What is it about Malcolm Turnbull and children (We all remember this election 07 incident) Well yesterday he made a baby cry on the radio yesterday and last night when he came on television my two- year-old daughter looked up from her puzzle, looked at the Member for Wentworth and said “yucky”.

Meanwhile, Turnbull was doing the food court rounds of a local Perth shopping centre this morning when Karrinyup Centre Management asked if he had sought permission for the meet n greet. He hadn’t. Management then politely asked the Opposition Leader to leave…

Happy families at the Sunday Tele. Buzz in here at the Sunday Telegraph and beyond is that the drums are really beating about why the paper continues with the highly paid, non-event weekly “gossip/product/PR” columnist, Ros Reines. While many established journos have left both the Fairfax and News Limited groups, why would a “lead” piece from a senior, be a week old story about the amount of emails Tracy Grimshaw got after her interview with the disgraced footballer, as it was last Sunday? Where’s the news in that? Isn’t that meant as a par in a TV column? Mixed in with a few other mentions of various innocuous nobodies and they call it a gossip column? What on earth can one person do all week, then come up with lame story after lame story. No wonder Annette Sharp is being groomed to take over the whole Telegraph “gossip” mantle. A wise move.

ABC radio has lots of daily and frequent transmission snafus, usually at the end of network news bulletins when local listeners are supposed to be returned to their programs and instead we get dead air. The other problem is playing the wrong “grabs” during those bulletins and often on live local and national shows. Newsradio a notorious offender with the ‘sorry that doesn’t seem to be XX talking about YY, we’ll return to that later’ likely to become the network’s new marketing slogan. However, how can Foxtel play the same episode of the Amazing Mrs Pritchard twice? That’s what happened last night as it screened last week’s show again on Showcase. The perils of automation plus human error make watching and listening a very hot and miss occupation.

In spite of NSW Energy Minister Ian Macdonald’s promise to provide additional support to electricity customers to assist them to cope with the upcoming 20 percent price hike, yesterday’s announcement offered nothing more than what the NSW government had already committed to roll out to accompany the privatisation of electricity assets.

Staff at Northern Sydney Central Coast Area Health were sent an email on Monday announcing a competition to choose a theme song for the health service! I think Crikey readers could come up with some super suggestions…

So you too can deal with Optus’ voice recognition, follow this:

State your enquiry: “billing/technical support/disconnection/sales…” etc

State type of service: “home/mobile/internet”

Say: “no”

Enter the relevant telephone number on your phone

Say “yes”

Then say “operator”

Done!

You’ll save minutes of hassle with the voice recognition and will get through to the correct area… guaranteed.

A further update on the Terry Wallace issue and SEN’s involvement. Yesterday morning SEN were running a station promo that said they were “first with the news at 10” that Wallace had reportedly been sacked, then “first with the news at 11” that maybe he hadn’t been and then “first with the news at 12” confirming he had not been sacked. Seems that at SEN, accuracy is not interesting. It’s only interesting to be “1st”.

How to get around tax on Youth allowance? Cash in hand Indian restaurants, duh.

At least the Youth allowance changes may close off one area of abuse and make it harder for rich parents to send their little ones overseas for a year’s work as nannies, barpersons (whatever) and then fly them home to take their new studies as soon as they’ve qualified for the allowance.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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