Calombaris’ food comes at a penalty. On Monday we reported George Calombaris hitting out at the federal government’s workplace relations policy and the drain of penalty rates for staff — a story that has created quite a bit of fuss in the media since. Calombaris copped plenty of heat among readers, and one hospitality mole offered this perspective-keeping insight:

“According to the stratospheric prices listed on Calombaris’ Press Club’s dinner menu, wait staff on the minimum award wage of $15.96 an hour would need to pull at least a 14-hour shift to make anywhere near the after-tax cash required to afford a three-course dinner and a middling bottle of wine at the exclusive CBD haunt.”

Victorian department a kid-free zone. Parents at Victoria’s Department of Transport are wondering why a highly popular school holiday care program at the bureaucracy’s Exhibition Street HQ was cut this year. We’re told progressive secretary Jim Betts was all for the retreat, but perhaps another senior manager wasn’t so happy having kids in the building …

Paper takes an Age to get to Adelaide. The Age is a popular read for some across the border in Adelaide looking for more substance than that offered by News Limited tabloid The Advertiser. But one reader reports its taking much longer to get to him:

“For years I have been able to get an Age at around 7.30am from my friendly CBD servo. About six months ago 7.30 became 8.30 and far too often in the last few weeks, not at all. The Saturday edition is a slimmed-down version of the Melbourne one — no cars, houses, travel and it costs $4! The Sydney Morning Herald is the same — 8.30 is early, if it arrives at all. And the media guide is just unavailable on Sundays or Mondays. With a population of 1.2 million in a Murdoch-only town, you would think that Greg Hywood would relish the opportunity to score a few more sales.”

Is this another cost-saving exercise at Fairfax?

Do primary schoolers read broadsheets? Still on the Melbourne paper, a Crikey reader tells us: “My nine-year-old has decided not to ‘take advantage’ of the unsolicited Age subscription direct mailed to her by Football Federation Victoria.” Understandably so — the broadsheet is hard to read on the school bus.

Peter Fray

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