From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Mouldy chemo in Queensland hospitals? Is there another scandal brewing within the Queensland hospital system? Earlier this month the Therapeutic Goods Administration reported pharmaceutical company Fresenius Kabi had recalled a batch of potentially mouldy chemotherapy drugs distributed across the state. “Fresenius Kabi has decided to recall all affected batches due to a report of an environmental out of specification results (i.e., out of mould counts) during routine quality control testing,” said the TGA. Brisbane private hospital The Wesley informed its patients of the possible contamination, but we’ve heard it is the only hospital to do so.

According to a tipster in the sunshine state, Queensland Health has not informed patients in its public hospitals, nor has it issued an official statement on the matter. Fresenius Kabi says it hasn’t received any reports of adverse effects to the drugs in question. Queensland Health and The Wesley were contacted for comment but didn’t respond before deadline. We’ll let you know what they say.

Party time off the coast of the camp. More anonymous reports out of Manus Island — because any other reports are pretty thin on the ground. This on staff from the detention centre getting a little rowdy out of hours:

“A lot of Manus Island people are very upset at the nightly partying of off-duty ex-pat G4S and Immi staff on the Australian chartered accommodation ship which is moored in the bay off the detention centre/Navy base. The beer bottles and other rubbish is simply jettisoned, drifting ashore along the shoreline, particularly in front of a local public school. Not a good look.”

Mac Bank’s Victorian electricity offer. We asked yesterday why the Macquarie Bank had applied for a licence to sell electricity in New South Wales. A Crikey reader kindly pointed us to its application to the Victorian Essential Services Commission, which states it “seeks an electricity retail licence to retail to large (>160MWh per year) customers in Victoria”:

“Macquarie will provide large use Victorian energy consumers (>160MWh pa) with a new retail offering, enhancing competition and value for Victorian consumers. Macquarie intends to focus on providing large use consumers (>160MWh pa) in Victoria with an innovative way to separately manage their retail grid connection requirements and their electricity and environmental price risk according to their individual risk appetite. Macquarie believes this may allow consumers to realise lower prices over the long term and provide an integrated and flexible offering to managing their electricity supply arrangements.”

The Millionaire’s Factory wants to start selling power from April 1. More competition from the Mac Bank?

Changing blue collars to white. Is the government trying to fill the gap left by manufacturers closing down in Geelong with public servants? Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has promised to move the Victorian WorkCover Authority to Victoria’s second-most populated city, and other departments could follow. One Crikey reader reckons “Geelong could turn into Canberra by the sea” — but will the blue-collar former Ford workers really want to swap hi-vis for pocket protectors and turn mandarin?

No cosplay allowed for Presley. Lisa Marie Presley (daughter of Elvis) is touring Australia next month, playing songs from her latest album and holding meet-and-greets in RSLs and and slightly classier venues across the country. Presley has no time for tricksters though — Arts Centre Melbourne has told meet-and-greet ticket holders that anyone who turns up dressed as Elvis or her ex-husband Michael Jackson will be asked to leave. Clearly Presley’s run out of patience for people who dress up as her late dad or dead ex-husband for kicks.

Corflute watch: the X-team. It’s election time in South Australia and Tasmania (and Western Australia), and that means its corflute season. Rabble-rouser Nick Xenophon may be safely occupied in Canberra, but he’s lending his support to two candidates in the SA election. Their corflute is … interesting.

Seen any interesting election material lately? You know what to do …

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

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey