Queensland, Australia merger no easy feat. The merger of Aidan McLindon’s Queensland Party and Bob Katter’s tentatively named Australia Party isn’t as smooth as the protagonists have made out, we’re told. As one spy notes: “The party faithful — those who haven’t jumped ship in the past few days — have pointed out that the party constitution states that a rank-and-file vote is necessary. Only a 75% approval by the grassroots members would allow such a merger to be possible. Of course this may all be academic as Aidan was the only sitting member.” Could there be a new hitch in a politically conservative love-match?

Colourful Q comes to the fore. RedQ appears to be firming as the name for Qantas’s new premium airline in Asia, according to one correspondent, picking up on our plea for info yesterday. But as they wryly note: “If it’s anything like Jetstar perhaps FarQ would be more appropriate?”

The Oz rearguard: troops line up. We warned you yesterday The Australian was preparing to launch an all-out assault on Robert Manne’s Quarterly Essay on the broadsheet. Editor-at-large Paul Kelly takes the first shots today — “Robert Manne throws truth overboard” (Margaret Simons muses on this elsewhere) — but Saturday’s edition will see the full “chapter-by-chapter” response we’d been promise. The Oz has lined up its troops: Mitchell, Rothwell, Lloyd, Stutchbury and Kenny. Will anyone still care?

New digital platform for The Oz. A Crikey reader says he’s subscribed to The Australian via Newsstand for years — but received this email recently about a change in platform — and price …

Dear Subscriber,

Thank you for your ongoing support of The Australian Digital Edition and newsstand.com

On September 30, 2011 we will be moving our digital edition service to a new technology provider, NewspaperDirect. The new product, The Australian SmartEdition, will provide the same full content of The Australian, plus more.

Your subscription with newsstand.com will be refunded the remaining balance on your account. Processing your refund is simple, please contact [email protected] or phone (US Toll Free) 866-837-4567 for full details.

Trial The Australian SmartEdition for FREE!

From October 1, 2011 you will have access to a free one month trial of The Australian SmartEdition. This offer is for the month of October only, so don’t miss out.

Your account has been set up automatically. To access your free trial, simply:

1. visit NewspaperDirect
2. click on the ‘Sign in’ button in the top right corner
3. go to the ‘Existing user’ section and enter your personal log in details

For any questions regarding your free trial, please email NewspaperDirect Customer Service.

We trust you’ll continue to enjoy in-depth and thoughtful journalism from The Australian.

Kind regards,

Subscription Team
The Australian

Thanks for the scoops. Keep them coming. Our scoop yesterday on the Australian Literary Review shutting up shop? That was you. You told us about the print merger between Fairfax and News Limited and the local paper with National Paper connections giving Rob Oakeshott a hard time, too. You leaked us the memo on major cuts to News Limited budgets. You helped us build a list of the MPs who live outside their electorates. You filled us in on the personal stoush at the Australian Musuem and the “plus-size” models done over by Myer. And that’s just in the past month.

Crikey readers are our best source of inside information to hold the media, governments and corporations to account. And no tid-bit is too small. Know something we probably don’t? You can email us or use our tip-off form that encrypts sender information and keeps you anonymous. Crikey needs you — so start leaking.

Peter Fray

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