SPOILER! MasterChef fans may want to look away now… An anonymous tipster tells Crikey the final two for the phenomenally popular Channel Ten cooking show will include current favourite Marion Grasby. The other finalist is unknown.

ALP ready to install Cath Bowtell in Melbourne. This missive just to hand outlining the timetable for pre-selection in Lindsay Tanner’s seat of Melbourne, whose branches are controlled by the party’s Socialist Left. Bowtell is the only name received so far and will almost certainly triumph in any ballot after SL secretary Andrew Giles withdrew his candidacy on Sunday.

Last night the Administrative Committee met and adopted the following preselection timetable for Melbourne:

  • Nominations open – 9am, Wednesday 30 June
  • Nominations close – Midday, Monday July 5
  • Plebiscite of local Party members, Day 1 – 10am to 6pm, Sunday July 11
  • Plebiscite of local Party members, Day 2 – 6pm to 8pm, Sunday July 11
  • Meeting of the Public Office Selection Committee (POSC), 6.30pm, Tuesday 13 July

According to the email, the “timeframe secures the democratic right of local Party members to select the candidate for Melbourne, while also ensuring that Labor is ready to resume campaigning for the support of voters in Melbourne with a new candidate as soon as possible”. The SL will meet tomorrow night to finalise its official candidate, however, without any meaningful competition the popular Bowtell, a member of the Flemington Branch, is expected to be a shoe-in.

Neal and Della’s quiet night on the town. Two theatregoers who had lived through several hours of Eugene O’Neill’s dysfunctional family at the Sydney Theatre Company’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, and slipped into Fratelli Fresh for a pick-me-up, were delighted to see John Della Bosca and Belinda Neal there having dinner. Was there going to be some more sturm und drang over the fried polenta?

The first couple of Woy Woy were in fact on their best behaviour, but that may have been more to do with the superior wine list and relaxed curfew. Hopes for another Night of the Iguana were dashed, lending credence to the rumours the lovely Belinda may indeed be leaving the Labor Party and running as an independent. (Of course Tennessee Williams wrote Iguana but all those mad, catholic, gay, alcoholic Southern playwrights do end up sounding alike…)

Management changes at Qantas. So who will replace Jane McKeon, Qantas’ head of government affairs before she resigned on Monday? Qantas communications head Olivia Worth coveted McKeon’s role when she joined. Now it seems likely the former Liberal Party hack will get the promotion.

Peter Fray

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