The paper trail to Lundy. Much dismay presently in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship as attempts are made to supply and come to terms with the stationery demands of parliamentary secretary Senator Kate Lundy and her new office staff. The standard Reflex type product that is good enough for Minister Bowen (about $25-$30 a ream), Lundy insists on super-duper highly environmentally friendly types of stationery (about $78-$80 a ream) for her correspondence.

Apparently the paper is so environmentally friendly and reprocessed that people could safely eat the correspondence with confidence if they chose to do so! Standard envelopes to be used for minister Bowen’s correspondence are apparently also unacceptable for use by the parliamentary secretary with her office demanding a similar standard of high-cost environmentally friendly envelope in order to maintain consistency with the very expensive reams of paper.

Senator Lundy is not the only parliamentary secretary who has demonstrated similarly expensive tastes and demands of DIAC when it comes to her office stationery. Senator Teresa Gambaro, when parliamentary secretary in the same portfolio, also had grand and expensive stationery demands. In the DIAC basement lurks a significant supply of the good senator’s stationery; perhaps awaiting the day that she returns to government and the DIAC portfolio.

Street’s not ahead on aid. There is great concern in the international aid and development sector over the appointment of Rudd’s new aid adviser. Former Channel Nine reporter Daniel Street appears to have little to no formal experience in aid and development, having recently completed a master’s degree, which is more and more an entry level degree to the sector.

With no parliamentary secretary and Rudd’s proclivity to the more superficial aid issues, dodging human rights and structural poverty in many of our neighbours, it is worrying what direction AusAID will receive as it scales up to be one of the biggest spending government entities in future years.

The AFL and Christine Nixon. Regarding Crikey‘s story yesterday on Victoria Police’s cosy relationship with the AFL. When you examine closely the denials of the AFL and Christine Nixon, they specifically refute a “conversation” over Sam Edmund’s 2007 story over AFL drug dealing. But, of course, the info could have passed between Demetriou and Nixon by email, voicemail, text message, even underlings.

Sacked on mental health day. Monash University yesterday announce redundancies of 10% “across the board”. Bad enough, but do they have to do that on “stress less” day as part of Monash Mental Health Week? We had had a nice day, wearing casual clothes to work and donating our gold coin to mental health research, etc. Then we are called into a serious emergency meeting at 4.30pm about redundancies. This is so ironic that someone should call Alanis Morissette; she could put it in her next song. (Yes, I am a long-serving Monash staff member.)

A TV producer plea: For an organisation that claims to be so multimedia savvy, could the ABC please update its website to reflect the recent personnel changes in ABC Television, which includes new programmers for ABC1 and 2 and a new head of drama? Given the ABC has become increasingly dependent on commissioning independent producers (and therefore access to more third-party funds) is it too much to expect that it could promptly update who works in the departments and what material they are looking for? In stark contrast to this lack of clarity is the BBC website. I would suggest the ABC take a look and then somebody can accept responsibility for timely updating.

Peter Fray

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