From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
Art imitating life or other way around? From the moment we saw this photo of a flyer that has been appearing in Hobart letterboxes late last week, we’ve been determined to find its source, and we think we’re finally onto the answer (and no, it’s not the Liberal Party).
The appearance of the flyer coincided with MONA’s Dark MoFo festival and a new installation piece that has been fooling art lovers and Hobart locals into thinking that MONA has suddenly become a shopping centre. The Southdale Project features a “Starbucks”, as well as a community centre where staff are supposedly busy at their jobs. The mall was advertised locally in newspapers to imply that the project was reality, not art. But what does this have to do with the racist sheep flyers? The Southdale Project was created by Swiss artist Christoph Buchel, who has a history of similar installations — and would be aware of the original Swiss flyer that inspired the one that appeared in Hobart letterboxes. The flyer also appears as a poster in the installation, as found in this tweet from artist and writer Amy Spiers:
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We’ve tried to get in touch with MONA to confirm our findings and find out how they feel about the reaction to the flyer and the installation, but are yet to hear back.
Restructure at roads company. A tipster has asked why Transurban would make its senior safety and environmental staff redundant in one hit, a question we put to the manager of many of Australia’s toll roads, and we received this response:
“Transurban has restructured its health, safety and environment team, resulting in four positions being made redundant. The restructure of this function is aimed at building a centralised team with the capacity to adapt to our growth in existing and new markets and, once complete, will result in no reduction in headcount in this area. Safety continues to be the highest priority at Transurban, and the restructure reflects the need to constantly review the skills and approach to managing such a critical function to ensure it is most effectively delivered.”
A Transurban spokesperson told us that the department previously had 11 staff, and after the restructure will have 12.
One is the loneliest number. Trade unions and associations have often annoyed subeditors when it comes to the use of apostrophes — the Australian Workers’ Union has an apostrophe of collective ownership, yet the United Firefighters Union is sans apostrophe, as are some others. It can be very confusing, which is why we had a giggle at this advertisement in yesterday’s Herald Sun for the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. The ad says the hearing relates to the “Transport Worker’s Association” and as other pedants would know, an apostrophe before the “s” means that the union belongs to a single transport worker. Perhaps it’s a Freudian slip, as the commission has been accused of being a political trap for opposition leader Bill Shorten. According to our tipster, the Honourable John Dyson Heydon AC QC, who is heading the commission is quite the “pernickety sorta bloke” and will be onto this in a flash.
For the record, the Transport Workers Union has no apostrophe — collective or singular.