I believe Tom Cruise is cruising on Tim Roberts’ new luxury boat in the Kimberley as we speak. Interestingly the boat, which cost $30m, was built in Fremantle and is registered offshore — perhaps for the purpose of avoiding $3m in GST. It left Fremantle a month ago around June 30 and has returned to Australian via the Kimberley coast. J. Packer may also visit at some stage…

During a lame Question Time in the NT parliament yesterday the CLP Member for Port Darwin finished off his tirade with this question in regards to truth: do you even know this four-letter word (or words of similar meaning)? It was left to Labor’s Marian Scrymgour to inform the House truth has five letters. After Chief Minister Paul Henderson and his housing Minister Rob Knight refused to state the exact amount of money spent on the embattled SIHIP program, one wonders whether the four-letter word referred to was not truth after all, but hurt.

Moments before Speaker Jane Aagaard informed the House someone was playing silly buggers with the Parliamentary clocks. Apparently one of the clocks has mysteriously moved forward an hour — and the part to fix it won’t arrive until Friday.

One staffer remarked, “it’s just NT time”.

Despite many assurances to the contrary, Ticketek staff are still using a system known as “grabs” to secure seats to premium concerts and sporting events. They simply secure a temporary log in to protect their identity from promoters (who monitor ticket sales closely) and review the ticket status of an event. They then see what seats are available and enter the seat and row into the system.

When the moment comes for the tickets to go on sale, they sit at their desks and madly hit the ENTER key just before the on sale time. When the tickets go on sale to the public and are released they invariably get the tickets they’ve chosen or if not — very close to them.

The public are at a great disadvantage due to this rort and the CEO states hand on heart he knows nothing about it … what rubbish.

One of the biggest reasons newspapers are not getting the advertising dollars is the woeful salesmanship and inadequate rates information available. As a small business advertiser, what I want to know is what standard sizes are available at what cost (in B&W, spot colour and full colour). The Yellow Pages can do it, the newspapers apparently can’t.

I was in Sydney two weeks ago and noticed that at the Imax Theatre in Darling harbor — outside in the waiting/café area — there were two huge racks with the SMH available free to all — and the racks were three quarters full at around 5pm. So it seems that even free — it isn’t wanted.

As a recently married woman, I am going through the pain of changing my name on everything from my bank accounts to my driver’s licence. All painful but all that was required was a registered marriage certificate and it was relatively easy to do, but I have finally gotten around to trying to renew my passport and ended up giving up in a blind rage as instead of filling in the normal renewal form, if you need to change your name on your passport you must re-apply for a passport — as if you have never been issued a passport before.

This includes digging up birth certificates and obtaining written proof of your existence from a guarantor (I gave up at this point!). My current passport was only issued last year — has the microchip centre etc etc. Why wouldn’t this plus a marriage certificate be enough proof of identity!

Thousands of women who are married each year must have to go through this obnoxious exercise (a bitter part of my brain is saying that this process is obviously concocted by a man who is unlikely ever to have to change his name!).

From the Crikey Sightings desk:

  • Spotted. Jackie O, scurrying to a convention of gal pals in the Sydney harbourside suburb of Pyrmont. The Dalgety Street gab-fest over mezze plates was overheard by several passers-by, with O coming clean on what she really thinks about the latest lie detector controversy.