The Fitzgibbon Brothers (Joel and Mark) were having a very relaxed beer or two at the Railway Hotel in Cessnock on Friday night. The former minister was chatting to his local constituents and the CEO of NIB Health Fund did not seem to be spruiking his company’s products.

Fairfax Media is again offering redundancies to selected journalists. But this time they are asked to sign a piece of paper that says the journalist accepting the package must remain silent about their time at Fairfax and must keep mum about receiving a redundancy package . That makes it a bit hard to get a CV together for another job. Lawyers are being consulted.

It seems that RMIT University may have set a new standard of academic appointment. Which acting Dean has no degree?

Why has the CEO of Fairfax, Brian McCarthy, sold more than a quarter of the shares that he — personally — holds in the company?

National “AUSTRALIA” Bank takes aways their credit card printing contract from an Australian supplier and hands it to Taiwan supplier, despite Australian manufacturing options being available, in current economic climate, where jobs are a priority — aren’t they? This is approximately 5 million cards a year and around 2.5 million AUS dollars.

One of the major Australian suppliers that I know of (who is not the current supplier) wasn’t even asked to tender— they currently produce this product range for a smaller bank — and this contract would have meant about 20 more Australian jobs. (“A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.” — Mark Twain.)

Great acronym: My child’s high school newsletter advises that students will soon be provided with laptop computers under the Rudd government’s “Digital Education Revolution, or DER”.

A friend of mine operates a gift shop in Adelaide CBD. She employs an architectural student who comes from China. I don’t know all the details of his situation except to say that he has finally passed his citizenship test and is now one of us. The thing that alarms me is that this very intelligent young man, who is regarded by those who know him to have a bright future here, had to sit the citizenship test 5 times before he passed. So what? Well, his employers became so concerned at the continual failing of the test that they encouraged the young bloke to contact the relevant department to find out what the problem was. Each time he sat the test it cost a fee (don’t know how much), which he found difficult to finance. The department told him that they were under no obligation to tell him why he failed. Does anybody else think that this is a bit rough?

Media Monitors is sending the majority of its “production work” out of Australia, leaving many long term employees without their jobs. Press is going to Kuala Lumpur while Broadcast will be done in Wellington.

Crikey published this tip on 18 June:

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?

Ans then we received this:

Dear Sir/Madam,

On 17 June 2009, the Register of Lobbyists distributed emails to the responsible officers of all registered lobbying entities regarding the June 2009 Quarterly Confirmation.

Unfortunately those emails contained the email addresses of the responsible officers for all registered lobbying entities, including yours. The error occurred as the email addresses were inadvertently listed in the “To” field instead of the “Bcc”, or blind carbon copy, field as occurred with previous Quarterly Confirmation emails.

We apologise for the error in releasing your email address. Our procedures have been corrected to ensure this mistake is not repeated.

We would be grateful if you could please delete the emails which you received from the Register on Wednesday 17 June 2009 regarding the June 2009 Quarterly Confirmation. A revised email will be sent shortly in the correct format.

Please contact me on 02 XXXX XXXX if you would like to discuss this matter or if you have any queries regarding the Register.

David Macgill
Assistant Secretary
Parliamentary and Government Branch
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Peter Fray

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