From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours … 'I must do what Newman says'. Queensland Premier Campbell Newman is finally easing up on public servants -- turns out nobody will actually be required to do anything. But first they have to change the legislation. As one George Street spy tells us:
"The red tape reduction program in the Queensland government has recently seen mid-level public servants (those who have not been given redundancy packages then re-hired to do their old jobs through recruitment companies at three times the cost) asked to undertake a line-by-line review of legislation to see how many times they can remove the word 'must'. If this initiative was not innovative enough purely of itself, it comes with the ability for departments to trade deleted 'musts' among themselves. Stand by for the 'Intergovernmental Must Reduction Futures Trading Market'. Thank your deity that bureaucracy knows how to heal itself."
Surely not. Have you heard more about Newman's war on "must"? Drop us a line ... Government flack switches up. Prime Ministerial spin doctor John McTernan has poached another flack from Jenny Macklin's office. We hear senior press secretary Keely O'Brien will jump to PMO to fill a new media role. O'Brien didn't wanted to comment this morning. Global Mail keeps it all in family. Before Christmas, Crikey detailed the strange agglomeration that is the revamped Global Mail, gutted by redundancies and departures and struggling for clicks. At last count the newsroom included two marriages and two prominent stepsons (editor Lauren Martin is married to senior writer Mike Seccombe; CEO Jane Nicholls is married to political writer Bernie Lagan; deputy editor Sam Bungey is TGM contributor Geoff Cousins' stepson and Geraldine Brooks' nephew). One we skipped over -- although we have noted it previously -- is one-time Latin American correspondent Nick Olle, who is chief funder Graeme Wood's stepson (Wood is married to Annette Olle, the former wife of late ABC journalist Andrew Olle). There's also been one other departure to add to the previous list -- New York correspondent Michael Maher. "The only ones remaining are tied to Jane Nicholls", one well-placed source told Crikey. Seven soapie not Packed in. Channel Seven was saying as late as December that hit soapie Packed to the Rafters would be back for another season in 2013, but Crikey was hearing persistent rumours the show may have finally been dropped over the Christmas break. A Seven publicist insists no decision has been made. A new series for 2013 is already in the can and producers are still mulling a follow-up. Stay tuned. Retailers pushing credit cards. We reported yesterday on the retail assistants heaving customers into signing up for store-branded credit cards. The National Consumer Credit Protection Act says credit providers must not suggest to or assist customers in applying for credit from a particular provider. But Gerard Body from the Consumer Action Law Centre tells us National Consumer Credit Protection Regulations exempt point-of-sale credit assistants from the requirement to hold a credit licence, or to be a credit representative -- only the credit provider (for example, GE Money) must be licensed. "Our centre believes this exemption should be abolished," he says. *Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to [email protected] or use our guaranteed anonymous form.