Bligh headed for the polls? The Queensland ALP is already in campaign mode following the elevation of Brisbane mayor Campbell Newman to LNP leader. The campaign could be run by deputy chief of staff Stephen Beckett, who handled the flood response while the usual chief of staff Nicole Scurrah was on leave. Expect Newman’s 13 years in the army, as he regularly reminds constituents, to come under close scrutiny…

This get tough for council CEO. Spotted this morning walking from the corner of George Street and Adelaide Street into his workplace was Brisbane City Council CEO Colin Jensen, his face etched with what could be described as a mixture of apprehension and perplexity…

Split Liberal ticket on bikes. Believe it or not, there are Liberal candidates, like Bruce Notley-Smith in Coogee, who are campaigning in seats where Alan Jones’ word isn’t taken as gospel. These candidates have taken up many quite unabashedly progressive issues like extending light rail and encouraging more commuter cycling. But there’s a split in the Liberal Party between those who see cycling as a viable transport mode and a net social good, versus those like Barry O’Farrell who see it as a recreational indulgence that’s little different to riding a pogo stick.

In Notley-Smith’s latest campaign message, he sets out his commitment to “joining-up our cycle lanes, both to encourage greener transport options and safe exercise for those that want it”. Many of his cycling constituents will use those cycle lanes to ride to work in the city where they’ll want to take advantage of its network of cycle lanes that are starting to be deployed. Unfortunately for Notley-Smith and his cycling constituents there won’t be any cycle lanes to use if O’Farrell has his way.

Where’s Mal in Ten shuffle? Ten says there’ll be no job losses from its decision to dump local news bulletins at 6.30pm and move George Negus’ ailing hard-news approach into the slot. For presenters like Bill McDonald in Brisbane that’s fine; he was doing double-duty at 5pm and 6.30. Sydney reader Sandra Sully will probably return to the late-night shift. But what about popular Melbourne presenter Mal Walden? George Donikian slipped into his seat at 5pm — will there be a fight to retain his chair?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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