From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

And the HR gong goes to ... Oh dear, this is embarrassing. Look who took out a national award for excellence in workplace relations on Thursday …

That would be the same day Qantas announced it would axe at least 1000 jobs. That will pose quite a challenge for those HR gurus, won’t it.

Who’s the next governor-general? Watch out for an upcoming announcement on the next governor-general; the outspoken Quentin Bryce (read: pro-gay marriage) is due to step down in March. It’s up to the PM to pick someone and let our head of state, the British Queen, know about it — there’s an excellent Crikey clarifier on that process here. A few months ago it seemed like it was a done deal in favour of military man Peter Cosgrove (there had previously been rumours that ex-pm John Howard might get the gig, but PM Tony Abbott hosed that down in April).

But hold your horses, maybe it won’t be Cosgrove. A tipster reckons “apparently John Doyle, ex-chief justice in SA, is being considered for the GG position up directly”. Doyle was chief justice from 1995 to 2012, and is now associated with the law school at the University of Adelaide. Interesting to see that Sportsbet is not running a book on the next GG.

Ms Tips did a little research and it appears that South Australia has been light-on for governors-general. Of the 25 people to have served in the office, just one was from SA, and that didn’t go so well — it was Peter Hollingworth. There have been three each from Queensland and Victoria, none from Tasmania, and 14 from the UK. Meanwhile, Crikey thinks another John Doyle (aka rampaging Roy Slaven) would make a great GG …

Do you have the inside word on who will be the next GG? Send Tips an email

Journo on the move. Nomadic Canberra-based political reporter James Massola is on the move again — he’s going to The Sydney Morning Herald/The Age. Massola was with Fairfax’s Canberra Times a few years ago, switched to The Australian up in the press gallery, then went down the corridor to Fairfax’s The Australian Financial Review, where he is now. We hear he’s switching offices to the SMAge in a few weeks’ time, to be political corro under Mark Kenny. Massola is also co-writing a book, The Warriors, on the federal election, with Fin colleague Aaron Patrick, to be published by HarperCollins. We’ve tried to contact Massola for comment but can’t reach him this morning. If you know of any other journo movements, be sure to send us a little anonymous tip.

Hamper shock. The Germans have killed Christmas. Not content with knocking off titles and cutting back on resources, the bean counters at Bauer Media in Australia have found some more fat to trim off the bone: Kerry Packer’s famed Christmas hampers. The annual Christmas tradition, a gift from Packer for his hard-working troops, was interrupted briefly following Packer’s death and the sale of PBL Media to private equity interests but was restarted in recent years under new management. Over at Nine their hampers are still coming — we’re told staff can expect them from December 16 — but with the Germans in charge at Park Street, the free ham and other goodies are off the menu again. One staffer writes:

“It’s a shame, we were actually hoping this year’s hamper might have come with a distinctly German offering of bratwurst and sauerkraut. Fingers are crossed that Bauer may decide to offer an Oktoberfest hamper from next year instead. It wouldn’t be a bad idea. After all, with the way the place is running at the moment, we could do with a stiff drink to lift our spirits.”


Calling all pedant’s. Many of our readers (and, come to think of it, writers) have pedantic tendancies. So we thought you’d enjoy this magazine, doing the rounds on Twitter. Sadly it seems to be a fake …

SBS fail. Which prominent SBS television journalist got this question wrong when answering the Good Weekend quiz with friends?

The answer is 1980, but our SBS friend claimed it was 1983. Tut tut.

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