Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
Next week's farewell dinner for George Pell (who is on his way to the Vatican via the royal commission into child sex abuse) sounds nice. We've heard "lots of big wigs" will be at the party at the Sydney restaurant -- will Pell fan and devout Catholic Tony Abbott attend? Crikey
has checked out the restaurant's menu and would order the smoked salmon tower and the grilled scampi (no vows of poverty for these diners!). There's just one problem. We haven't received our invitation yet.
Modest Arthur Sinodinos.
The assistant treasurer that was, Arthur Sinodinos, has no need to hide his light under a bushel like this. His 900-word Wikipedia entry
doesn't even mention his time at Australian Water Holding! He was in a senior role, as director and deputy chairman, so he should get the credit for it in Wikipedia. Perhaps a reader could update the entry and let us know
how you get on?
Last gasp for RiotACT.
Yesterday we told you the popular Canberra gossip site The RiotACT was in trouble,
with ASIC circling
and a winding-up order made. We've dug around some more and yes, it could mean the site will die. But it could be that a new owner is in the wings and the site will get resuscitated.
We talked to RiotACT
managing director Tim Hyde (that's "Jazz" to you), and he said the site, which is free and carries advertising, has had a tough year financially. Some advertisers did not pay their bills and with debt obligations worsening, a mooted rescue bid by a certain investor didn't come off. The claim is that the chairman sacked key writer Johnboy, then resigned. RiotACT
is now in the hands of administrators Burton Glenn Allen. Jazz says he hopes a new buyer can be found. "It would be a great loss for the Canberra community to not have that resource," Jazz told Crikey
Meanwhile there's not a lot of high-quality fresh copy on the site, which appears to be unmoderated. In the comments, readers are asking if the site is going down. They've also taken to posting their favourite recipes (way too many chickpeas involved, in Ms Tips' opinion), with doses of defamatory comments
mixed in. We'll keep you posted.
Vaughan to replace Radford atop the NGA?
Speaking of Canberra, after 10 years in the role, Dr Ron Radford is departing from Canberra’s National Gallery of Australia. NGA chairman Allan Myers made the announcement yesterday, triggering speculation over who will replace Radford. The smart money is on National Gallery of Victoria director Dr Gerard Vaughan, who formed a close partnership with Myers when the now chairman was president of the NVG’s board of trustees. Together the two raised money, oversaw massive building works, established a blockbuster series and shared their appreciation of historical art. When Vaughan retired from the NGV in 2012 Allan Myers funded a role for him at Melbourne University.
It’s tough occupying the top cultural post in the nation's capital. Something about the proximity to the Federal Arts Minister, his enemies, and the heavy hitters on the NGA board (and those clamouring to displace them) means the microscopic investigation of all of the NGA's activities. Sure, steady, diplomatic, and skilled in how to avoid controversy, Vaughan is our frontrunner.
Let them eat dial-up.
If you don't like dodgy internet access, don't live in rural or regional Australia -- or anywhere more than 50km from a state capital city. That seemed to be the attitude of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull when confronted with a complaint about local internet access from a woman who lives on the Bellarine Peninsula, 98km south-west of Melbourne: