From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
New face on the Classification Board. The government has taken the first step toward politicising the Classification Board, which is in charge of classifying audio-visual content and games. In the first openly partisan appointment to the board in its current form, this week the government announced that NSW Liberal Party identity Ron Delezio would be appointed to it. The accompanying media release demurely described Delezio as a noted public speaker and founder of the charity Day of Difference Foundation and that he had been 2006 Australian Father of the Year and New South Wales Citizen of the Year.
But Delezio has some more recent additions to his CV: he ran in the seat of Watson as the Liberal candidate against Tony Burke last year. Delezio, a member of the hard Right in the NSW branch and regularly described as a “staunch Catholic”, also stood against Daryl Melham in Banks in 2010 but failed to knock Melham off — a task that fell to the Nine Network’s David Coleman, who defeated Delezio for preselection last year. The media highlight of Delezio’s 2013 campaign was his sudden withdrawal from a campaign debate when a journalist from The Daily Telegraph — at that stage campaigning heavily for the Liberals in western Sydney — showed up to cover it.
Carbon tax savings. After yesterday’s tip that we might not be saving the full $550 that Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised with the repeal of the carbon tax, we’ve got quite a response from our readers about the savings their energy providers are promising. What we’ve found is that your savings vary depending on your power company and your state — it’s not entirely clear why, but we think it’s down to the different sources of energy that each provider uses.
AGL has been sending its customers text messages, with customers in Queensland told they would save on average 8.2% on their electricity bills, while customers in New South Wales will save 7.8%. South Australians seem to have missed out — they will save 5.2% on average. A NSW tipster said of the 7.8% drop:
“That is about $100 annual for my 5 bedroom home with 3 of us living there. Someone still owes me $450.”
“The (similar) letter I received from Energy Australia yesterday estimates savings for ‘an average New South Wales customer of $158 over this 12 month period’.”
Gas customers in New South Wales have been told to expect a saving of 4.% off their bills — about $35 over 12 months. From one tipster:
“Is this to stop the ACCC in its tracks – or can I claim my 4.5% discount next year when they don’t deliver?”
One tipster tells us that unlike everyone else, he’s been told his bills are on the way up:
“I pay my electricity bill by fortnightly payments. In the last couple of weeks my provider (Actew) has advised me my fortnightly contributions will increase immediately by $20 a fortnight due to cost increases. That is an expected annual increase of $560; so much for a $550 saving!”
The Liberal Party Facebook page released this infographic on its page on Wednesday, claiming that bills will be down “by up to 12.4%” in Victoria and varying degrees across the country — we’re yet to see that figure, but if you’ve got that on your bill, let us know.
Joyce odds nose-dive. You know it’s a bad day at work when people start taking bets on how long you’ve got left in the job. It’s worse when it’s not your co-workers, but a national betting company. Sportsbet has released odds on how long it will take for Qantas CEO Alan Joyce to get the boot after yesterday’s announcement that the company made a $2.8 billion loss in the last financial year. The odds aren’t looking great, with Joyce at $1.33 to be sacked by March next year, in from $1.45 in May this year. He’s odds on to leave before company chairman Leigh Clifford at $1.40. All odds are in for Joyce to resign or be sacked in the next few months — Joyce thinks Qantas is pulling out of the dive, though, so maybe go for one each way.
Gillard book launch a big affair. Tickets went on sale this morning for the Melbourne launch of Julia Gillard’s creatively titled biography My Story. While most book launches are small affairs that involve mingling and finger food, the former prime minister has booked out the Regent Theatre in Melbourne, with tickets costing as much as $70, including a copy of the book. Gillard will be in conversation with former FM radio host Kate Langbroek — a strange combination, we think. While a theatre launch will allow more people to attend, Ms Tips is worried this means no nibbles or drinks.
Catalano and friends. The 23-year-old son of Domain CEO Antony Catalano has moved into the property world, starting a website devoted to providing information to apartment buyers and investors. Jordan Catalano’s site apartmentdevelopments.com.au launched this week, with a press release saying:
“The inspiration for the site came from Jordan after he was shopping around for an apartment late last year, and discovered there was no dedicated resource for people wanting to purchase apartments off the plan and to compare products efficiently, online.”
While we think the real news story here is that a 23-year-old can somehow afford to buy a property, Catalano Jr’s business partner is also of interest. He’s teamed up with 22-year-old Tom Hywood — that’s right, Hywood, son of Fairfax CEO Greg. We wonder if the CEO offspring are aware of the history of their fathers’ companies — former Fairfax Community Newspaper chief Colin Moss called Catalano Sr. “a turncoat” and “no friend of Fairfax” when he launched the Weekly Review in April 2010.
What a week. Did you know that this week is Financial Planning Week? That’s right, according to the Financial Planning Association, this is the 14th (count ‘em!) annual financial planning week “designed to increase Australians’ understanding of what financial advice is and the benefits it can bring.”
“Trust is a critical component of financial advice and Australians have the right to know that when they seek financial guidance, they can trust the person they find,” FPA CEO Mark Rantall said in launching the week. So what are some of the best ways to celebrate Financial Planning Week? Here are some suggestions:
- Fake someone’s signature in order to cover that you moved them into a high-risk product that lost all their money without telling them;
- Flog a client a product you know is dodgy and not what they need, but that gives you a higher commission;
- Pretend to be the regulator of the financial planning industry but sit on your hands and do nothing, while letting industry write its own rules;
- Set up an inadequate compensation scheme for the people you ripped off while announcing record $8 billion profit;
- Even when a major financial institutions sends you evidence that it has breached the law, chuck the document in the bin; and
- Use a grubby deal with a mining magnate to gut the one set of reforms that stopped conflicted remuneration and fee gouging by planners.
Oh, of course, that last one is exactly how the government did celebrate financial planning week this week, putting the finishing touches on its gutting of FOFA in the House of Representatives. Let ‘er rip, boys.
Pollies go shooting. The bid by two politicians to go have shooting included in Canberra’s Parliamentary Sports Festival has made headlines yesterday, with Liberal Ian Goodenough and the Nationals’ Bridget McKenzie behind the charge. It’s unsurprising that the pair are so keen to have the sport included — Goodenough is a “life benefactor member” of the National Rifle Association of America according to his LinkedIn, while another tipster sent in this photo of Bridget McKenzie in Sporting Shooters Association of Australia NSW newsletter. According to the write-up, she “was a REALLY good shot”. Perhaps, the real concern about including the sport is whether there would be any real competition — could anyone actually beat Goodenough and McKenzie?