Kelvin Thomson a one-man-show. Voters in the Melbourne seat of Wills, comfortably held by Kelvin Thomson, received a brochure in their letterboxes this week featuring commendation of Thomson by a range of local people from varied backgrounds and interest groups. The back page reproduced news clippings promoting Thomson’s views on climate change, Essendon airport, local education issues and open space. What was interesting about the brochure was the absence of any real promotion of the ALP. There was no mention of Julia Gillard. The word “Labor” or “ALP” appears but a few times in the whole brochure.

One suspects that those responsible for the brochure are wanting to downplay the “ALP brand” and to promote Kelvin’s track record as someone responsive to his constituents. There may also be a more subtle motivation — to try and minimise the steady growth in the local Greens vote in the seat of Wills. The demographics of the seat are changing. The older Italian and Greek migrants are dying out and the ALP can no longer take for granted its long-time stronghold on seats such as  Wills. In the present federal election campaign, the ALP is reportedly having trouble getting volunteers to fill rosters to hand out how-to-vote cards at polling booths in the electorate. This week’s brochure was “produced at Australian government expense by Kelvin Thomson, Federal Member for Wills”. In other words the taxpayer funded this none-too-subtle election material on behalf of Thomson.

Government corruption in PNG. In Papua New Guinea a major report into corruption in the finance department was tabled in Parliament earlier this year, then promptly silenced by a court injunction  taken out by some of the senior people and lawyers named.  It cannot be quoted or reported on in the PNG media and the government cannot take any of the recommended actions. However, several websites have now published it in full after it was leaked to them. It reveals massive systematic rorts of multimillions of kina over many years — many involving the same mob of lawyers and senior civil servants, including a former attorney-general, heads of departments, government law officers and senior businessmen, many of whom are recommended for prosecution. Misuse of some AusAID funds is tiny by comparison. The PM Michael Somare is said to be frustrated by the lack of action caused by the injunction. The report is available here.

What’s going on at Iluka? There appears to be something amiss at Iluka Resources. Its share price continues to climb even though it has either closed or sold 40% of its revenue-generating assets. By its own admission it is expecting another half-year loss and hovering $0.90 exchange rates are not helping it as it limited its hedging due to its expected lower revenues. On the positive side it still has its BHPB iron ore royalty but iron ore share prices have not climbed as much as Iluka’s. The last time the share price increased for no apparent reason, the CEO received a “please explain” from the ASX as it thought he had given US investors too much information. Either someone knows something or the share market is really in a confused spin.

No comment on Bolt’s blog. Andrew Bolt now has a weekly column in the NT News. It used to allow blog comments in response to his articles, but the comments function has just recently been removed. I know the paper received some complaints about carrying his column, but he usually encourages comments. All the paper’s other opinion pieces allow comments, but not his. Is there something behind this?