From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Canberra gaycrash. A tipster has hinted that Christian crusader Jim Wallace and his colleagues may have some company at a certain hotel in Canberra tonight. The Australian Christian Lobby are having their annual conference this weekend, and Canberra’s Gaycrash members have chosen the same venue for some Friday night drinks. Our tipster says “We aren’t seeking to protest, but the irony will be so thick it’s delicious”. See anything interesting? Drop us a line.

Quite a big job, actually. Transurban, the company in charge of Melbourne’s Citylink road, is advertising for a computer boffin. This ad for a Network Engineer on the Transurban website calls for someone to be responsible for “incident management” (send in your CV now — it closes in a few hours).  Maybe experience in fixing computer glitches, like the one that brought Melbourne traffic to a standstill for hours on Wednesday, enraging thousands of people, will be tested in the interview?

Jobs going at the Fin. Why is the Fin so thin? Today’s Australian Financial Review is a shadow of its former Friday self, and it may be because there are just 12 job ads in there. Friday has traditionally been a bonanza day for job ads; insiders with long memories recall the paper sometimes contained up to 30 pages of them. Only a week after Penny Wong announced the federal government would be saving money by giving up print ads, only one ad — for tenders — was run by a federal department in the Fin. Tough times for print indeed.

Balancing the budget at the ABC. Following our report on cuts to the RN budget, one wireless fan has this to say:

“Perhaps it is time for the ABC board and its chairman to ask of its management just how much money has been put into a succession of substandard television comedies, bland documentaries and mediocre dramas in the past three years. A fraction of this spending diverted to ABC Radio would maintain the quality and diversity of ABC national. It is about time the board asked for an explanation but sadly it never seems to, or gullibly accepts the excuses of management. One would hope Jim Spiegelman can make a difference.”

And the winner is … Darwin? Turns out the world’s most expensive newspaper might be a little closer to home than we thought. Following on from our investigation into newspaper prices around the world, one Crikey tipster pointed us to our own backyard. Spare a thought for the residents of Darwin, where The Age will set you back $4.40 on a weekday, and $7.20 on the weekend. The Sydney Morning Herald is a comparative bargain at $3.75 and the Herald Sun is $3.20 on weekdays.

Tips seems to recall that the West Australian is not cheap if bought over east. If you know of a more expensive paper than Darwin’s, let us know. We’re also keen to find out which is Australia’s cheapest newspaper (excluding those pesky free papers you get at the train station). Is it the Daily Telegraph at $1?

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

Peter Fray

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