Minister turns on department head. Overheard at a Manuka restaurant last night, a senior minister describing a current secretary of a government department: “The guy couldn’t run a lemonade stand, let alone a chook raffle. He has no judgment when it comes to hiring senior staff and they just keep letting him down. The only reason he’s still around is because his minister still supports him.”

Tebbutt’s running for herself. Yesterday a brochure from Carmel Tebbutt, ALP member for Marrickville, touting her credentials for re-election was dropped into our letterbox. There is not a word about her ALP candidature on the brochure, down to a non-ALP Gmail address for those seeking further information. Posters featuring Carmel placed on light poles around the neighbourhood over the past weekend are also missing party affiliation. Is the ALP going to run a stealth campaign in NSW? And what’s the position regarding accepting public funding based on party record where no party is identified in documentation? How many other ALP candidates in the coming NSW election are going to run this way?

MySchool a government truant. What happened to the MySchool website? I know it was delayed from release in early December due to some inconsistencies in data on the financial positions of schools (oooh … better not start that pubic school verses private school debate again) but what has happened since then? It seems to have fallen off the Education Revolution radar altogether …

The wrong cuts at Transurban. They’ve taken the razor to staff at Transurban, but the latest round of cuts are making people scratch their heads. New appointees are out of their depth, while staff are buzzing about the removal of two managers who ran the most successful part of the business in CityLink.

All in the family in Melbourne property. There’s a family of property developers in Melbourne with a close association (which includes a close relative working for them) to a Victorian government minister. Keep a close watch on them …

Live from Alexandria, Egypt: A few minutes ago my access to Facebook and Twitter was blocked. All other sites on the net were accessible, which suggests the Egyptian government may be trying to limit preparations for another day of protests Friday. Mohamed ElBaradei is expected to arrive in Egypt later tonight from Vienna and has promised to play a leading role. Mubarak’s ruling PDP party has made some overtures, suggesting a meeting with young protesters but as yet there are no details.

Peter Fray

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