Inglis heading north (and South)? Russell Crowe has had two meetings with Melbourne Storm star Greg Inglis and it’s a sure bet he’ll be wearing the red and green of South Sydney in 2011. Souths will need to offload some players to make way for Ingliss and it seems as though Rhys Wesser/Colin Best/Fatouli Talaanoa/Michael Crocker and Luke Capewell will be shown the door at Redfern.

The battle for Melbourne. The rumour here in North Melbourne is that Pru Willsford, CEO of State Trustees and former Macquarie Bank and NAB senior executive, was asked last week if she was interested in the seat of Melbourne. She’s close to the ALP Right and her partner was a former staffer to several senior right ministers.

Culture a victim of Rudd cuts. One of the Australian government’s most successful web portals — culture.gov.au — will shut down very quietly at midnight on June 30, a victim of the Rudd government’s Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook in November 2009. There was some talk that parts of the portal would go elsewhere, but rumour has it the extremely popular Australian Stories — which received 4.5 million requests in 2008–09 and was widely used in Australian schools — will be transferred elsewhere (to bolster another government website’s Google rankings and traffic?) but will never again be updated, making articles such as the Melbourne Cup, Archibald Prize and others embarrassingly out of date.

Rumour also has it the money ‘saved’ was immediately used to bolster the prime minister’s literary prize — surely a case of a whole lot of money benefitting a very few while the culture portal benefited very many. So much for support for the arts and culture. I am submitting this anonymously because I once worked on the portal and still know people closely affected by its closure.

Peter Fray

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