No guarantees for public service contractors. Contract staff in the Commonwealth public service — that is: temps, retirees, consultants, etc — are apparently being told that their contract renewals are only going up to June 30 this year. “The implication is that major staff cutbacks are on the way,” says one insider. “This could have a big impact on the Canberra workforce.”

Union man for plum Newman post. Meanwhile in Queensland, rumours persist that Queensland Public Service Union secretary Alex Scott is being lined up to fill the vacant Public Service Commissioner position in Campbell Newman’s brave new world. We put in calls to Scott but didn’t hear back …

LNP look to Queensland council vote. Now they have state parliament, the LNP is examining the municipal electoral map to see which councils they could claim on April 28. We’re told a group of senior LNP players, including MPs, are enthusiastically supporting a campaign in the bayside council of Redlands. With the dozens of polls across the state there’s plenty of political gossip in the wind. What’s happening in your council zone? Drop us a line or use our anonymous tips form.

Le tour for dumped Queensland premier? So what’s next for Anna Bligh. A “reliable source” tells us: “Bligh will be off to France in a ‘trade role’. [Husband] Greg Withers loves cycling and should make it in time for Le Tour!”

Negotiations around sweatshop laws. On Wednesday, Crikey reported on the new national protections for outworkers and sweatshop workers in the textile, clothing and footwear industry that threaten to derail manufacturing activity in Australia. An industry source describes some of the back-room negotiations that saw it pass parliament:

“My understanding is this deal was done with the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia prior to the last election, hence the farce of a Senate inquiry that never was and the rushed railroading of this through before the next election and their likely defeat. If the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia or other industry participants were actually able to put the real facts and hard questions to the Senate it would have made it too hard to push through.”

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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