From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Emissions trading back? What’s going on at the government’s clean energy regulator? Sounds like Direct Action is on the nose:

“Whispers from inside the federal Clean Energy Regulator: they are shopping around for an emissions trading platform that can be linked to international carbon markets; due by the end of 2015. Maybe there will be more to Direct Action than throwing money at polluters?”

That’s funny, we thought we used to have one of those?

What’s in a name? A tipster from northern Queensland tells us the race to be the ALP candidate to take on Liberal Ewen Jones in the seat of Herbert is hotting up, but it would help if the contenders could spell the names of their high-profile supporters:

“Federal member for the Townsville-based seat of Herbert Ewen Jones is widely seen as vulnerable at the next election after a series of gaffes that have seen him dubbed Canberra’s representative in Townsville. This has led to an interesting situation when nominationss were called recently for ALP stalwarts to gird the loins for battle against Jones next year. It seemed a foregone conclusion when Cathy O’Toole was first to nominate — she has carried the flag in previous campaigns, is very active in local branch matters, and is the sister-in-law of local Labor left-faction power broker and former Speaker of the Queensland Parliament Mike Reynolds. But unexpectedly, another candidate nominated, ex-David Feeney staffer Patricia Schluter  who recently returned to her North Queensland roots and ran the campaigns of all three successful ALP candidates in the recent state election. She declined  local advice that this was O’Toole’s patch and nominated anyway. Her political savvy and strong Canberra connections have impressed more than a few local members (a noted Ewen Jones weak point) , which appears to have spooked O’Toole into calling in some heavyweights to help her over the line, including Brisbane-based left-faction union allies. And why not get a hand from a current labor senator as a guest speaker at a fund raiser? Perhaps a more useful hand in  this last initiative would’ve been a good proof reader, Now the the local faithful are wondering just who they’re going to meet on Wednesday.”

That’s Labor Senator Chris Ketter in the picture. There is also a third nomination, from Mark Enders. Nominations close this week and the local ballot is at the end of the month.

Facebook profiling. There are reports today that the Nauruan government shut down access to Facebook for the whole country at the request of the Australian government, but it seems that it’s not the only way the Immigration Department is targeting potential asylum seekers through the social media site. A tipster tells us she recently set up a Facebook account for her elderly grandfather and chose Tamil (his native tongue) as the language for him to use the site. It didn’t take long before he saw advertisements from the Department of Immigration telling him not to get on a boat to Australia, and that he wouldn’t be allowed in. Our tipster says “And because he is old he thinks the government is sending messages to him specifically. ‘But I came here legally! I got my citizenship 30 years ago!'”

Bolt v Kelly. All is not well in News Corp land, where a rift has formed between tabloid columnist and blogger Andrew Bolt and The Australian‘s editor-at-large Paul Kelly. Bolt has been railing against the plan for a referendum to recognise Aboriginal Australians in the constitution, and on Saturday Kelly labeled him one of the biggest threats to the referendum’s success and his arguments as “bizarre” in a 1600-word column. Bolt, of course, didn’t take so well to that and has taken aim at Kelly multiple times on his blog, calling the piece “sinister”. Now today’s Cut and Paste has hit back, saying that true debate on constitutional recognition is in the Oz.

Of course, it’s not the first time The Bolter has taken exception to the pride of News Corp’s coverage. He was a fierce critic of John Lyons’ explosive piece on Abbott from earlier this year. He even took exception to Strewth columnist James Jeffrey, who wrote an article explaining to readers what Bolt got wrong.

Every day I’m stuggling. This headline appeared in the Business Day section of the Fairfax dailies today. It’s no “world is fukt”, but it is a bit revealing about the subs department at Fairfax.

Working hard. A caller to 2UE in Sydney says that all is not going smoothly with the integration of Customs and Immigration as they form the new Australian Border Force. Apparently Customs workers have been told to adopt the same working hours as their colleagues in immigration, which would leave them working an extra hour a week for the same money. The caller said there is talk of industrial action over the extra hour of work.

No double standards here. A tipster informed Crikey of “double standards” when it came to ethics in medical publishing, pointing out that Professor Gary Wittert, a member of the Medical Journal of Australia’s editorial board and key critic of the decision to outsource to Elsevier, hadn’t disclosed that he is the editor of a different journal published by none other than Elsevier. It’s a good tip, but isn’t true. Wittert did inform Crikey’s media reporter that he was an editor of Elsevier’s Obesity Research and Clinical Practice journal, and she put it in her piece on Friday. We don’t really think it’s a conflict of interest — she pointed out to Ms Tips that the fact that he was willing to criticise his employer gives weight to his concerns instead of undermining them.

The fight over the future of the MJA is by no means settled — if you know more, do get in touch.

Spot the difference. Congratulations to our commenters and tweeters who spotted the problem with this week’s edition of The Weekly Review that was sent to locals in Melbourne’s north-eastern suburbs. In the cover on the right, Tim Rogers (lying at the front) has had a run-in with Photoshop that left him with three feet.

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

Peter Fray

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