Tips and rumours

Albo goes to ground in Labor spill. Is Anthony Albanese in hiding? He’s yet to show is hand in the Labor leadership dispute, and we hear a planned announcement today (months in the planning) with cruise ship operators Carnival in Sydney has been cancelled. Too busy counting numbers, no doubt, but we’re not entirely sure for who — Albo’s spokesperson didn’t return our call.

Switching sides: ministries on offer? Who’s the Julia Gillard supporter who’s apparently indicated he’s willing to switch sides if Kevin Rudd offers him the role of Attorney-General on a new-look frontbench?

Owen apologised, but has already been tough. Michael Owen — The Australian‘s Adelaide reporter who pushed Julia Gillard to the edge yesterday (and later apologised) — has form. As one media watcher tell us:

“Owen used to be chief of staff at The Advertiser but was moved off the desk in 2006 after some “communication issues”. In 2007 he was involved in an push-and-shove incident at Santos House in Adelaide where he attempted to push a mike in front of Mike Rann and Santos CEO John Ellice-Flint. Police were called. Ellice-Flint rang Advertiser editor Mel Mansell fuming at the incident. Owen was taken off the political round and put on general news. He later applied for and got the political reporters gig at The Australian while Jamie Walker was the bureau chief. He’s been the subject of a string of complaints by state ministers and the premier.”

But Owen has his fans, too. Editors at The Oz have praised his go-get-’em style in the past. Another Adelaide media player told us the city has a “cherished tradition of journalists hectoring political leaders” and “this town’s journalism is the better for the likes of Michael Owen … despite his tendency to be an arsehole”.

We were throwing stones in Glass House. Yesterday we suggested Queensland Labor’s candidate for the seat of Glass House, Ryan Moore, was campaigning for a place in parliament while actually living and studying in Melbourne. Moore assures us today that’s not the case:

“I’ve accepted an offer with a Melbourne university and I’m taking subjects externally. This isn’t unusual for me — I’ve been an external student through both Macquarie and Griffith, and recently my degree structure was altered with US politics subjects I wanted to take no longer available. I’m certainly not going to give up study unless I win on March 24.

“I’ll sure I’ll reassess my options should I fail to win at the election after the first semester of university in June, as will my partner, but right now I’m just focused on my candidacy. With all going well, I won’t be going anywhere for at least the term of the next parliament.”

Strange bedfellows keep truckin’. Apparently in the Queensland state seat of Nicklin, the campaign trailers (covered with election signs) promoting the Liberal-National Party candidate and the Katter Party candidate are housed overnight on the same property in the main street of Nambour. No parking partisanship in those parts.

Qantas: Virgin up while we were down. A Qantas mole reports: “Management send out email updates each day it seems lately, to all managers and onboard managers with items to discuss with our ‘teams’. Yesterday’s was that Virgin’s profit was only due to Qantas’ industrial action and Tigers issues.”

Listener complains, host disappears. Speaking of people power … A listener of Melbourne’s 91.5 FM, DMG Radio’s often-rebranded battler, complained recently they weren’t such a fan of Saturday morning presenter (and Channel Seven hunk) Tom Williams. The response from marketing director Rohan Brown was decisive:


As of Saturday the 18th of Feb The Tom Williams Show has finished up on 91.5

We will now continue our more music position on Saturday mornings.

I hope this means that you might continue to tune in.

Thanks for the email

Rohan Brown

As our correspondent writes: “That’s not a complaint letter. THIS is a complaint letter.”

CORRECTION: The original version of this article carried an item that Kevin Rudd’s staff had been acting in a rude manner booking hotel rooms in Canberra. Rudd’s office tells Crikey the rumour is “entirely false”:

“I don’t know whether someone is calling hotels pretending to be Kevin’s staff and behaving rudely, or it is entirely invented, but it is definitely not Kevin’s staff. (Aside from anything else — why would we suddenly need rooms? We have been living, working and travelling to Canberra for some time after all.) It is incredibly insulting to bright, loyal, kind, and dedicated staff who are coping with the current transition with professionalism (and politeness).”