From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
Roozendaal comfortable in NSW Parliament. Has Eric Roozendaal outstayed his welcome? That’s the view of some Labor stooges, who reckon the NSW upper house MP and former minister was supposed to step aside after the state election loss but apparently shows no signs of moving on. His term of service doesn’t expire until 2019. The former union hack who was banking on taking the seat is less than impressed. One mole says Roozendaal is keen to land a job in the public service but as yet has not done so.
Fifty Shades of … Abbott. A tipster who has been close (literally) to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is concerned that he has read raunchy ladies’ tome Fifty Shades of Grey but apparently failed to read BHP’s explanation for why it shelved the expansion of the Olympic Dam mine (he now claims he did read it), or the transcript of Julia Gillard’s fiery press conference on allegations around her work at Slater & Gordon.
Labor has been having a field day with Abbott’s literary choices in Parliament. Our mole sat across the aisle from Abbott and his right-hand woman Peta Credlin on a flight from Perth to Melbourne and noted the Opposition Leader was engrossed in Fifty Shades of Grey, while “Peta spent the whole flight working”. Our sky-high insider has urged Abbott to engage in more prime ministerial literary pursuits.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
In other Abbott news, a caller to 3AW claimed the Opposition Leader came to the rescue of wife Margie when she fell on the stairs at a Liberal Party dinner and hurt her ankle. If that’s correct, we wish Margie Abbott a speedy recovery.
SackWatch: laundry cuts. Are there redundancies coming up at Austrac, the federal government’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulator? There are concerns that “front-line investigative services will take some of the pain”.
“Half cohort” to hit WA unis. We’re hearing concerns from way out west about the possible sacking of university academics. WA changed its primary school starting age in 2002 to better align with the neo-imperialist eastern states, which means a “half cohort” will hit university in 2015. Some education insiders warn that WA’s public unis are preparing to lose staff due to the reduced funding they’ll get for that year. Apparently jobs in science, engineering and health are in the bean counters’ sights; insiders are worried about the loss of expertise. Know more about plans to sack staff? Drop us a line.
ExclusiveWatch: dead heat. The Australian and The Australian Financial Review appear increasingly similar since Michael Stutchbury fled The Oz to head up the AFR. Here’s another thing they agree on: they both have five “exclusive” tags on stories in their editions today. Crikey is enjoying keeping tabs on the daily exclusive tussle between the two rags, which sees all kinds of previously-reported or not-particularly-interesting stories graced with the tag. We’re awarding the day to the AFR because some of those “exclusive” tags (three on page one) are actually deserved. The Oz has, has usual, liberally scattered its tags through the paper. The Age, which has never really committed to the daily exclusive race, lags the field with one.