From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Sackwatch: QLD’s public service purge. It seems economic circumstances have returned to a time that a regular Sackwatch is required once more. After Crikey revealed yesterday that four of the five chairmen of Queensland’s government-owned energy companies had resigned in the last week, the last man standing — Graham Carpenter — announced his resignation as the chairman of Stanwell Corporation yesterday afternoon. Campbell Newman’s public service purge seems likely to continue, with word that two other chairpersons on government-owned ports corporations have already been tapped on the shoulder. We called to confirm but communications people remained in the dark.

Sackwatch: Supreme court sackings. The Supreme Court of NSW has sacked about 15 judge’s associates and tipstaves — citing tough economic times. All were in floating roles — that is, not attached to a particular judge, as previous judges they had been attached to had retired or resigned. Many are older employees; some had been working there for decades (a few from back from the days when tipstaves helped judges with personal assistant duties as well as legal help).

Sackwatch: News Digital Media staff gone. Thirteen News Digital Media staff were sacked yesterday ahead of Kim Williams’ mass sacking plan to be announced on Monday, we’re told. Got more Sackwatch tips, from senior Queensland public servants getting a Newman knifing or other major companies laying off staff?

News Ltd: helping others, firing their own. In other News Limited news, there’s an interesting contrast between the Jobs 1001 campaign — what it calls “the nation’s biggest ever community-inspired employment drive”, started in March by the News Community Media group — helping 1843 jobs apparently be created at the same time that the company is due to announce next Monday significant restructuring and up to 1000 jobs to go. As one News staffer tells Crikey:

“Watch out for the warm and fuzzy stories next week across Australia as the News Ltd Community papers spruik they have created nearly 2000 jobs as part of their Jobs 1001 campaign. Then they are going to make us redundant …”

And news from ABC. We’ve received a few tips recently about bullying allegations and other issues inside the ABC, which we’ve been investigating — ABC won’t comment on internal matters — but this interesting tip from an Aunty insider talks about other problems:

“I’ve heard through someone who works at the ABC that it’s virtually impossible to get fired while an employee there — I’m referring to the support and admin level of staff. The IT department are furious that no further action was taken on the staffer, found to be using the Bitcoin mining software inappropriately — contrary to reports their security access has not been changed or limited. Also, another staffer was found to be using the ABC’s courier accounts to run his own eBay business and he was also allowed to continue on virtually unpunished. It’s really unfair when most of the staff do their work properly and yet it seems others are rewarded for doing the wrong thing …”

Donati’s cult. Yesterday’s story “Labor in Qld: AWU slapped, Young Labor divided” (item 9) has more ALP insiders spilling the dirt on outgoing Queensland Young Labor president Chaiy Donati:

“Chaiy Donati and his cult are the ones who are out in the cold. Chaiy and his libertarian politics, lack of ability to compromise, and huge ability to alienate everyone is why he led a split against the mainstream AWU.”

*Do you know more? Send your tips to [email protected] or use our guaranteed-anonymous form.

Peter Fray

Save 50% on a year of Crikey and The Atlantic.

The US election is in a little over a month. It seems that there’s a ridiculous twist in the story, almost every day.

Luckily for new Crikey subscribers, we’ve teamed up with one of America’s best publications, The Atlantic for the election race. Subscribe now to make sense of it all, and you’ll get a year of Crikey (usually $199) and a year’s digital subscription to The Atlantic (usually $70AUD), BOTH for just $129.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW