Cardinal George Pell, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, is listed (see the full list here) as a kindred spirit of the newly founded Australian Climate Sceptics party. What would the Pope, who is a radical environmentalist by comparison with the Cardinal, think about this?

This just to hand from Nathan Rees regarding an incentive package to BlueLink. The story reads:

French outsourcer BlueLink’s new multilingual contact centre for the Asia Pacific region will be based in Sydney.

A subsidiary of Air France KLM, BlueLink will use the new centre to handle its existing Asia Pacific contact centre activities and expand into new business areas. “The contact centre will deal with activities for various clients, including accommodation and air ticket reservations, loyalty program and client relationship management, lost luggage and commercial claims, incoming and outgoing calls,” NSW premier Nathan Rees said.

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Rees said the NSW Government had delivered an assistance package to ensure BlueLink’s customer contact centre was set up in Sydney. “The new contact centre will initially employ 37 people, growing to at least 122 fulltime jobs within five years,” he said. “This 122-seat centre will also provide training for employees in customer service.”

I can confirm that Contact 1-2-1 is a 100% Australian owned company that was delivering the BlueLink services in Sydney already from their premises at level 4, 15 Castlereagh St Sydney. We had been deliveing these services for 3 years and received zero support from the NSW governement. I am disgusted that Mr Rees would not do his homework before handing out valuable tax payer money to a 100% foreign owned company and claiming that he convinced them to stay in NSW. BlueLink took all our staff that we had trained and are now operating under the guise of creating new employment opportunities in NSW. What a croc!

Does anyone know who is behind the new lobby group Sport Supporters Australia? I heard a whisper that Fairfax heavies may be behind it which may make sense given the glowing article in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday by known News Limited hater Roy Masters. Not surprisingly, I didn’t see any reports in News publications of the launch of the organisation.

Your article about the re-appointment of Mark Considine as Dean of Arts at Melbourne Uni was as blatant and self-serving a piece of hypocrisy from ‘unnamed academics’ as you could care to see. History under Stuart Macintyre was subsidised by the rest of the Arts Faculty, and his history cadres were appointed to every senior position in the Faculty to ensure that it stayed that way. What is currently going on is no more than a defence of privilege by vested interests without the courage to go public. If you really want to understand what’s going on, I suggest you get a copy of the expenditure and revenue statements for the faculty for the last 10 years. It will show how the budget headed inexorably for the cliff of a major deficit. And as for the History Department’s often stated claim that Humanities loses out in research funding compared to the social sciences, I believe the humanities (especially history) under the last ARC round did better than their colleagues in other areas. Guess which former Dean of Arts is now on the ARC advisory council…

Kate Dundas head of ABC radio, or should that be verbal content supremo, has been briefing the troops on the radio strategic plan for the next three years. Accompanying the talk is a folding aid to show us where we will be going. I’ve been with the ABC for 20 years in the industry for 27 and in that time I have never seen anything to match this in corniness, assumption and denial. I’m regionally based but I’m sure a friend in melbourne could let you see a copy (any Melbourne friends so inclined should email us at [email protected]).

I have a conspiracy theory about the Bondi caveman for you. Clearly Sydney’s Waverley Council is sick of having a hermit living on the attractive cliff edge of the famed Bondi-Bronte walk for the last 10 years. Especially during the increasingly popular Sculptures by the Sea festival. So is it a coincidence that a young woman has been assaulted with the hermit then arrested and taken away? I know this is not very women’s rightsy thing to say, and perhaps he will be found guilty, however council officials were already in his cave clearing things away on Wednesday morning. Seems to be a rather presumptuous verdict that he is guilty and is not returning!

Christopher Pyne going for the leadership? Why is this fundraiser in Sydney, not his home town of Adelaide?

Cocktail Party for Christopher Pyne
Support Christopher Pyne in 2010

Host: Hon Bruce Baird
Type: Causes – Fundraiser
Network: Global
Date: Monday, November 9, 2009
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: The Four Seasons Hotel
Street: George Street
City/Town: Sydney, Australia
Phone: 0884312277

Email: [email protected]

Description: Bruce Baird, former Member for Cook is hosting a Cocktail Party at The Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney to raise money to help re-elect Christopher Pyne in 2010. Tickets are $1500 inc GST for 10 or $165 inc GST for individuals.

RSVP’s essential to Kaye at 08 8431 2277 or email Christopher Pyne on Facebook or at [email protected]

Still time to get there if you’re keen.

As a Crikey subscriber and someone who began working as a journalist in 1957, I am passionate about the importance of independent media like Crikey. I met a lot of Australians from many walks of life during my career and did my best to share their stories honestly and fairly with their fellow citizens.

And I never forgot how important it is to hold politicians to account. Crikey does that – something that is more important now than ever before in Australia.

North Stradbroke Island, QLD

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