Desal plant needs closer inspection. We’re been told to check the integrity of the parts used in the desalination plant near Bunbury in Western Australia. “Some worrying information about new couplings deteriorating/perishing into our water supply,” whispers one mole. Does anyone know a covert plumber in the area …?

Political campaigns all hot air. Greenies have taken their campaign to the toilets of Melbourne, as we reported yesterday, slapping a sticker on hand dryers with the message: “PLEASE PRESS BUTTON TO HEAR ANOTHER PROGRESSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM PREMIER TED BAILLIEU”. But the strategy isn’t new, according to Crikey reader Swegn Smith:

“In March 1983 a printing business in Sydney that I owned was commissioned to print 50,000 round stickers with the slogan “Press to hear Bob Hawke speak”.  The person ordering them told us that they were to be attached to as many hand dryers in public toilets as possible. We printed them and were duly paid, but I saw very few of them around the traps.”

Federal funds Shine on Ten. It’s not just all-important drama quota points Ten stands to win from its production of semi-scripted reality trash-fest The Shire, as we suggested yesterday. As one TV insider reports: “Shine Australia (wholly owned by News Corporation) will argue it is scripted “drama” and therefore entitled to the ATO rebate of 20% of production expenditure, or if that fails claim it as a documentary and still claim the 20%. A potential win for Ten and Shine and yet another loss to the Australian taxpayer.”

Hun op-ed preview via email misdirect. We think Herald Sun supremo Alan Armsden was trying to contact the Australian Tax Office, not lobby group Taxpayers Australia, which is where this ended up. Still, for a preview of what to expect on the op-ed pages in the coming days …

From: Armsden, Alan
Sent: Tuesday, 3 April 2012 9:24 AM
Subject: editorial


I am thinking of writing an editorial piece regarding secrecy around taxpayer funds being used “confidentially” by the Federal Government. I am prompted by a piece in this morning’s paper about the secret payment to Sky over the botched Australian Network Tender, although this will not necessarily be the focus of the piece.

I want to get an idea of the volume of these secret deals over the past 12 months and ask for an explanation as to why the expenditure of our money is a “secret” when it is not commercially sensitive information that can give a competitor (or competitor country) information they could use against Australia but simply Federal expenditure.

That’s the gist of it, in any event.

I would be grateful if I could be contacted. The details are below.



Alan Armsden | Managing Editor, Herald & Weekly Times

No cash on Medicare premises? From this morning’s 3AW Rumour File: “Caller Claims says Medicare offices will have no cash refunds and instead will pay directly into your bank account.” Not when we were in there last week, but perhaps in the future …?

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