The Registrar of Lobbyists, deep within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, has sent out the regular reminder request to registered lobbyists to update the information on the registry website. The website, of course, contains public information about the 269 lobbyists and who their clients are. That’s the point. It doesn’t include email addresses. Guess what the reminder email includes? That’s right, the email addresses of all 269 lobbyists. So every lobbyist knows every other lobbyist’s email address. Freedom of information gone mad or just a cock-up? Privacy Commissioner, anyone?
NSW Treasurer Eric Roozendaal scrapped the post-Budget party at Parliament House on Tuesday night, perhaps fearing a repetition of the “dirty dancing” which brought an end to the Cabinet career of Matt Brown who was forced to resign as Police Minister after less than 72 hours in the job. So the Press Gallery decided to hold its own party at a racey bar in the CBD. Atrocities broke out amid scenes of wild drinking. Curiously, the moralising wowsers of the media who were quick to demand the sacking of ministers for drink driving (Kerry Hickey, Craig Knowles and Tony Stewart) and drunken misbehaviour (John Brogden) have failed to report on their own drunk and disorderly conduct. Double standards apply — one for the pollies and another for the reptiles.
Fairfax has sent out the annual Fringe Benefits Tax reporting summaries to employees: “RE: Reportable Fringe Benefits on PAYG Payment Summaries Under the current Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) laws, a staff member who has received fringe benefits to the value of more than $2,000 during the last FBT year (1 April 2008 – 31 March 2009) will have a ‘Reportable Fringe Benefit Amount’ recorded as a separate item on their PAYG Payment Summary (previously called a group certificate) this year. Included this year are amounts described under: Structured Incentives: Weekly prizes for Staff Poll Winner” These pertain to a weekly best story, best photograph, best illustration, best headline with the winner of each receiving a bottle of wine. Now management has made it so that these winnings are included in the individuals assessable income for such things as family tax benefit and child support.