From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
Melbourne uni elections turn nasty. A candidate in the Melbourne University student union elections has been banned from campaigning for a two and a half days after allegedly making homophobic remarks to a rival candidate. In his complaint, Melbourne University Student Union president Mark Kettle alleged that Patrick Crosswell, who is running for an education officer position on the right-leaning Now! ticket, said that homos-xuality is a mental illness and joked that gays are “brain damaged”. Crosswell, who conceded the general nature of the exchanges but did not admit they were intended to be derogatory, was sent to the sidelines on Tuesday and will be there until the close of polls today.
TV hack’s “unAustralian” spray. Sunshine state media circles are abuzz about the performance of a TV reporter at the Amberley Air Base yesterday. We hear the hack unloaded on RAAF staff when he was told that the arrival of an aircraft carrying the bodies of deceased soldiers from Afghanistan could not be broadcast live. His shouted claim that such restrictions were “unAustralian” did not impress other members of the press pack.
Queensland libraries under threat. Government librarians in Queensland are concerned about their future, with Campbell Newman’s razor gang said to be taking the axe to government libraries in many departments. Crikey hears that the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry library is marked for closure, as is the forensic services library. The parliamentary library is expected to have its staff numbers reduced and health librarians fear cuts are coming their way too. Sue McKerracher, the executive director of the Australian Libraries and Information Association, has written to premier Newman to protest the cuts and defend the work that government librarians do to keep public servants and politicians informed. We got in touch with one of the government’s spinners this morning but haven’t heard back.
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NT leaks. Crikey has received plenty of juicy tips over recent months about Campbell Newman’s slash-and-burn style since he came into office. Our northern correspondent Bob Gosford, who blogs at The Northern Myth, reports that the leaks are already flowing thick and fast following Terry Mills’ triumph in last month’s NT elections. Gosford has launched a “Leak of the Week” competition — with prizes still to be decided. If you’re in the know up north, you can contribute anonymously here or email Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org