Virgin v Lear in near-miss. More on aviation near-misses: one spy points out the close call above Newcastle Airport earlier this year between a Virgin passenger plane and a Lear Jet. “Makes the Cathay one look like they missed by a country,” they write.

The bad oil on tuna fishing. On Monday, Crikey’s resident naturalist Lionel Elmore reported on the difficult issue of fishing quotas in Victoria and the political fallout for the Baillieu government. Another industry mole takes up the story:

“As someone closely involved with SBT (southern bluefin tuna) I can tell you the past few years’ increase in recreational catch has nothing to do with increased river flows and everything to do with increased stocks. Check the CSIRO’s own survey data and it shows a startling parabolic curve in SBT sightings. This backs up what the industry has been saying for years: the stock is, and has been in a strong recovery phase for sometime.

“The industry has been well aware of the dramatic increase in fish stocks both inside and outside the CSIRO’s survey area in the Great Australian Bight around Kangaroo Island, Portland in Victoria and the east coast of Tasmania. Eden to Ulladulla are full of SBT and have been for several years prior to this season. Little wonder the “recos” are doing so well.

“Australia’s SBT industry was done a great disservice by its negotiation team at the last CCSBT meetings when, in the face of Japanese pressure (the same Japanese who had, several years earlier, been proven to have systematically overfished SBT for the previous 20 years to the tune of at least 200,000 tonnes), Australian SBT fishers took a 24% quota cut as a result, at the same time NZ got a quota increase! Meanwhile the CSIRO’s Canberra-based SBT model, which had been predicting the imminent collapse of the fishery for 20 years, threw a piston rod through the block when recent years’ survey data was added.

“This does not compute Will Robertson. Now they want to quota the recreational SBT catch? The cost would be ridiculous. So instead of thriving from their efforts and rewarded for their careful resource management, small fishing businesses and related support industries in a rural areas not associated with the mining boom get shafted, people get laid off, companies down-size or close or get swallowed up by competitors. Hand-wringing, city-centric greenies clap at the demise of another export industry and the fish in ever increasing numbers swim by to be caught by fishermen from other countries.”

Expose corruption, break the law. Yesterday we alerted you to a stunt from the Victorian opposition for public servants and other insiders to drop documents in its PO box exposing government largess (while urging them to mail us instead). Today, a warning from one anonymous reader: “The Victorian Public Service Code of Conduct clearly sets out the duties and responsibilities of public servants. The code makes it clear that leaking confidential material is forbidden. What responsible opposition would encourage public servants to commit an act that is a clear breach of their contract of employment?”

Origin charges through the roof. More complaints from disgruntled Origin Energy customers today, also suggesting IT systems aren’t up to scratch:

“I have solar panels on roof. Origin Energy has billed me for a Citipower service truck visiting my address when I was being billed by another electricity biller. They also charged me connection and smart meter rental when I was being billed by another electricity biller. When I bought this over-charging to Origin’s attention they were unable to resolve the problem over the phone and now I have to wait two weeks for a response. I think they have problems with the legacy electricity billing system they inherited from the former Victorian State Electricity Commission.”

Smith’s the new deputy PM. It’s been fixed now, thankfully. But for a while there, one Crikey reader pointed out yesterday, the federal parliamentary library thought Stephen Smith was the deputy prime minister …

Peter Fray

Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey.

This extraordinary year is almost at an end. But we know that time waits for no one, and we won’t either. This is the time to get on board with Crikey.

For a limited time only, choose what you pay for a year of Crikey.

Save up to 50% or dig deeper so we can dig deeper.

See you in 2021.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

SAVE 50%