Have you heard about Peters Ice Cream shutting Perth production with 140 jobs lost. Nestle buying and moving to Melbourne. Two years ago they bought the Greens Foods factory in Perth and shut it down to get there hands on the dog food business. The same bloke has popped up again. One Peter Tedesco. Was Managing Director of Greens Foods and now working for Fonterra.

Fairfax Community newspapers closed The Sun Weekly newspaper yesterday — 30th April, putting roughly 40 people out of a job — follow the money.

Disappointed to see nothing about the Central Coast Sun being closed down on your site. Brian Evans legacy continues. Perhaps if they didn’t pay 5 million bucks for it…

Computer Sciences Australia has just announced that between 150 and 170 will be/have been made redundant, and that there is a salary freeze. This is roughly 4% of the employee base in Australia.

The ABC’s Local Radio awards are an expensive legacy of the unlamented Sue Howard who introduced them some years ago as a way of cold-shouldering Radio National and Classic FM’s frequent successes in international competition (Prix Italia, Third Coast Festival, New York Festivals, Prix Marulic, Human Rights, Walkleys etc) as just another example of highbrow “w-nking”.

There has never been any competition or selection procedure and for a while Howard simply picked the winners, either to boost their egos or give others a bit of a jolt. So they are nothing more or less than favours bestowed from on high — at great cost because dozens of producers and presenters are flown in for the tired and emotional annual festivities at stupendous cost.

Meanwhile Radio National producers have been told they cannot spend a red cent on anything until the end of the F-year because, as has been the case for the past decade insufficient funds are allocated to the salaries budget which always “over-runs” at this time of year.

RN keeps all its staff but suffers an annual salary budget shortfall imposed by managers. Local Radio’s annual splurge continues while its producers (and those at RN) have to tighten their belts and soldier on regardless.

I am a NSW volunteer fire fighter. Our RFS district office sent us details of the BP free fuel card offer, but the BP website does not list volunteer fire-fighters as eligible. A bit odd, given that there is an image of fire fighters on the BP web site.

So much for banks assisting people who have lost their job. My wife phoned the Commonwealth Bank on Tuesday to tell them she would be late with her credit card payment and could they help out. She was rudely told that until she was “destitute” they weren’t willing to help in any way. Yesterday, just two days later, she received a phone call from the bank telling her that her account had been sent to the bank’s debt collector for action. Considering her account has only just gone one month behind, and the payment arrears is a paltry $200, I think this is a bit over the top. Is the Commonwealth Bank struggling a bit more for funds than they’re letting on?

Why are the Greens suddenly silent on Afghanistan? Not a word about Rudd’s extra troops? A split in the party on the issue perhaps.

Problems at Harvey Norman continue. This week they terminated the employment of a senior exec who refused to take 50% pay cut only a week after the exec was rated as outstanding in their performance review.

Hoping to save paper and time, I rang the automated ATO number to register my bank account details for payment of the economic stimulus. This was done well before the deadline of March 15. Today my tax agent tells me my cheque is in the mail. So much for the ATO’s high-tech system or any lip-service to saving paper for cheques, postage costs and the carbon expended to deliver my cheque.

Peter Fray

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