Nervous bureaucrats in Newman-land. There’s some very nervous public servants in Queensland at the moment, as Campbell Newman swings the axe. Particularly in the Department of Transport and Main Roads, where Liberal factional warrior Michael Caltabiano has been put in charge. “If I survive the week I should be fine,” one staffer told us. What are you hearing out of the George Street bureaucracy? Drop us a line or feed us anonymously.

Carbon farming stands to examine. Over the weekend the ABC’s Landline reported that ag conglomerate RM Williams Agricultural Holdings is buying a cattle station in the Northern Territory to get into carbon farming. One local offers some background and questions the motivations:

“No one who is in either in the ag industry or the nascent carbon farming space thinks this will work, as they aim to sell the cattle and manage the grasses, and thus generate carbon credits, both from destocking cattle and vegetation management, despite no relevant methodologies being approved. Carbon credits for destocking shouldn’t be allowed as the cattle will go elsewhere, thus there is no net reduction in carbon emissions. (There is huge debate about cattle impacts on carbon emissions — they could even be our best hope for carbon sequestration.)

“Also, vegetation management is not as simple as first thought, as net emissions (from carbon sequestration as the grasses grow) is usually not measured, only gross emissions.”

News looks for distribution savings. News Limited is apparently trying to trim the costs of its paper distribution in Sydney. A Crikey reader reports:

“Speaking to a contractor last Saturday night whom I have known for a number years working in the mag and daily paper distribution he tells me that the new contracts given out regarding News Limited’s Manly Daily ask for 6% off the distribution.”

Spotted: men in black. A Crikey reader found a line-up of suited men this morning rather curious:

“A weird sight outside the NSW Coroner’s Court in Glebe this morning: about a dozen suited and well-groomed men and women were sipping coffee from paper cups next to a mobile kiosk on the footpath as heavy peak-hour traffic whizzed by on Parramatta Road. Does anyone know the details?”

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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