Fielding dealing in dying Senate days. Labor wouldn’t be contemplating an arrangement with departing Senator Steve Fielding over his support for government bills in the remaining seven Senate sitting days, would it? Then again, it would be appropriate that some of the people responsible for Fielding gracing the Senate in the first place might yet be responsible for him continuing some form of public role post-politics.

Milne’s one-minute political career. Is former-News-turned-ABC scribe Glenn Milne throwing in the pen and crossing the divide to join the Liberals as a candidate for the seat of Mallee? That’s the mail from former sparring partner Stephen Mayne, who tweeted as much this morning, only for The Australian’s Ben Packham to issue a Milne denial just 10 minutes later: “Have just checked this with GMilne. He says it’s ‘rubbish’,” Packham tweeted. “‘I have no intention fo [sic] going into politics’, he said.”

Who’s taking the pulse in Queensland? Who, or which party, is paying for polling in Queensland?  We live in the state seat of Brisbane Central, and received a call from a market research firm on Wednesday evening.  I was asked my opinion of Anna Bligh, Campbell Newman, Grace Grace (sitting Labor member), Robert Cavallucci (LNP candidate) and Teresa Gambaro (federal MP for Brisbane).

Then they wanted me to rank in importance issues such as the new Queensland Children’s Hospital at South Brisbane (in Bligh’s electorate), parking meters in the CBD and inner-Brisbane suburbs and the importance of green and environmental issues to my vote at the next state election. By the balance of the questions, it was impossible for me to pick whether this polling was on behalf of Labor or LNP, and the questioner was not able to tell me.

Bradbury warns against hair growth. Product Safety Australia reports: “Parliamentary secretary to the treasurer, David Bradbury has issued a warning notice to the public in relation to ‘Keratin Complex Intense Rx’, a restructuring serum for hair. The warning notice highlights the health dangers of high levels of ‘free’ formaldehyde in the Keratin Complex Intense Rx hair conditioner product.” Is Bradbury, one of several folically challenged MPs, speaking from experience?

A party for business by business. A new political party has been formed called the Australian Business Coalition (the ABC Party). From the info I received this is attracting a lot of attention from SMEs and concerned folks …

Fairfax: do you like working for us? Apparently Fairfax emailed an electronic survey to all staff on their experience as employees, including a video message from CEO Greg Hywood. Brilliant timing. One question: “Would you recommend working for Fairfax to a friend or family member?” If you fill it out you can win one of three iPads.

No sleeper hit for Screen Australia. Not quite the sleeper they were after. The crushing reviews in  Variety and The Huffington Post of Sleeping Beauty, the Australian film in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, should make the CEO of Screen Australia more than uneasy at the next senate estimates hearing and send its spin doctors into a hive of activity.

Screen Australia invested $1.49 million in the film, which is also estimated to receive an ATO rebate of $1.4 million-$1.6 million. SA through its contentious evaluation system,  run by its “experts”, chose to invest in the film. But the review by Peter Debruge in Variety seems to capture an endemic problem reflected in Screen Australia’s choices: “More tiresome than anything … Whereas classical Hollywood cinema relies on the so-called ‘goal oriented protagonist’ too many recent independent pics favour the opposite extreme, building laconic, momentum free narratives around disaffected, near catatonic young people.” Sleeping Beauty was written and directed by a first timer, a novelist with no screen experience of any shape or form. Perhaps an explanation may be in order.

Foreign students need Aussie names. Is it true that one health department from a Sydney university compels students from China (their biggest cash cow!) and other foreign parts to Anglicise their first names so staff can pronounce them? “Ke” becomes “Jo”, etc. The high-fee-paying students suffer in silence, not wanting to offend those who have so deftly offended them.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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