Liberals worried about dirt. We can’t confirm it, but according to one tipster Labor isn’t the only side trying to kill stories at News Limited: “I’ve seen an email from a Liberal Party strategist confirming discussions they have had in the last few days where the Libs asked them to back off the criticisms of the government. Why? Because the Libs are concerned that if pushed too hard, the government will start playing dirty.” There’s some nasty rumours floating around — they appear in Crikey‘s inbox daily now — about Coalition members, which we have no evidence of and certainly won’t be publishing until we do.

SA pollie to make a federal switch? Who’s the SA state Liberal sizing up Mary Jo Fisher’s Senate seat if she fails to beat shop-lifting charges?

ATO pay battle gets sticky. In a protracted pay battle with staff, the Australian Tax Office has said it can’t afford bigger rises. So staff were miffed last week when management offered a lump sum payable in December 2013 if there was an average reduction of sick leave by two days per week — which, according to one staffer, means that they will pay more than 9%. And this: “The union gave staff some stickers and fliers to put on their chairs and cupboards. A directive was issued on Monday that you cannot have any stickers or fliers on ATO property. They will probably ban family photos on ATO property next.”

Peter Fray

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