Westfield cleaning up (continued). Yesterday we reported whispers from the Westfield bathrooms that the Lowy sons are pushing their cleaning companies for price cuts of 20% to 25% for the 2012 financial year. Today other sources back the case: “I have a close family member working there.  Staff have been told that wages increases for the next 12 months will be limited to a maximum of 2.5%. There is some comment within Westfield about this in the light of what is seen as a somewhat risky entry into Italy with vast amounts of capital required.”

And from a friend of a contracts manager for a cleaning company supplying Westfield: “He [the contractor] has tried to cut the cleaning contract prices but his superiors love the 25% ‘rebate’ paid from the cleaning product companies. This is despite better, cheaper and more environmentally friendly cleaning products being available. While the floors are cleaned with products containing chemicals people are shying away from, the procurement system stinks. It looks like Westfield can smell it too.”

Market moves at ConnectEast. A Crikey reader poses some interesting questions on Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu and the ConnectEast (operator of the EastLink toll road) scheme:

“Looking for clarification on a research note from a broker who cited they had comfort from the Victorian Premier on approval of the ConnectEast scheme. Quote from the piece: ‘We recently met with the Victorian premier who gave us comfort state government approvals would be forthcomming.’ Is this price-sensitive information? Should it be released ad hoc by the Victorian state government or should it be disclosed under ASX disclosure laws? Clarification should be sought on why the Premier has chosen to speak to Religare Capital …”

Nine grounded by fake report. Nine News has been busted broadcasting from the station helipad while pretending to be over the skies of the search for Daniel Morcombe’s body. Twice, what’s more. Here’s the missive to staff from station boss Lee Anderson:

From: Anderson, Lee
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 05:50 PM
To: QTQ Gold Coast News Department; QTQ News Department
Cc: Calvert, Mark; Blucher, Kylie
Subject: Statement

Over the weekend we put to air two live crosses which purported to be from near Beerwah. This was not the case. That we mislead our viewers is totally unacceptable. This afternoon we issued the following public statement:

During Saturday and Sunday night’s Brisbane bulletin we crossed live to a reporter in our helicopter updating the Daniel Morcombe case.

On both occasions we said the helicopter was near Beerwah. This was not the case.

The fact that the location was misreported is totally unacceptable. We have launched a thorough investigation into all the facts surrounding these reports. Independent of the outcome of that investigation and the action which flows from it , Nine News affirms its unequivocal commitment to complete accuracy in News reporting and to maintaining the trust of our viewers. Nothing less will be tolerated.

We are determined that such an incident never happen again. To make sure of this we are taking a detailed look at how it occurred.

Please always, always, always, take extreme care on all matters of accuracy and raise any concerns, however minor you think they might be.


Hello, do you have the X-factor? An odd directive to receptionists at Prime7 TV …

From: Crystal Bergemann/Admin/PrimeTv
To: xxxx
Date: 23/08/2011 08:22 AM
Subject: Important Reception Advice: X Factor Phone Greeting

Good Morning All

With THE X FACTOR returning to our screens on Monday, we will be temporarily changing our network phone greeting.

Effective as of Wednesday 24th August (until further notice), all incoming calls on Reception are to be answered as follows:-


Kindest Regards

The receptionist we called at Prime7 this morning made no mention of The X Factor. We won’t name names for fear of reprisals against them. According to our spy: “No one is seriously considering following the directive. It’s promo gone mad.”

Nova radio shake-up. What now for pop radio network Nova after comedian Merrick Watts announced this morning he’s quit the key Sydney breakfast slot? Rumours have circulated for weeks that Melbourne-based national drive hosts Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald and Michael “Wippa” Wipfli will be parachuted into Sydney to rescue the ratings-losing show, which Watts hosted with Scott Dooley. And there are whispers comedian Meshel Laurie, who anchors the Nova breakfast shift in Brisbane, could then take up the national drive slot.

Citizen speaks out in Canberra. At least the Convoy of No Confidence has done something for media diversity in the national capital: we’re told copies of the Citizens Electoral Council rag Citizen have been turning up on campuses and in mailboxes.

Animals up the duff. Presenting our reckon-we’ll-make-it-regular-now segment “Highlights from the 3AW Rumour File”. Media Monitors records: “Karl claims the hippo and rhino at the Werribee Zoo are both pregnant.” Scoop.

Peter Fray

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