O’Farrell’s different tune on solar. Barry O’Farrell’s NSW government has cracked down hard on gross feed-in tariffs for solar power generators. But he was whistling a different tune in 1999 as opposition leader, according to a YouTube clip posted by the NSW Liberals (which might not be up for long). According to O’Farrell then: “Gross feed-in tariffs make environmental sense, they make economic sense, they help the environment and they help create jobs …”

Comm Bank to cut SME service … The Commonwealth Bank is reducing competition in business financing for SMEs by withdrawing its receivables financing product from the market. This is a key financing option for SMEs as the bank uses the trade debtors as security, instead of the usual security of bricks and mortar. This will leave only two of the majors now offering this product. Where is the federal government with their promises of banking competition for SME’s?

… and cancels a staff holiday. My daughter informed me last night that Ralph Norris has told all staff at the Commonwealth Bank they will be working on the first Monday of August, which would have been their bank holiday. They will either get paid for the day or take the day in lieu.

Premium deal on liquidator liquidation. John Lord is a director of debt collecting firm Premium Collections, which slid into liquidation late last year. Word is he’s struck a deal with the liquidator (Crouch) and ASIC. Retiring as a partner of accounting firm PKF is also apparently part of the deal.

Freebies buy Getaway stories. At a conference of Moreton Bay and Islands tourism operators this week on North Stradbroke Island, Getaway presenter Ben Dark threw some light on how to get your tourism business on a TV travel show. One great idea, according to Ben, is to give a program’s really, really underpaid researchers and their friends a free trip and show them a good time and then they’ll probably — almost certainly — really push to get a crew  to do a segment on you.

If that doesn’t work then an absolutely surefire way of getting on a show is to give the show’s EP and partner a really good freebie. Nice to see independent journalism thriving in Australian TV content. Talk about escalating costs — once tourism operators only had to give freebies to the crew.

Who tried to kill JR? How appropriate is the Qantas ad for the new Houston route? Serving wine to JR — Larry Hagman, notorious alcoholic with a liver transplant?

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Peter Fray

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