From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Tourism chiefs rise to greater things. Tourism Australia CEO Andrew McEvoy raised some eyebrows when he quit “literally the best job in the world” to run Fairfax’s events division. A reader asked “wasn’t that Scott Morrison’s old job?” Yes, sort of; the current Minister for Border Protection was MD of Tourism Australia from 2004-06 (he entered politics in 2007). So does he want foreigners to come here, or stay away?

Read more on Morrison’s tenure as a tourism tsar in this excellent piece in The Monthly; “In a move that reeked of political cronyism, Joe Hockey, the then tourism minister, gave Morrison the $350,000-a-year post. His reign at Tourism Australia lives in the memory for the troubled ‘Where the bloody hell are you?’ campaign …”.

But wait there’s more. Former DPM (that’s deputy prime minister to you) and Tim “yes we Vati-can” Fischer was chairman of Tourism Australia from 2004-07.

As our reader concluded, “where the bloody hell are they now?”.

Works woes at IT giant … Sounds like it’s not easy working at IT giant Hewlett-Packard in Australia (the firm is headquartered in California).

“HP recently installed a new regional manager for APAC, and at his first all-hands meeting he made it clear that one of his targets was to reduce his headcount. Redundancies have been such a constant feature of HP that they have their own acronym for it, ‘WFR’, which means Work Force Reduction. This year they’ve been sending as much enterprise IT work as they can to South America (currently cheaper than China and India) and have put about 150 Australian staff on their WFR list. Mostly engineering and project management so far. Customers are starting to notice that their work is running late because there aren’t enough people to push it forward. And some of those customers have large penalty clauses in their contracts, so the pain at HP will only get worse. Morale is even lower than usual, and LinkedIn and Seek are getting pounded hard.”

We tried to put these claims to HP but they didn’t return our call.

 … and at a NSW department. We’ve also heard rumbles of dissatisfied media staff here:

“Has anyone noticed what is happening in the media team of the state Roads and Maritime Services department in Sydney? Three (of eight) media officers have resigned this week alone (two after spending just weeks in the role), and at least another two are heading for the door very soon. What on earth is going on? Apparently it’s chaos.”

We’ve put that to the department and will let you know what they say.

Booker menu. So you’ve just won the Man Booker Prize — do you sup on lobster and champagne? Apparently not.

That’s the 28-year-old New Zealander who yesterday won the big one, for The Luminaries. We’re delighted a neighbour has won the Booker — the last time an Aussie or Kiwi won it was DBC Pierre in 2003. However, the book by the last NZ winner — Keri Hulme’s The Bone People in 1985 — really tried Ms Tips’ patience.

New regime at 7.30. Viewers who tuned into 7.30 this week would have noticed some fresh faces — Annabel Crabb is anchoring instead of usual anchor Leigh Sales, who is on leave until October 28, while the capable Sabra Lane has taken over from Chris Uhlmann as political corro. So how is Crabb — the ABC’s everywoman, who appears on everything from kitchen shows to election-night specials — performing? Her style is warmer and she seems to find some political subjects amusing, although she doesn’t always sound fluent reading from the autocue. Sales, who commands considerable respect as a hard-hitting interviewer, has a steelier style.

Sales will be back soon but then goes on maternity leave from January / February, possibly for 6-8 months. A replacement has not yet been announced. Will it be Crabb, or someone else? Tell us who you think should fill the role and we’ll work up a Crikey fantasy ABC lineup. Tony Jones could switch over from Lateline / Q&A, or Emma Alberici could move from Lateline. Then there are the top reporters at shows like Four Corners. ABC insiders can pass on their tips (anonymously if you like) for who’s being touted for future promotions.

*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to [email protected] or use our guaranteed anonymous form

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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