From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

ABC steals Games guards. Now we know why there aren’t enough guards at the Olympics — security provider G4S is busy protecting the ABC’s Southbank offices in Melbourne. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games was left red-faced when contractor G4S failed to deliver enough guards in the lead-up to the Games.

A mole within the ABC reports that Aunty’s recent decision to hire G4S to provide Southbank security has been widely derided by staff:

“An email chain got out of control in regards to security services … in-house journalists responded to the announcement email using the “reply all” function disparaging the company. This email thread included some of the more senior journalists in the building. I am unsure if this was more than Southbank-wide but am fairly positive it involved the staff at Radio National too.”

We’d love to see the email trail, so feel free to include us in your “reply all”.

La Trobe cuts. La Trobe University students are rallying at the Bundoora campus at high noon today after last month’s announcement that 45 job cuts and 60% of subjects would be abolished from the faculty of humanities and social sciences. More than 150 people are expected to protest.

The cuts were announced during last semester’s exam period, leaving most students unaware of the changes. Q&A sessions held by humanities and social sciences dean Tim Murray were held during the exam period and semester break.

Vice-president of the La Trobe Student Union and rally organiser Anthony Hayes says the cuts are ridiculous. Activists have sabotaged La Trobe information sessions for high school students with leaflets attacking vice-chancellor John Dewar: “Wanted for Crimes against Humanities and Social Sciences”.

SackWatch: Visy. Two months ago Crikey reported a tip that Visy was in the process of laying off about 300 people. We’re hearing fresh reports that the pulp and paper giant is “absolutely dumping people, from the very top, all the way to the bottom”. Crikey has called Visy to inquire about job cuts and we’re waiting for a response.

Political family feud. Crikey readers, who have memories like elephants, have greatly improved our political family feud list. Inspired by the recent updating of a falling out between brothers Greg and Kevin Rudd, Crikey is gathering together our best family falling-outs over politics. Have we missed any? Drop us a line.

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. A mole has passed on this fascinating update: apparently, Loree has since rejoined the ALP “amid talk that some left-leaning church groups are actively praying for Kevin’s return”. Amen! Our insider claims that Kevin has been hard to pin down on whether he supports same-s-x marriage or sides with his sister — “he seems to say different things to different groups on that issue”, the mole reports.
  • 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 Baillieu’s mother-in-law Joan Jubb said she would vote Labor and was considering supporting Labor’s campaign at the 2010 state election.
  • Former Coalition immigration minister Phillip Ruddock and daughter Kirsty, who criticised her father’s approach on mandatory detention of refugees, asked him to stop wearing his Amnesty badge, and ended up leaving the country.
  • Mary Delahunty, education and arts minister in Victoria’s Bracks Labor government, and brother Hugh, a Nationals MP who is Victoria’s Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. Hugh’s official biography includes the gem that he won the best and fairest (Feeney Medal) in his footy comp in 1976, but does not mention his lefty sister. The two sat in Parliament at the same time, and Hugh said he was careful to attack the government and not Mary when raising issues relating to her portfolios. Apparently the pair used to meet at the back door of Parliament (and not in their offices) to share casseroles or cake sent down by their late mother. Aw.
  • 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.
  • And this hot off the press — over in South Australia, union official Simon Pisoni is seeking to become a Labor senator. His brother, David, is a state Liberal frontbencher. Lets hope the parental casseroles keep being shared a la Delahunty.

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