Kevin Rudd could be in for a bit of a surprise. It appears that while he’s been globetrotting yet again, the Labor Party have been clandestinely plotting to set up nuclear power plants in Australia. But their dirty little secret is now out in the open thanks to Liberal Dennis Jensen. Jensen has issued an extravagant pack of material (taxpayer funded, we assume) to pre-selectors in his seat of Tangney. Among his listed “Success Stories” is this little gem… “My speeches and Party Room representations led the way in the Howard Government’s commitment to looking at nuclear energy. This has now become a mainstream issue and is also being considered by the Rudd Government.” You’d have to think the chances of Labor embracing nuclear power are about equal to its chances of funding giant shade-cloths in outer-space — another moment of Jensen brilliance — but perhaps the PM should check with his Energy Minister just in case he’s being left out of the nuclear loop.

Virgin CEO has had to step in and stop a move by his head of HR to deny pilots a CPI adjustment to their pay rates which is included in their EBA. The head of HR, a department fondly known as human refuse, planned to use a,”company in distress clause”, in the EBA to deny the adjustment. Watch the financial results which will show that the divergence from the original business model in setting up Pacific Blue and V, or volunteers Australia, is the reason for the losses.

Scrooges at The Age have ditched entertaining real estate and other advertising clients at its annual Falls Creek ski weekend July 23-26. Whilst trumpeting that it is “celebrating 20 years” of Australia’s “premier winter networking event” for large and small companies, major Age ad clients have been told by The Age that the annual booze up with Age advertising managers is no more. Angry advertisers threatening to pull out and have their own “networking” weekend at Mt Buller.

Re. IKEA maternity leave. UNSW provides 52 weeks maternity leave, 26 of which are paid.

Two letters arrived from my bank today. The first offered me an unsolicited $3000 increase in my credit limit, with all the forms kindly filled out for me. I only use maximum 20% of my current limit at the moment, and usually (see below) pay my account in full each month. Good risk for the bank? Maybe, but is this the time to be encouraging an increase in debt? Perhaps, for reasons to be revealed!

The second letter was my monthly credit card statement. I was charged interest, because I paid my last bill late — something that happens maybe once a year, when I’m distracted by, oh, I don’t know, family in hospital, that sort of thing. But fair cop, I paid late, I pay the interest.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a “late payment fee” of $35.00. Yes, we’ve seen those before on Crikey, an illegal penalty. But what about this: the detailed part of the statement indicated the late payment fee had been reversed, however it has not been taken off the total, and still appears on the summary on the front page. Nice work, ANZ Bank.

Can I suggest Crikey readers check their statements carefully, especially if the bank with ANZ. Much as it pains me, I’m going to be checking every entry and the calculations on all my statements from now on. And yes, I’m going to complain.

Can’t even trust the buggers to add up properly. No wonder there’s a global financial crisis.

The CBA has 24×7 systems and yet here we go again…:

Hi there

NetBank is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Alternatively, to check your account balances, transfer money or pay a bill now, please call telephone banking on

13 2221, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Find out more about NetBank availability.

© Commonwealth Bank of Australia 2009 ABN 48 123 123 124

I’m still getting my Murdoch freebies. Every day, the hotel across the road has large piles of the Daily Tele and The Oz. Thanks Rupert, because I’d need my head read if I paid money for Janet A’s rantings!

No more free copies of The Australian in Gold Fields House Sydney from this week either. Wonder how many new subscriptions they achieved.

The Australian has stopped it’s free circulation in my building too — 1 Market Street. Fitness First across the road in Market Street, were giving away free Sydney Morning Heralds!

Meanwhile on the slippery slope: Following the story regarding Minister for Primary Industries, the Hon Ian Macdonald AKA Sir Lunchalots food and wine orgy in the SMH, we recieve this political alert:


A NSW Government report on the possible existence of one or more large black cats in the State has concluded there is no scientific evidence to suggest they exist, Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, today. The Minister said the NSW Department of Primary Industries examined a database of reports on alleged large black cat sightings and possible evidence. The conclusion at this time is there is no conclusive evidence to say a large black cat exists on the fringe of Western Sydney or even further inland, Mr Macdonald said.

Enough said. (Not so sure about that: Ed)

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