From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Queensland public service watch. Yesterday we reported, worryingly, that some staff in the Queensland bureaucracy have apparently been put on an effective suicide watch as the razor continues to slice through the public service. Another George Street spy told us yesterday afternoon:

“Occupants of a government department building on the fringe of Brisbane’s CBD received a broadcast email message announcing the closure of a large balcony tomorrow ‘for maintenance on the scaffold’. Tomorrow also happens to be the day that department’s staff will find out who has been selected for the purge. Coincidence?”

Perhaps. But it does match with what we were told yesterday, that access to balconies had been blocked for vulnerable staff. It’s pretty grim stuff. The Queensland budget was being handed down as Crikey hit deadline …

Speak Chinese? Work for K-Rudd. Do you have academic qualifications in economics, commerce, international relations or similar fields? Do you have effective judgment and strong communication skills? And can you speak Chinese? Boy have we got a job for you (via today’s Australian Financial Review) …

Apparently it’s for a great boss who’s never too demanding of your time. It baffles us why an adviser to a backbencher would need to be so worldly …

Renovators move in on TV digs. Despite the tough times in TV, it’s interesting to note that new Seven West CEO Don Voelte is having some renovations done at the company’s Pyrmont digs in Sydney. Nothing drastic because the renos will also see the Seven’s new chief operating officer, Rohan Lund, accommodated where the previous CEO David Leckie used to work from.

Sources say they won’t be anything as dramatic or expensive as the eyebrow-raising $750,000 (yes, three quarters of a million) spent earlier this year tarting up the boardroom at the struggling Ten Network also in Pyrmont. And the boardroom is so smart it can’t be used for anything else (the old boardroom used to be able to be used for staff meetings and briefings). Ten staffers note there’s chat around the building that executive chairman Lachie Murdoch was surprised and somewhat concerned at the cost of the renos.

FrayJobSearch open for business. Peter Fray needs a job. The former Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief walked out the door as part of Fairfax’s massive editorial restructure, is very much on the market with a branding assault we love. According to LinkedIn, Fray has appointed himself director of “FrayJobSearch”. He writes:

“Project FrayJobSearch is dedicated to finding its director a rewarding, engaging and dynamic leadership position. It draws on the director experience and skills — but first and foremost on his potential. The company is expected to operate for no more than a year.”

And he’s not alone. We hear that one of Fray’s recently departed Fairfax comrades is undertaking an expensive Australian Institute of Company Directors course in a bid to nab a spot in a corporate boardroom.  We wish them well.

Fairfax days late to the Qantas party. Fairfax’s CBD column today features a run-down of the festivities from the Qantas/Emirates knees-up — which was held last Thursday, as the Sunday social papers and The Australian Financial Review‘s Rear Window column yesterday covered.

News Australia? Don’t hold your breath. Over at News Limited, we questioned yesterday what happened to the company’s expansive rebrand to “News Australia” planned for earlier this year. We asked the corporate spinner but got the same result as before: they don’t comment on internal matters. Crikey was leaked a pitch brief last year flagging the rebrand for February, which came and went. The company told its staff at the time: “This particular document might be recent dated September 15 but some parts of it have already been superseded or ruled out of any future consideration … The document is incomplete and contains commentary that is speculative.”

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CORRECTION: The original version of this article stated there were no Fairfax journalists at a Qantas function on Thursday. That was wrong — two Fairfax scribes have told us they were indeed in attendance (and that SMH editor-in-chief Sean Aylmer spent a considerable period of time there). Our mistake; apologies.