Tony Burke is in strife... A regular Canberra social life, a mediocre ministerial performance, a resurgent National Party — a sign he didn’t cut it in regional Australia, and with one of the biggest tallies of staff resignations among all the ministers. Julia Gillard should tread carefully before giving him any kind of promotion as part of the new ministry.

…and may not get a promotion. Tony Burke will be lucky to be promoted above the rank of Minister for Agriculture and Population. He may be moved sideways, but insiders don’t expect a move to a more senior portfolio. Burke to stay put.

Is Steve Whan hiding? Further to your correspondent’s comments about Steve Whan, Minister for Primary Industries, Emergency Services and Rural Affairs in the NSW government, promoting the pre-selected National candidate and popular Queanbeyan City Councillor John Barilaro… Whan is clearly unhappy about the profile this bloke has.

Whan’s staff have now resorted to contacting the organisers of any official engagement he is due to appear at to check whether the Councillor will be there. Even though he goes to these functions as an official representative of the City, Whan has made it quite clear that he is less than happy with Barilaro’s local profile and has threatened to stop going to functions that he thinks his political adversary may be at.

From ACA to newsroom boss. Is their movement at the station at Channel Nine in Brisvegas?  The other stations have been told A Current Affair‘s Amanda Patterson will fill a management role when she returns from her latest trip overseas to interview some music oldies. The nerves are a little thin in the Brisbane newsroom waiting for the heads to roll.

Huntley and the Christian College. Craig Hunter, the Liberals’ failed candidate for Bendigo, claimed during the campaign that he was vice-principal of Victory Christian College, a successful local Christian college, for eight years. This is a complete lie. He was vice-principal of Ascension College, based in Junorton (an outer suburb of Bendigo), which is now defunct. It folded in 2000, following the conviction of Terrence/Terence/Terry Hunter (Craig’s father, school chairman, and pastor of the parent church) and Graeme Milner (financial director), for dishonesty et al. The liquidation of the controlling company meant that Ascension had no money to continue operating, and advance kinder-12 enrolments for 2001 dropped from 108 to the low 50s.

So, it’s understandable that Craig kept quiet about Ascension, but claiming that he was instead at Victory instead is a total fabrication. Victory College split from Ascension College in the late ’90s, when Ascension’s church split from the Apostolic Church. Victory is led and staffed entirely by Apostolic — now known as History Makers Church — members, and given that the split was due to the Hunters and the Claridges falling out, the odds of Craig being at Victory at all are near-zero, let alone vice-principal.

Ascension’s parent church underwent a number of name changes; I believe Ascension Life Centre was the first, and it was known as Bendigo City Church for most of its independent life. Interested observers can read all about the vibrant Bendigo fundy education scene here.

Crikey sightings. Bob Katter was seen yesterday enjoying lunch at the Mosman RSL in Sydney with presumably daughters and some small children.

Overheard on the tram… From the number 96 from North Fitzroy this morning:

TRAM DRIVER (over loud speaker): Would passengers please push the buzzer a Bit Earlier, if you don’t mind.

PASSENGER: Would you kindly pick us up on time, if you don’t mind.

TRAM DRIVER (enunciating very clearly): Well, if people didn’t stick blow up s-x toys to the tracks, we wouldn’t be in this predicament would we.

PASSENGER: My apologies.