Power couple: journo stars Jones and Ferguson. She’s the Four Corners star who exposed mistreatment in Australia’s live export trade; he’s the interviewer that politicians fear most. Tony “silverfox” Jones and Sarah “the duchess” Ferguson are Australia’s pre-eminent journalistic power couple — and 2011 has seen their influence soar to even greater heights.

Both took out gongs at last month’s Walkley Awards for journalistic excellence: Ferguson won the Gold Walkley for her live cattle investigation while Jones scored the broadcast interviewing category for his probing Lateline tête-à-têtes with Malcolm Turnbull, Chris Bowen and Christopher Hitchens. — Matthew Knott (read the full story here)

Gillard’s Godfather reshuffle: winners and losers. Prior to yesterday’s cabinet reshuffle Julia Gillard must have been watching The Godfather and taking the advice of mafia boss Michael Corleone: “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. Actually, in ALP politics there’s not much difference. Your best mate can stab you in the back at any moment.

Nevertheless, she has done a good job of rewarding everybody who might be tempted to plot against her or would be important to keeping her in power. — Paul Barry (read the full story here)

McClelland a quiet achiever who needed headlines. There’s one thing clear about Julia Gillard’s cabinet reshuffle yesterday: Robert McClelland really, really didn’t want to have to hand over his attorney-general portfolio. But unfortunately for the low-key Sydneysider, his greatest achievements in the role didn’t carry enough zest.

While McClelland still has a place in cabinet, he was dropped from the AG’s portfolio to make way for Nicola Roxon. The change sees McClelland take on the ministries of Emergency Management, Housing and the Homeless instead. — Angela Priestley (read the full story here)

The Gates’ jet into Sydney for Christmas. Get ready Sydney. Billionaire Bill Gates and family have decided to spend their Christmas holidays in the harbour city.

The world’s second richest man, along with his wife and three kids, will spend a month in Sydney renting out a $25,000-a-week mansion in Vaucluse, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. — The Power Index (read the full story here)

Peter Fray

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