From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
“Barilla Bay Oysters are not without blame for the situation that they find themselves in at present. Several years ago they, and other oyster growers, applied and were granted, extra leases to ‘fatten’ oysters in the Pittwater estuary. The leases were granted even after significant community outcry.
The oyster ‘fattening’ leases are sited within 500m of Jones Bay, Lewisham. Council has placed public signs on the beach warning against swimming due to sewage being detected there. At least one local business has a permit from the Department of Environment to release untreated sewage into Pittwater because they do not have a self-contained wastewater treatment system.
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Local residents have long known what these oysters are being ‘fattened’ on!”
You can read the explanation for the outbreak from Tassie’s director of public health Dr Roscoe Tayloe here. There have been various claims about what caused the outbreak — Taylor initially thought it was sewage from passing boats. We’ve put the tip to Barilla Bay and will let you know if we get a response.
Wedding day nerves. Is it true that the wedding of Australian cricketer Matthew Wade to Julia Barry got a little colourful? We’ve heard from a totally anonymous source — so make of it what you will — that some guests got a little over-excited. Were the police called? Have staff at the rented private mansion in Geelong been interviewed by police to work out what went wrong? Perhaps the glamour couple have sold the photo rights of the event to a women’s mag so we’ll read all about it then.
Fairfax big-wigs shown the door. Fairfax ejected a bevvy of senior managers yesterday, the latest in a string of departures at the troubled media empire. Not everyone is lamenting the “C-suite” cull; we’ve heard from an observer who reckons one of them was a little, er, difficult during EBA negotiations. “So many journos’ jobs could have been saved (or their axing delayed) if some of these bigwigs had been dumped sooner,” our source said.
Approvals all round. Yesterday we brought you a story on the ease with which one can obtain environmental development approval in Queensland, following on from a top ABC Four Corners expose. A WA reader passed this on:
“Approval process in WA is exactly the same. So-called independent consultancies, completely dependent on the applicant company for further work, are serving up recommendations and conditions which the applicant supposedly self-manages by reporting to government what good corporate citizens they are. Dreadful and dangerous process.”
We’ve also heard tales of the environmental approval process in Victoria, where independent assessors hired by a developer to check out native vegetation and look for threatened species are told: “you’re not going to find anything, are you boys?”. And apparently some of the assessors oblige … given the moral outrage Australians like to express about Japanese whaling, perhaps we should look a little closer to home for dodgy practices driving threatened species to extinction?
Do not knock. It’s very public-spirited of energy giant AGL to distribute this little flyer with its bills, to help customers ward off those pesky Jehovah’s witnesses.
Except that the person who sent it in had this to say:
“I received this with my AGL bill yesterday. Very thoughtful. Except that the only door knocker I’ve had in a year was … AGL. They did our whole apartment block. And I signed up. Perhaps this is a way to warn off other energy companies? Should I get the ‘premium vitreous enamel’ version instead to really do the trick?”
Speaking of unwelcome intruders, this Tips scribe must report being saddened at the lack of religious door-knockers in these modern times. Lazy! We have not had a visit in the northern suburbs of Melbourne for years. Was it this memorable case in which Mormons were fed hash cookies that is deterring religious types? We’re interested in whether missionaries have been knocking on your doors lately. Send us an email and please report on the type of missionary who’s been visiting you. Amen.
Super ideas. Crikey has had a big response to our stories on superannuation, and the Gillard government this morning finally announced changes to the system, after giving the usual weeks of uncertainty which allows enemies of the changes to scaremonger (see carbon tax). If you have ideas for what you would like us to look into re super — and whose views you’d like to hear on it — please send us an email.