Sky’s the limit for Ten News. Sky News is full of smiles as staff confidently forecast their efforts will be seen on Ten sooner than anyone thinks. Has Ten late-night news host Sandra Sully a key role in this, with reports she has been seen at Sky for test runs? It was always James Packer’s ambition to see Sky News on Ten. Is Lachlan Murdoch making that wish come true? And more importantly, what will Nine and Seven say? They after all are the backbone of Sky News, especially their daily vision feeds. So will Ten News pictures be used instead of Seven’s and Nine’s?

Client asks questions of Comm Bank. What is happening at the Commonwealth Bank? There’s a group-wide travel freeze and a group-wide entertainment freeze. Sydney Client Risk Solutions Desk (Markets)  has been gutted: two resignations, one maternity leave and three looking for jobs elsewhere. Clearly engagement is low. Yet the message apparently is “all is OK”.

I can tell you as a client, it isn’t well. We pulled our lines recently due to service from that dealing desk. Many more of our compatriots will be doing the same. They seem to be really struggling. If I was running that business I would be having a good look at the management of that area and asking why they continue to perform so badly. Is it the people or the poor strategy where we can never get our dealer on the phone?

Business registrations: a Gillard tax grab? A previous tipster suggested the new business registration process would reduce the number of names that businesses could call themselves. I tried to get information on the new system from the email suggested on the Innovation Department’s website. I got no information whatsoever. The whole process gets a fail for providing information to the people who are going to be affected. I then contacted my local consumer affairs department, which was far more helpful (at least they spoke to me). They provided details of the new system, which seems very complicated.

It will be possible for someone to get a particular company name, but the same name would not be allowed as a business name. How could anyone think that this makes any sort of sense? The consumer affairs people also told me the setting up of the new scheme was a text-book case of how not to do things. Since I got no information from the website you were supposed to go to for information, and since the system makes no logical sense, it is clear that this is going to be another ASIC disaster.

Every single business in this country will be impacted by this new system, and the Gillard government is determined to just ram it through. This is just a tax grab. The folks at consumer affairs told me that new taxes were to be put on businesses, and that Gillard’s mob has even threatened to take money off the states unless they hurry up and hand over businesses to Canberra so that Gillard can tax them.

Government funds for Oscar winner. Does Emile Sherman need government handouts? The Oscar-winning producer of The Kings Speech, in the process of earning several hundred million dollars at box offices around the world, is the latest recipient of a nice government handout from Screen Australia to “develop” his next movie …

Did Abbott put his foot in it? There was some fruity language assailing Coles and Woolworths from Tony Abbott at the AUSVEG Growers Breakfast in Brisbane last week. Let’s go to the tape:

“We’re not against competition, we’re in favour of competition but it’s got to be fair competition and that’s why we want the ACCC in there making sure that you don’t have big companies like Coles and Woolworths rap-ng the market. It’s got to be sustainable and we’re there to make sure that you guys have just as secure a commercial future as the big companies do.”

The Weekly Times dutifully reported the comments today, but strangely didn’t deem the un-prime ministerial remarks worthy of a beat-up.

Peter Fray

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