From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
ABC Business worries? Crikey readers have been wondering what’s happening with The Business, the ABC’s last remaining business show after Business Today and Inside Business both met their end in recent months. Crikey understands that the journos at the late-night business show were given the distinct impression they would not have a show on ABC1 next year, but then again, that was all before management appeared to rethink its plans on axing Lateline. The Business airs right after Lateline, so one staying might affect the other. ABC management has assured The Biz‘s crew that business reporting at the ABC won’t lose resources if the show is axed or moved to News 24. But what that means is anyone’s guess — those involved have been left in the dark.
Dangerous websites blocked. Working at Parliament House has its many challenges, but we hear from a Canberra-based tipster that simply using the internet is now on the list. Our tipster tried to access a website advertising an event called “Community Public Forum: Terror raids and manufactured fear — standing up to Islamophobia” yesterday, but ran in to this message:
According to our tipster, the “adult/mature content” wasn’t what you’d expect:
“Wherevent is a pretty normal website, so thinking it must be a mistake, I called IT. Being a public holiday in the ACT, IT Security (who make the decisions) didn’t get back to me until this morning. When they called, I asked what the ‘adult/mature content’ was. The nice person on the other end told me it was ‘religiously sensitive’. I asked whether it was the word ‘terror’. The answer was that it was more likely the decision was made because of the word ‘islamophobia’. After getting off the phone, I tried other wherevent pages. Seems even the homepage is blocked. I’ll assume the wherevent page was blocked before this event, but it makes me wonder what other events they might be worried about.”
We’ve also heard that access to the website for Melbourne’s Savage Club is also banned at Parliament House — how will George Brandis know where to go?
Private education and donations. It was reported last week that private education providers have already gained hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government’s expansion of the fee-help program to VET courses, but we hear from a tipster that not all is well within the industry. Apparently the providers that have benefited the most are not donors to the Liberal Party, but some other companies that have given the Coalition money aren’t faring as well. Private providers are on the list to speak to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee as it considers the government’s changes to higher education. We wonder what they will say …
Catholic Church and gay conversions. Catholic bishops from around the world are meeting in the Vatican this week to discuss the Church’s attitudes towards families and marriage — Pope Francis has only been in the job 19 months but has already tried to drag the church into the 21st century. Closer to home, though, things are a little different. We hear from a tipster that the Archdiocese of Perth’s communications manager James Parker has previously been involved in the “People Can Change” program in the UK, and has been quoted in the media saying that after sleeping with over 200 men he has been converted to heterosexuality. In August Parker spoke at the Proclaim Conference on the topic “How a Parish can support and serve the Sexually Broken”. We asked Parker about his previous occupations, but didn’t hear back before deadline.
Ozturk no man of letters. Liberal candidate for the seat of Yan Yean Sam Ozturk has been struggling in his bid to unseat sitting Labor MP Danielle Green at the upcoming Victorian election. First Ozturk’s letterhead prematurely named him as an MP, and now we hear from a tipster that he’s having more correspondence issues. Our tipster enrolled in the electorate recently and received this letter, asking him to fill out a survey on the issues that mattered in the electorate — the only problem is that the survey wasn’t included. Whoops.
Received a letter from a politician? We’d love to see it.
What is it with Canberra? In June The New York Times wrote a travel piece praising our national capital, and now an OECD study rates it as the best region to live in in the world. We particularly liked this line:
“Many Australians see their capital city as something of a backwater, although a New York Times travel writer recently noted that Canberra is not without its charms. But it outscored the rest of the country, including the states containing Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, on a number of measures, including education, income, jobs and health. (The O.E.C.D. did not measure access to beaches or world-famous opera houses.)”
Apparently the report measured nine criteria including education, jobs and income — we wonder if they should have measured things like access to decent coffee, nightlife and sunshine, but we’re guessing not.
Abbott on your undies. There are many times in life when you don’t want to see Prime Minister Tony Abbott winking at you, but this has to be the worst use of a picture of the PM that Ms Tips has ever seen. These tighty-whiteys have been spied on online store Etsy (eBay for hipsters), by a user called “Glam Your Clam”. If you aren’t already disturbed enough, check out the Osama bin Laden and Ned Kelly varieties.