From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

ICAC feels the heat. A sharp-eyed tipster has pointed out this odd turn of events to us:

“There are indications that the NSW Supreme Court will soon be receiving (or may already have received) a writ of mandamus on behalf of one of corruption investigator ICAC’s targets who is awaiting the commission’s report. (Mandamus is essentially a hurry-up demand that a court/commission/tribunal get on with its task.) Why the writ? It seems that ICAC Commissioner Megan Latham is declining to hand down a number of completed reports from ICAC’s current enquiries, on the rationale that she wants to wait for any legislative amendments the NSW government may make. (Premier Mike Baird has said the he’s ‘open to any suggestion’ of changing the law retrospectively to give ICAC the powers the High Court found it did not have in its judgement on the Margaret Cunneen case back on April 15). That would be a highly provocative position for ICAC to adopt. It has a clear obligation to do its job, not play politics. If there is a mandamus writ it will provide the Supreme Court with a tempting opportunity to give Latham and ICAC a biff around the ears, and also send a message to Baird to keep his nose out of the whole highly complex process.

AFP and death penalty cases. It’s been revealed today that the ministerial guidelines to the Australian Federal Police regarding sharing information with foreign law enforcement bodies removed the reference to the death penalty last year, which had previously been included under the Labor government. The AFP still has its own guidelines, which do include specific reference to considering the death penalty:

“The AFP is required to consider relevant factors before providing information to foreign law enforcement agencies if it is aware the provision of information is likely to result in the prosecution of an identified person for an offence carrying the death penalty.”

Will Palmer walk the walk? The reaction to the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran across the country has varied from dismay to anger, leading some politicians to say some less-than-wise things. Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer called on Australians to protest by travelling to Queensland (and maybe his struggling resorts) instead of holidaying in Bali. “I call on all Australians to do what they can to protest over the handling of this matter in Indonesia,” Palmer said. “Whether they can cancel a holiday to Bali and come to Queensland … or whether it’s the closing of an industrial operation.” Industrial relations, eh? Does that apply to resources? If Palmer is so passionate about a boycott, it would be interesting to see if he will take his own advice. As a tipster pointed out, Palmer’s own Queensland Nickel imports a significant amount of nickel ore from Indonesia each year.

IPA wants you. The Institute of Public Affairs is using the Scott McIntyre controversy as a recruiting drive. Which is funny because ex-IPA man Tim Wilson was in the Oz two days arguing that SBS was within its rights to sack McIntyre.

Hopping mad. A caller to 3AW this morning said a person “in a position of power at a top airline” was recently denied permission to board a flight from his own airline from LA to Australia because he was drunk. The powerful man demanded the captain allow him on the flight but was still refused. Absolut-ly disgraceful.

No Land still has no money. It’s been more than a month since the NSW election, and while the existence of the No Land Tax party has slipped to the back of the agenda for most of us, it’s still front of mind for the 300 workers who are still waiting on payments for handing out how-to-vote cards. Ms Tips understands that the workers are now speaking to the Fair Work Ombudsman in their quest to get paid by party convener Peter Jones. The bill for paying the workers is expected to be up to $1 million.

Dickie Knee on Uber. The beauty (or downfall) of taxi-disruption service Uber is that anyone can be a driver. As one redditor found out on Monday, it can also lead to a brush with fame, when he got into a car driven by radio and TV presenter John Blackman. According to the redditor and another tipster, Blackman is driving Ubers on the side when radio work is quiet. But Uber passengers may not find him sitting in the front seat for much longer; Blackman was announced this week as the new breakfast co-host with Jane Holmes on Magic 1278 after a cleanout of the regular hosts.

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

Peter Fray

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