more than 10 months the Hare Clarke electoral system can make for great fun for those sitting on the sidelines. The 25 member Tasmanian lower house is made up of five electorates each with five seats. This means that pre selected candidates are competing against fellow party candidates more than the other party. In the Denison electorate there were ructions in the Liberal Party to stop Michael Hodgman re contesting because some party operatives couldn’t be bothered doing the hard yards to try and get a second Liberal elected. However with the recent changes to electorate boundaries the real fun is watching Labor in the Franklin electorate which presently holds three of the five seats.

In 2006 Liberal Candidate Vanessa Goodwin came within several hundred votes of picking up the final seat. Just one year ago Health Minister (and now deputy premier) Lara Giddings after making some genuine but tough reforms to the health system had almost written off her chances of being re elected. Then Premier Lennon cracked the sh-ts and resigned without warning last May when his choice for deputy premier was rejected and Speaker Polly and Treasurer Aird went round and suggested Lennon step down late in 2008.

A recount put mild mannered taxi driver and ex school principal Ross Butler into parliament. Then early this year after a bout of severe depression and a suicide attempt last year Paula Wriedt resigned from parliament and a further recount put 29-year-old Labor staffer Daniel Hulme into parliament after securing just 600 primary votes in the 2006 election. Labor have written off the fifth Franklin seat to Liberal Vanessa Goodwin.

Liberal leader Will Hodgman or Greens leader Nick Mckim will top the vote in Franklin. Lara Giddings is now expected to top the vote for Labor leaving one seat for the two sitting Labor members and high profile trade unionist David O’Byrne (brother of state MP Michelle O’Byrne) to fight over. The Labor party has swung its support behind O’Byrne, Ross Butler appears to be just enjoying the ride for the next ten months but Daniel Hulme has had personality makeover and become an attack puppy grabbing any media opportunity to speak up.

There are no safe seats with Hare Clarke and except for the harmonious sect called the Greens Tasmanian state elections are a beautiful spectacle of mate against mate blood sports for both Labor and Liberals alike.

Interesting to see The Age’s massive recent promotion of Matt Preston (MasterChef co-compere) in the Green Guide, yesterday’s Epicure, considering he also contributes to News Ltd Magazines, Delicious and Vogue E+T.

I wondered if you had taken a look at the High Level Consultative Commitee atop the Federal Government’s fundamentally important Energy White Paper? Despite the descriptive text saying:

The high level consultative committee for the Energy White Paper is one of the key sources of advice for the development of the White Paper. It represents a cross-section of stakeholders in Australia’s energy sector.

Its members have an interest in every aspect of Australia’s energy policy, from discovery and exploration through to export and end use, and in both existing and emerging technologies

There is not a single representative from a renewable or alternative energy body or organisation. Strange? Premeditated. The Australian public ought to be asking serious questions I would’ve thought. James.

Channel Seven News update at about 9:45pm on Tuesday night had no mention of Richard Pratt’s passing, plenty of info about the footy though.

From the grassy knoll: Google Earth is set to announce that in addition to Street View it will label the houses with the people who live there. Apparently Australia will be the first to have this technology because it isn’t illegal. They argument is that it’s good for emergency services to locate people quickly.