UNICEF gets a new boss. Dr Norman Gillespie has just become the new CEO of UNICEF Australia, Crikey has learned. Originally from Northern Ireland, the Harvard graduate and former Inland Revenue inspector is quite the corporate butterfly, having quit several major positions in the past decade. In 2002 he stepped down from his position as deputy chief executive of SingTel Optus, moving on to the role of chief executive officer at the Sydney Opera House, where he initiated the first building projects since the heritage listing of SOH. Gillespie quit the SOH in 2007 after much controversy surrounding his relationship with Claire Swaffield (a former Optus staffer who joined SOH in 2003) which was the subject of an uneventful inquiry by the Independent Commission Against Corruption in 2005. From there Gillespie became CEO of the Australian Jockey Club, immediately after the catastrophic outbreak of equine influenza. He quit in May 2009. Gillespie became an Australian citizen in June 2002.

Johnson has Origin fever. Michael Johnson’s supporters were standing on Samford Road at Enoggera today, with corflutes and campaign T-shirts with the Liberal logo covered up. What were they waving? Not “vote Johnson” placards, but “Qld 3-0”.  How he thinks appearing to support the state of origin team is going to win him votes is anyone’s guess!

Weekly changes at Fairfax. Fairfax Community Network has finally revealed the outcome of its community newspapers rebranding exercise to staff. Its 33 community newspaper titles will now be called (Town Name) Weekly. For example, the Frankston Independent will become the Frankston Weekly, the Dandenong Journal will become the Dandenong Weekly, etc.

The newspapers will shrink in size from tabloid to magazine format as a likely change of content from news to lifestyle-orientated content is introduced. However, the newspapers will remain on newsprint, not glossy format, and will not be bound. The rollout of the new mastheads will begin in September and follows extensive market research involving focus groups by Samuelson Talbot. Mitchell Partners has allegedly assured Fairfax that the rebranding will be attractive to media buyers.

Holiday ends on the Sunshine Coast. Some people have recently been taken to the Planning and Environment court by the local council for having a holiday house on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. They lost the case (you can find the judgement here). Our understanding of the judgement means that no one on the Sunshine Coast can holiday-let their home, swap houses with others or even let friends stay in their home without council permission and payment of associated fees, as these would constitute “short term” uses of the house. There are many other ramifications of this judgement. We are currently trying to inform as many people as possible so that the matter can be appealed.

Peter Fray

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