Could Thomson bring down Gillard? Central Coast ALP political operatives are fretting over the future of Dobell MP Craig Thomson, whose credit card statements continue to be the subject of heavy Supreme Court scrutiny. “He might end up bringing down the government,” one party member and private sector solicitor gasped as the salacious details of yesterday’s Fairfax defamation hearing emerged. Thomson’s resignation would force a by-election in Dobell that Labor would be hard-pressed to win.

ABC’s not-so-Aussie whodunit. Tongues are wagging in the film and television production community after Screen Australia, a federally owned statutory body, approved an investment in Top Of The Lake, a whodunit drama series set entirely in New Zealand for the ABC. Written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee, it has no cultural relationship to Australia at all, so why are Australian taxpayers subsidising it?

The problem is compounded when the ABC last year went cap in hand to the Australian government for more money for Australian drama. And now it has made a large financial commitment to this New Zealand drama. Yet there is an available subsidy agency in New Zealand itself, which exists to fund television drama — New Zealand On Air. So what next for Screen Australia and the ABC based on this ugly precedent?

Churchill in the Christmas spirit. Fairfax Melbourne Publishing CEO Don Churchill was seen getting very much into the spirit of things at Fairfax Community Network Christmas shindig at the seal enclosure at Melbourne Zoo last Thursday. Witnesses described Churchill delivering a bizarre speech in halting prose, before promising all staff a “double pass to the movies” for the winners of the prestigious team of the year award. It is not known whether the chief has made good on his off-the-cuff offer.

What stunts and scandals are planned or went down at your corporate Christmas party? Crikey wants to know –  email your on or off-the-record tips or send to [email protected].

“They’re like a bigger, meaner koala bear…” The Australian Museum has just added the infamous ‘Drop Bear’ to it’s native animal register

7-12-2010 10-11-41 AM

Peter Fray

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