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Tips and rumours

Jun 4, 2014

Tips and rumours

Stokes and Lachie Murdoch do lunch, but who was on the menu? ... Qld premier gives prize to own project ... Clive Palmer's fauxpology ...

From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Billionaires who lunch. The renovated Centennial Hotel Sydney’s leafy eastern suburb of Woollahra is rapidly becoming the place to lunch for the city’s business mavens. Take yesterday. Spied at one table, John Alexander, the newish board member of Kerry Stokes’ Seven West Media and an unknown male companion. And nearby at another table, his chairman, Kerry Stokes (who recruited Alexander to the Seven West board) lunching with none other than Lachlan Murdoch.

Now, what could that dynamic duo have been discussing? Was Kerry consoling Lachie on the bastardary of former employees in the wake of Ken Cowley’s bucketing of Lachie’s business abilities, the management of News Corp Australia and describing the Oz as “pathetic” in the Weekend AFR?

Was John Alexander there as support (or a minder) for Kerry? It prompted one observer to recall how Lachie rushed to support James Packer after the infamous Bondi Beach brawl with big Dave Gyngell. Well, our Sydney mole reckons the lunch looked like a very public way of Stokes supporting Lachie Murdoch in a similar fashion. It made for an intriguing snack for the TV industry seeing Stokes chairs and controls the Seven Network and Lachie remains a shareholder in the dying Ten Network. How often is it that you get a couple of Sydney media billionaires lunching at the same table? In fact they are Sydney’s only two media billionaires. If you spy interesting people out and about, do tell Ms Tips.

Qld sustainability awards go in-house. The Queensland Premier’s Sustainability Awards were held at a swanky ceremony at the Brisbane Convention Centre on Friday night with awards covering everything from sustainable cleaners to farmers. The biggest prize — the Premier’s Sustainability Award — went to Tanner Kibble Denton architects, responsible for the Brisbane City Hall restoration. The restoration was one of Premier Campbell Newman’s projects when he was Lord Mayor of Brisbane and it made an impression on our tipster — “seems like a pretty expensive, taxpayer-funded pat on the back for the Premier given how closely involved he was in the whole City Hall restoration project”. 

#sorrynotsorry. Sorry seems to be the hardest word for Clive Palmer after the outrage that followed his jibe at the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Peta Credlin’s ovaries. It was obvious even to Palmer that an apology was necessary for bringing Credlin’s personal situation into the debate on the government’s paid parental leave scheme, but when the PUP leader tried to talk it over, he could only come up with this lame fauxpology …

APS jobs freeze. Following yesterday’s tip that there were no jobs going in the federal Department of Health, another tipster tells us that there has been a freeze on all hiring across the Australian Public Service. A quick look at the APS jobs board shows slim pickings, with just 89 jobs advertised, more than half of which are for internal applicants only, or temporary. According to the tip, agencies must apply to the Australian Public Service Commission to advertise for new staff. An APSC spokesperson tells us there is not a freeze, but confirms that agencies must apply to advertise externally:

“APS agencies may seek approval from the Australian Public Service Commissioner to advertise jobs where it can be demonstrated that the position is critical for the agency to deliver its functions and where there are no suitable APS employees on the redeployment register who have the skills etc to fill the role.

The aim of the these arrangements is to reduce the pressure on the budget by utilising the skills of current APS employees to the maximum extent possible, minimising the requirement for redundancies and minimising the requirement for new hires.”

Sounds like a polite way of saying don’t bother.

World Expo no-show. There’s less than a year to go until the World Expo in Milan, and we hear that Australia is one of just a few countries not to have an official pavilion. The non-commercial exhibition is devoted to countries showing off their technological advances and, according to the website, “interpret the collective challenges that Mankind is facing”. There was no money for the six-month long fair in the budget and Tips has asked DFAT to confirm if Australia will miss out, but we didn’t hear back. Australia is missing from the list of countries participating in the expo, themed “feeding the planet, energy for life”. Menawhile, Cameroon will be there with an exhibition titled “Cocoa Cultivation; an Argument for Opportunities”.

Pass the tissues, Rupert. It’s not often that men admit to having a cry in a movie, but Rupert Murdoch is not afraid to let the world know via his official Tumblr (snapshot below). The media m0gul advises “tissues required” for The Fault in Our Stars, a teen romance movie featuring two seriously ill protagonists. We are inclined to echo his advice.

At first it seemed that Rupert was setting the pace for the sensitive modern man, but then again the film is expected to rake in millions for Rupert’s 20th Century Fox, so it’s likely to be just another cog in the film’s dedicated social media advertising blitz.

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


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3 thoughts on “Tips and rumours

  1. puddleduck

    Re: Palmer and Credlin

    I can’t help comparing the outrage at Clive’s comments about Peta Credlin, to the response our now PM’s comments about then PM Julia Gillard on multiple occasions. Pot, this is kettle calling.

  2. AR

    wot Ducky said x 10.

  3. klewso

    Why was Peta Credlin’s fecundity an issue?
    What were the circumstances of that coming out?
    What if Palmer didn’t know about it – if he’d missed the way the media treated that? If he’d ignored the media sometimes?
    Has he ever dealt with her?
    Is she a “political animal”?
    Who’s she married too?
    For 5 years while Abbott’s laid waste to political convention and civility, who’s been holding his hand, “assisting him”?
    Did she make it to that “Ditch the Bitch” ceremony in Canberra that her boss was so happy to attend, to have his photo taken and give heart to the cause?
    Does this rank with Bill “Heiferman’s” “freemartin” reference to Gillard?