Talk about the ATO and which bank? Remember the tip about the bank that’s in the ATO’s gun sights? The holier-than-thou dollar-makers in question must be getting nervous as they’ve been trying to convince the market that it’s actually one of their competitors that’s going to get hammered. Which bank? Doesn’t matter, every tax lawyer and accountant in town knows which kings of financial engineering are involved. Meanwhile, the ATO is apparently letting it be known that its target’s defences are about as solid as a fold-up pup tent …

No innovation in department. I overheard two senior public servants at a Manuka restaurant talking about the Department of Innovation not being able to run a chook raffle. Both were sympathising for the department’s secretary for being surrounded by incompetent SES. One said to the other: “he really needs to clean house because if he does not, the government will just let his contract run out.” Heather Ridout was named as a possible replacement.

Housing crisis post-floods. The Queensland Premier’s Department stated that funding $62,000 for crisis emergency bedding was “not within their framework”. The department representative agreed with all facets of this article‘s information predicting the chronic homelessness situation that is looming in Queensland. They told the writer, who is trying to fund-raise for this effort, to go to the charities dealing with homelessness and ask them to help fund the appeal. Charities in Queensland are also having problems fund-raising, as many people donated during the floods to the Queensland Premier’s Flood Appeal.

Nowhere in the Queensland government website does it indicate that it will deal with this situation and only write about housing. It is buck passing to the charities. For people who are living on the streets, the rough-sleeping homeless, there is no strategy to give even the most basic of care. What are they doing with the $248 million-plus donated? This appeal will go straight to charities who support rough-sleeping homeless people, with no wages or overheads taken out of donations.

Newspaper free-for-all #874. Seen at a polling booth in NSW: copies of The Daily Telegraph practically being given away if you bought a sausage sandwich. Another circulation booster?

Newspaper free-for-all #875. In a desperate effort to revive sagging circulation, the Gold Coast Bulletin is being given away free in Coles stores on the Coast. Spend $15 and get the Bulletin free. A formerly great newspaper slumps even further …

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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