From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

New enviro chief. The Australian Conservation Foundation is today naming its new CEO, after veteran Don Henry decided to move on from the role. Kelly O’Shanassy, who was the CEO at Environment Victoria, has got the gig. She starts on April 7. So what next for the genial Henry, who’s been at ACF since 1998? We hear an academic role beckons; watch this space. The ACF has also temporarily lost its well-regarded climate czar Tony Mohr, who is taking some time out. It’s a challenging time for all conservation groups as the Abbott govt sets about removing the carbon price, allowing the dumping of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef area, trying to strip some Tasmanian forests of their World Heritage status, etc.

Curtains for Alcoa Geelong? There’s long been talk that Alcoa will shut its Geelong aluminium smelter. This from a mole: “I have been told by senior AMWU officials that Alcoa will announce it is closing its Geelong operations in March.” In January, Alcoa announced it wouldn’t seek any more government funding for the troubled plant. Its closure would be more bad news for Geelong after the loss of Holden …

Financial Review says no. A gripe about The Australian Financial Review‘s website: “AFR site is up and down this morning. Probably because they have changed the login procedures and people are flooding the accounts part of the site to find out what’s gone on.” Well you’d better find $3.30 to buy a dead-trees version, then. But once a newspaper costs more than a latte, Ms Tips baulks.

Markson moves to the Oz. Nomadic (and successful) journo Sharri Markson may be young (she’s 29 or 30, we’re not sure which), but she’s adding yet another title to her CV. Markson used to be at the Sunday Telegraph (where she rose to be chief of staff), did a recent stint as editor at Cleo (under Bauer mags, before they merged it), and is now taking over the reins as media editor at The Australian. She’s the daughter of celebrity agent Max Markson. Can we expect Markson junior to shake up media reporting at the Oz? She’s certainly got flair and is seen as a punchy and no-holds-barred journalist. Sounds like she’s happy to be heading back to Rupert’s stable — but isn’t it News Corp Australia, rather than News Limited, Sharri?

But we have to grant kudos to Markson for ordering a Shanahan (in this case fellow Oz scribe Leo) to clean up her desk.

Stop Tony Meow. Sick of the sight of Tony Abbott? If you use Chrome to browse the internet, there’s a free extension you can install that automatically replaces pictures of the PM with pictures of cute cats. Observe:

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

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey