From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Carbon Watch. Coalition frontbencher Andrew Robb appears to have been caught out exaggerating the impact of the carbon tax on rubbish. A Crikey reader passed on this glossy pamphlet distributed to constituents by Robb, which warns that the Bayside City Council’s “waste management charges will increase 17 per cent to cover the flow-through costs of the carbon tax on waste”.

Rob’s pamphlet

However, information from the council says the fees will rise 17% because of the carbon tax — and an increase in a state government levy, and an increase in service delivery costs. So to blame the carbon tax alone is, well, rubbish.

Information from the Council ‘s 2012-13 budget

Come across a price rise attributed to the carbon tax that seems a little fishy? Let us know.

Rinehart’s Singapore fling. The owners of The Straits Times might have to watch out — there are reports that media acquisition-er Gina Rinehart is buying property in Singapore. According to Singapore’s Business Times, which comes to us via the Property Observer website, Rinehart has reportedly secured two luxury Singapore apartments in a “beachfront” complex due for completion this year.

The Business Times reported that an entity linked to Hancock Prospecting was said to be paying $S23.3 million for a third-floor unit, and $S33.9 million for a fourth-floor unit.

According to Property Observer, Rinehart is quite the fan of Singapore, praising the city state for its openness to investment, minimisation of red tape, acceptance of guest labour, and low taxes, crime rate and debt. So she may refrain from jumping on the back of a truck in her pearls to protest against government policy, as she visits her south-east Asian pied-a-terre.

Moving on. We hear that a senior figure at the federal Department of Immigration may soon be moving on as the Prime Minister seeks to contain the fallout from the vexed asylum-seeker issue. We’ll keep you posted.

Political family feud. Greg Rudd’s recent frank comments summing up the character flaws of little brother Kevin inspired Crikey to keep a list of Australia’s best political family feuds. Greg plans to run as an independent Senate candidate for Queensland.

The Rudds are not the only family to fall on different sides of the political fence. With the help of Crikey readers, we’ve updated our Political Family Feud list. Please keep the tips coming.

Crikey list: political family feuds

  • Kevin Rudd and brother Greg.
  • Kevin Rudd and sister Loree, who quit the ALP when it changed its stance to be pro-gay marriage at the 2011 party conference. Loree said at the time that Kevin “did not necessarily approve” of her decision.
  • John Howard and his older brother Bob, who reportedly voted Labor and once asked why John did not question why people in a wealthy society had to struggle to get by. A Crikey reader recalled how he studied under Bob Howard at Sydney University in the 1970s, and “it was widely commented on between the students that Dr Bob was the only Labor supporter in the Howard family: a very stark contrast to his well-known brother”.
  • Victorian premier Ted Bailleau’s mother-in-law Joan Jubb said she would vote Labor and was considering supporting Labor’s campaign at the state election in 2010.
  • Never-shy political maverick Bob Katter (who has run advertisements opposing gay marriage), and gay half-brother Carl.
  • Former federal Treasurer and economic rationalist Peter Costello, and brother and charitably-minded World Vision chief Tim.
Meanwhile, Tony Abbott opposes gay marriage while his lesbian sister Christine Forster supports it; however, as the two have a strong relationship and Foster has sought a political career with the Liberal Party, so that’s not a family feud in the league of the Rudds.

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

Peter Fray

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