Washer (and Katter) may back mining tax. WA Liberal backbencher Mal Washer has caused a stir by announcing that he may cross the floor and support Julia Gillard’s mining tax. The Libs won’t be happy with his intervention, but neither will they be surprised. Long-time Washer watchers know he’s a man who goes his own way.

In 2005 the former doctor led a backbencher push that eventually forced John Howard to allow a conscience vote on the controversial abortion drug RU486. — Matthew Knott (read the full story here)

Live coverage the future of sport: Frykberg. Sports rights agent Ian Frykberg believes live coverage is the current big trend in sport broadcasting because it’s helping drive audience and revenue numbers. And clearly Foxtel thinks the same.

Frykberg was part of the Foxtel team that negotiated the mammoth AFL media rights deal earlier this year. From that deal Foxtel won the right to show every AFL game live, the first time in subscription TV history that they’ll have such rights. — Tom Cowie (read the full story here)

Rinehart speaks out on labour, red tape. Whenever Australia’s richest person speaks, people listen. And so it was when billionaire rock kicker Gina Rinehart warned of an upcoming labour shortage at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Perth yesterday.

The WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry has estimated the state will need an additional 450,000 workers over the next 10 years, a forecast shortfall of more than 200,000 workers, according to reports in The Australian. — The Power Index (read the full story here)

Peter Fray

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