I don’t if this is well known, but any poor bugger that had franking credits in excess of their taxable income last year (and thus received a tax refund) missed out on the $900 bonus. Most of these people (me included) have suffered huge losses on their shares, but did get some franking credits, and have very low income, relying on the dividends to survive. Funny thing is people with up to $100,000 of salary income, not living on the breadline as small self funded retirees are, got the bonus! Anyone with even a $1 refund as a result of franking credit refunds missed out!

Why on earth would there be a supposed “fight-on” about getting the former Miss Universe, Jennifer Hawkins, to be on a free-to-air network? She didn’t work, ratings-wise, on Seven, so why would Nine be desperate to pick her up? Or is that her good old manager, Sean “Max Markson” Anderson revving his client’s supposed “talent” up?

Re. Yesterday’s tip about Commonwealth Bank cards not working in anything is correct. At least from my experience at 1.30am Sunday while trying to pay the cab driver that had just dropped me home; I couldn’t pay him as the card wouldn’t work. He drove me to an Westpac ATM which told me it couldn’t ‘help me at this time’, as did a NAB ATM soon after, then a commonwealth ATM … so now a creepy cab driver has my phone number and I have to somehow pay him money. Not good.

Re. Yesterday’s tip about Sydney Airport preventing people driving laps of the airport waiting to pick people up. What I’ve done when coming home to Sydney, and knowing I was getting a lift, was asking them to park in the Krispy Kreme Donuts car park. Then when I’m ready, call them up and they drive around.

Normally I don’t bother whinging about Melbourne’s public transport because, well, it’s just too easy. But Connex, those masters of unreliability, those servants of customer non-service have outdone themselves this time. On Friday May 1 I received a letter and free daily ticket as “compensation” for the trains running late — in January. Yes, it only took those speed demons THREE MONTHS to send that out. I can’t wait to see when my compensation tickets for February, March and April arrive!

Let’s set aside the fact that the “compensation” is only available to monthly or yearly ticket holders (who would have the least use for a daily ticket) and that one has to fill out a friggin bureaucratic form to get the damn ticket – which means that the majority of people entitled to “compensation” will never bother getting it, nothing says “we are slowpoke losers” like a corporation that takes three months to send out a letter.

From the Crikey community corkboard: A cry for help: I’m trying to start a classical fusion folk-group to support the beleaguered Forestry Industry in their noble quest to log the Florentine, but I’m only getting support from old rockers and Country n Western blues musicians.

All the truly sensitive and original artists are working for nothing for the Greens. I’ve got big plans to extend the scope of our gigs to support the wonderful fossil fuel and American car industries — who knows, it could lead to centre stage at the V8 Supercars and Formula One, and a regular spot on Top Gear!

C’mon Aussie musos — here’s a great opportunity — hardly any bands are targeting these Forestry guys. If an ataxic Peter Garrett can sell out, so can you!

Peter Fray

Save 50% on a year of Crikey and The Atlantic.

The US election is in a little over a month. It seems that there’s a ridiculous twist in the story, almost every day.

Luckily for new Crikey subscribers, we’ve teamed up with one of America’s best publications, The Atlantic for the election race. Subscribe now to make sense of it all, and you’ll get a year of Crikey (usually $199) and a year’s digital subscription to The Atlantic (usually $70AUD), BOTH for just $129.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey