This could sound crazy … unless you’d ever worked in that nest of vipers that is the NSW ALP. It just isn’t like Della — so out of character — he is shy and polite, no sleazebag. Was he set up? Did the “lover scorned” really feel so cheated she had no recourse but to pour her story (neatly) out to the Tele? Or had she got the job done? Was this a (honey) trap? Hmmm …

Seven News must be laughing their heads off at Nine’s new “exclusive” billboards being placed around Sydney. Nine is yet to score a single big news exclusive, instead scoring a series of light weight PR drops that should even be reported. On the rare occasion Nine has gone for big stories, they have backfired spectacularly.

Among their biggest blunders was declaring NSW clubs were set for a tax rise before the May budget and last week that Kristina Keneally would be installed as leader within days. Neither happened, and more importantly, neither was ever going to happen. Instead political reporter Kevin Wilde failed to do the necessary fact checking, went for gold and ended up with dust.

The message has been delivered from management, start actually delivering exclusives before advertising them.

It is proving to be a tough week for the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, who is watching his beloved Regional Council of Mayors dwindle to just one member — himself — and engaging in an unedifying spat with neighbouring Ipswich Mayor and master of self-promotion, Paul Pisasale. The region, it seems, ain’t big enough for these two super-egos, and the feud spilled into the pages of the Sunday Mail.

Perhaps the tunnel-focused Lord Mayor is miffed he is no longer Australia’s Most Senior Liberal since the election of the Barnett Government. Or perhaps it is the hiding that the once-friendly Courier-Mail is giving him, but either way, Can-Do Campbell seems to thrive on always having a number of battlefronts open and taking it up to anyone who challenges his supreme (regional) authority.

The latest news is a predictable blow-out in public relations costs associated with the black hole that is the City Hall restoration project, with a favoured PR firm (the Phillips Group in Brisbane) earning a whopping $60,000 per week on “engagement services”, whatever they are.

It was not so long ago the Lord Mayor was defending the fact that he had a personal PR staff bigger than the Prime Minister’s — a story that was broken here on agenda-setting Crikey, and bled for several days in the ponderous local media.

A new multi-million dollar pathology operation is going to open in November 2009 in NSW and Victoria. In NSW it is mainly made up of disaffected Symbion staff. At least three pathologists have left Symbion to join the new group. The lab in NSW will be in Bella Vista (close to the new Healthscope hospital). The money is coming from Ironbridge and this new venture will also be used to roll out Ironbridge’s IVF services (Repromed). The operation is to be known as “Australian Diagnostics Group”.

Regarding comments about tutors at the University of Melbourne: you don’t need to be a graduate student to teach a tutorial class at the University of Technology Sydney. At least in Engineering, you can often be a tutor as an undergraduate, provided that you have completed that subject and got a Credit mark (65+). PhD students (even from other faculties) may also act as lecturers.

This article about Westpac cutting back off-shoring it is a total furphy. I work at Westpac and what they are doing is bringing in Indians to Australia to work on IT projects. They get their employees from Hindustan Computers Limited who fly in cheap (and incompetent) Indian IT labour charging two third’s the price of Australian IT workers. This is happening at the subsidiary companies on IT projects (BT and Asgard).

Gail Kelly says she is cutting back on off-shoring, but it is a play on words, because they are actually just on-shoring Indian IT staff now. I just think that Gail Kelly needs to be called on this because she is not being entirely honest.

From the Crikey Sightings desk:

Spotted. Why was former Victorian premier and Hawthorn football club president Jeff Kennett given a guided tour of the Sydney Morning Herald editorial floor on Monday … a tour led by Fairfax chairman Ron Walker and Sydney Publishing CEO Lloyd Whish Wilson? Is Kennett eyeing a boardroom vacancy perhaps?