From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
Next Tasmanian governor. With the sad death of Tasmania’s governor Peter Underwood earlier this week — he was widely respected — people are talking about who will take his place. Tasmania has never had a female governor, unlike South Australia, Queensland and NSW (even the NT has a female administrator). Queensland sets the pace in this field with three female governors. Some are saying it’s time for a female governor down south, with legal academic Kate Warner one of the names in the mix. She has her fans, but might be considered too “radical” for Liberal Premier Will Hodgman (he’s something of a traditionalist, as was his father, the late MP Michael Hodgman). Jan Davis from the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association is another name being talked about. She’s certainly got a way with words.
Tasmania has had a run of male lawyers as governor — Underwood, William Cox, Guy Green. Interestingly, all were brought up in Launceston (Hobart readers will know the significance of that comment). Of course, the procession of lawyers was interrupted in memorable circumstances by weapons inspector Richard Butler, who was moved on from the role.
Another leading candidate is former judge Ewan Crawford, although he has been heard to say previously that he doesn’t really want the job. Rumour is Crawford not interested in the rituals and pomp; he may also be a bit too Left for Hodgman. Chief Justice Alan Blow has flown back to Tasmania to temporarily perform Underwood’s role; could Blow be the next governor? He may not want it yet as he is in his early 60s so has another decade as a judge, a role that insiders say he enjoys and wants to keep on doing.
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Crikey’s two-bobs’ worth is that Saul Eslake, a well-known economist who was brought up in Tasmania and is in the process of relocating back there with his family, could be a good candidate. Eslake is full of ideas about how to improve Tasmania’s economy (and arts and cultural scene, which is already pretty good). And Eslake was brought up in Smithon then went to High School in Hobart — which should appeal to both the Burnie Advocate and the Hobart Mercury.
If you’ve got the inside word on who might be the next governor, email us.
A wee mistake. What is it about young men, rugby and urine? This picture, although not nearly as unhygienic as Todd Carney’s bubbling incident, may ruffle some feathers among the Queensland branch of the Liberal National Party. A tipster tells us this appeared on the Facebook page of Queensland’s Young LNP President Luke Barnes after the first State of Origin match in May. Barnes has a very public Facebook page (the photo is no longer there).
He told us:
“While I live in the wonderful state of Queensland, when it comes to State Of Origin I am a passionate NSW supporter and in a moment of over exuberance following Game 1, uploaded a picture to my Facebook page. On immediate reflection I realised that picture was inappropriate and removed it within an hour.”
While we are more worried about why young men resort to piss-takes like this, we also wonder what what Barnes’ Queensland comrades might think?
Pressers in the sticks. Earlier this week we brought you a tip from an observer of a press conference with Environment Minister Greg Hunt in his semi-regional home of Mount Martha, out of Melbourne. Our mole commented:
“It seems like an eager journo went out of their way at short notice to go to Mount Martha, but then asked only Dorothy Dixers.”
We’ve looked into it and yes, the transcript is a bit lame and the journalist did not follow up on the questions. But a Hunt staffer called us to explain the journalist was a cameraman. This is regular practice; news networks want to get grabs from politicians who live out of major cities, but they don’t always want to send a full crew, so sometimes they just send the cameraperson. The cameraperson has been provided with the questions to ask (sometimes they even hold out a mobile phone while the reporter asks the questions from head office). Mt Martha is about an hour’s drive out of Melbourne, which is probably why no reporter went along.
These boots are made for talkin’. Nothing seals a bromance like matching outfits, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made it official with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe by presenting him with a pair of his favourite RM Williams boots. That seems to be the reason for the bizarre photo from the Pilbara yesterday. It’s just begging for a caption — but we’re sure you can help us out there.