From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Women on the frontline ... News that the US is to lift the ban on women serving in combat roles got Tips thinking about what happened to the promises that Australian women could serve on the frontline. We put it to the Defence Department, who said currently serving female members have been entitled to pursue a career in a combat role from January 1 this year ("provided they meet all requirements"). Women can now be clearance divers, mine warfare and clearance diving officers, airfield defence guards, ground defence officers, infantry and armoured corps, some artillery roles, explosive ordnance disposal squadrons and combat engineer squadrons (all roles that were previously restricted). Defence said it would begin to directly recruit women into these roles in a few years time.