From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

G20: boom and bust. We thought we were done with G20 gossip, but it turns out there’s always something more. Much has been written about the way the conference has affected local businesses in Brisbane and boosted tourism on the Gold and Sunshine coasts, but it seems that not all hotels got to reap the rewards. We received this yesterday from a Brisbanite who left town over the weekend:

“I was at Coolum at the Sunshine Coast over the G20 weekend. My hotel was booked out and I went down the road to see Palmer’s Resort to check how Clive is making out. There was one shop open in the Village Square with a very bored salesperson with no customers. The restaurant there (the only one open at the resort) had a pre-luncheon crowd of seven adults and a small girl sharing wedges with her Mum. The staff at the restaurant easily outnumbered the seven adult customers. The Motor Museum was ‘closed for maintenance’ and on enquiry down at the bar I was told it had been closed for a month. God knows how Clive Palmer can run a resort like that — the overheads must be outrageous and the revenue surely would not meet the wages of the staff sitting around waiting for customers. It puzzles me that somebody allegedly so smart would buy a resort and then run it into the ground.”

We’ve covered the problems at Palmer’s Coolum resort in Crikey before, but if it can’t pull a crowd when everywhere else in the vicinity is sold out, it may be time to re-examine the business model. Still on the G20, Queensland’s police force has been praised for its conduct over the conference, especially for pwning Canada on social media. But Ms Tips was particularly impressed by this display of dancing skills from some officers in Brisbane over the weekend.

Victorian election.  Complicated preference deals look likely to have an impact on November 29 just as they did federally, but our attention was drawn to the statement made by the Australian Sex Party on its group voting ticket in the Western Metropolitan region, in which the Liberals’ Bernie Finn, a noted anti-abortion campaigner, is placed last — well behind his Liberal colleagues.

And you heard it hear first. Last week we had a tip that Labor’s Martin Foley had met with rocker Tex Perkins, running as an independent in the seat of Albert Park, over coffee on the St Kilda Esplanade. While Foley wouldn’t confirm or deny that the meeting took place, we received the results in a press release from Perkins this morning. Perkins is claiming a victory in gaining a funding commitment from the ALP to restore the Palais Theatre:

“What I was after was a firm commitment, not simply words of support. Martin Foley, Labor member for Albert Park and Shadow Minister for the Arts, has been able to persuade his party’s bigwigs to make a firm promise of up to $13.4 million for the repair of the Palais.”

That’s a good return for a coffee …

Pavey gaining ground in Oxley. Ms Tips is not only focused on the Victorian election, with interesting preselection battles in both Queensland and NSW catching our attention. A tipster tells us Melinda Pavey, Nationals MP in the NSW upper house, is gaining strong support in her bid to gain preselection for the lower house seat of Oxley. The Mid-North Coast electorate became vacant last month when sitting MP Andrew Stoner, the party’s leader, suddenly resigned. Pavey, who entered Parliament in 2002 as a 32-year-old Coffs Harbour businesswoman, had been expected to succeed fellow National Andrew Fraser is his Coffs seat. But when she was awarded the virtually unwinnable fifth spot on the Nationals upper house ticket, she transferred her hopes of continuing her parliamentary career to Oxley. Since nominating for preselection Pavey has gained the support of crucial party branches, including Bellingen, as well as the backing of Stoner, who held the seat for 16 years. The tightly fought race is between four candidates — local rugby coach Marc Minor, Kempsey solicitor Kevin Henshaw and Port Macquarie-Hastings councillor Adam Roberts — with the result to be announced on December 13. Her selection for Oxley would complete a generational change among coastal Nationals, or “Saltwaters”, which includes the recent resignation of Stoner, another former party leader George Souris (Upper Hunter) and Don Page (Ballina). Know any preselection goss? Drop us a line.

Host with the most. Australian Parliament is hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who addressed a joint sitting of Parliament this morning. Modi spoke with warmth about Australia and India’s relationship, even making a dig that Abbott was “shirt-fronting” Parliament with a stream of addresses from foreign leaders. While inside Parliament Modi was received with the same warm welcome as Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday, the welcome outside was different. While human rights protesters camped out in front of Parliament all day yesterday, crowds bearing Narendra Modi T-shirts greeted India’s popular PM today. Ms Tips wonders if our PM is considering releasing a range of T-shirts too — they could rival the “Fuck Abbott” shirts that appear at almost every protest in the country.

Click-ity click (Melbourne edition). What did this newspaper do to attract clicks? You’ll never guess which football team is full of criminals! Ms Tips loves a bit of clickbait, but one of her tipsters is not quite so pleased with this effort from The Age today. The headline, which is a particularly Melbourne version of clickbait, teases “Napthine junior’s Pies criminal quip”. It’s a subeditor’s dream — fans of the Collingwood football team will click on it in anger, and everyone else will click on it to laugh at them. At first look, our tipster thought perhaps the link was broken, but like all clickbait, it oversells the article behind it, which is actually a serious look at Premier Denis Napthine’s education promises with a few pars at the end on the Colingwood joke. Hopefully Napthine Junior hasn’t alienated the biggest supporter base in the state …

Click-ity click (Sydney edition). The Daily Telegraph’s campaign against bikes made less sense than usual yesterday, as this screenshot of the homepage shows — or perhaps it was a website editor having a bit of fun. Next to an opinion piece by a conservative anti-bike campaigner is a news piece about how drivers commuting is increasing rates of obesity. Good one.

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

Peter Fray

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