From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Throw another shrimp on das Barbecue. Yesterday we brought you a tip that News Corp’s had put up — and then quickly taken down — a glowing story about online video-streaming service Netflix coming to Australia. Why the about-face, we wondered? Was it because News Corp owns Netflix competitor Foxtel? editor Daniel Sankey kept mum on the reasoning behind pulling the piece, but we’re beginning to think perhaps it was actually a question of geography. We think maybe someone got their hands on this press release …

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Netflix has denied plans to launch on our fair shores. Geographical mix-ups are the wurst. Could have made the same mistake as Jim Carrey …?

Down to the wire. The end of the financial year is only four weeks away, and many health bodies in Western Australia are sitting nervously by the phone waiting to confirm that their contracts will be renewed by the federal government. The Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA) has confirmed to Crikey that it has no written confirmation that its contract will be continued past June 30, but it has been “verbally suggested” that there will be a one-year extension. It’s the same case for all Aboriginal community controlled health services across the state, and AHCWA says there is no confirmation of how much funding could be on the way or what programs will be cut. There is also no confirmation of any state COAG funding for the organisation, which is a peak body for primary health in Aboriginal communities. Our tipster says this is the case for many not-for profits across WA, and “people are leaving to secure their future in other areas”. Are you waiting on the government to confirm your funding? Let us know or stay anonymous if you like.

Abbott, brought to you by … A few weeks ago we brought you news of an American petition to force congressman to wear the logos of the companies that donated to their campaigns on their clothing, like race car drivers do. What would it look like if our own pollies did the same? We’ve mocked up a suit for our Prime Minister based on the latest disclosure on donations to the Liberal Party. Note: there is a vast time lag between the time of donations and the time of disclosure, so these donations were made in 2012-13 …

abbott logos

No more grog at Gallipoli? A bill being debated by Turkish Parliament could mean that pilgrims to Gallipoli could be spending their vigils without alcohol. According to The Hurriyet Daily News, the bill would change the 33,000-hectare area from a national park to a “special historical area”, and a clause bans “consuming alcoholic drinks out of permitted locations”. Opposition MP Ali Sarıbaş spoke out against the move, saying the descendants of Anzac soldiers camp outside on the eve of April 25 “drinking wine, in accordance with their culture”.

A quick look at tourist guides for Anzac Day at Gallipoli shows that tourists are already discouraged from taking alcohol to the site, so perhaps this move is just making it official. If you’ve attended a dawn service at Anzac Cove, let us know how it works.

Tim Blair and the ABC go way back. After Senator Zed Seselja suggested Daily Tele columnist Tim Blair could be up to host a conservative talk show on the ABC, a mole reminded us this was not a new idea:

“Ten years ago he co-hosted RN’s The Continuing Crisis. It was so dire as to be unintentionally hilarious and not on air for long.”

Fingers crossed there’s some tape out there…

Serco job losses not so bad? We heard yesterday that jobs could be lost at Serco, the company contracted to run the government’s immigration detention centres when onshore centres are closed later this year. A spokesperson for Serco told us:

“Staff affected by the planned closure of immigration detention centres are being encouraged to apply for existing vacancies within the immigration detention centre network and more broadly within Serco Australia. An employee’s 457 visa status will not be a factor. Fewer than 1% of our immigration services staff hold 457 visas, as we seek to recruit locally wherever possible.”

We’ve also heard that the number of jobs to go may be well below 400. We’ll have to wait and see.

Sausage fest. Pork-loving Tips fans (including Ms Tips herself) were quite distressed to read that Australia’s unseasonably warm weather over the past few weeks might put a snag in salami production, leading to a shortage. We didn’t get the connection, but a smallgoods insider has given us the meat and potatoes …

“This unusually warm weather can negatively impact the salami-making process. My family gather every winter in my cousin’s shed in rural NSW to make our salami — labelled, packed and shared under our company name ‘The Jewish Salami Co. — not quite kosher!’ Not only do you need very cold conditions to make traditional salami — so the meat and fat stays firm when being minced — but the salami then needs to hang for several months in the cold to cure. A mould forms on the outside of the skin, which is then wiped off and allowed to re-form several times during the curing stage. If it’s too hot, the salami will dry on the outside and not cure on the inside.”

So there you have it. No porkies.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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