Cash-for-gifts fund feeds LNP. Campbell Newman’s Liberal-National Party machine is generating plenty of cash in corporate donations. A Queensland political insider reports:

“Not only are they managing to squeeze significant sums out of major Queensland corporates vying for the recognition of a potential new government, they’re taking things one step further by leaning on the business community to reward their staff. Major firms are not only being asked to stump up campaign coffers by sponsoring events, but the team is very cheekily asking for contributions towards daily prizes to reward and recognise the election campaign team. Desirable gifts include dinner vouchers, free holidays and accommodation packages, theatre tickets and gift vouchers to high-end retailers.

“One wag remarked that cashing in while the currency was high was one thing, but blatantly milking freebies for salaried staff may be taking the friendship a little too far. We wonder if this is even allowed by the AEC? Even more so, those same campaign beneficiaries are likely to be hopeful of securing jobs as advisers under a new government and be the same people who ignore phone calls and emails like many ministerial staff do once they reach the lofty heights of political offices. For those corporates willing to handover goodies, does this guarantee them some inexperienced junior adviser will take their phone call. We don’t think so.”

We’re curious about how this works, too. Do you know of any companies or staff approached? Drop us a line or use the anonymous form — anonymity is assured.

Rudd rumblings: what’s Perrett doing? It’s hard to keep up with the Labor Party manoeuvring. On Monday our tipsters were telling us Graham Perrett was definitely ready to follow through on his threat to quit the Labor Party if Julia Gillard was rolled by Kevin Rudd — and he was sticking to that publicly yesterday — but today we hear there’s “whispers in Canberra” that Perrett is talking to the Rudd camp about backing the Foreign Minister and potentially securing a promotion in a reshuffled government line-up. We put a call into Perrett’s Brisbane office this morning but didn’t hear back.

Rudd rumblings: could Kevin quit? Or maybe the Foreign Minister himself could simply quit the party if he fails to win any leadership ballot and force Gillard to an election. That was one rather bizarre theory promoted to us today. There’s no end in sight, folks.

Insurer gets charitable — by overcharging. From today’s 3AW Rumour File: “Charity Begins at Home and Contents says rumour is that a leading insurance company has admitted they overcharged on a policy and have offered customers the option of having the overpayment donated to a charity of the insurance company’s choice.” Which insurance company might that be?

Crimes needs a number cruncher. Fairfax’s Canberra Times is advertising, via an internal vacancies email, for a new chief financial officer.

Sydney’s long and ugly New Year’s hangover. It’s February 22, so why is the Sydney Harbour Bridge still adorned with imagery from the New Year’s Eve fireworks extravaganza? One local reckons it makes the coat-hanger a bit of an eyesore and wrote to the council about it. The response?

Dear XXXX,

Thank you for your email, we are glad you enjoyed the 2012 Sydney New Year’s Celebrations.

The City of Sydney works with the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) in order to install and dismantle the Bridge Effect, this project is subject to weather conditions and other planned maintenance on the Sydney Harbour Bridge which are out of our control. We will continue to work with RMS to dismantle the Bridge Effect as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

Dee Jones

Administration Officer, Sydney New Year’s Eve
City Of Sydney

Peter Fray

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