From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours … Nobody can stop the music ... except Border Force. Recently strengthened laws to stop employers rorting 457 visas by asking overseas workers to pay for sponsorship has had the unexpected consequence of an added workload for music promoters trying to get international acts into Australia. The rules, brought into effect on Monday, are designed to make it an offence for Australian employers making potential employees pay to be sponsored for the chance to get to Australia, or to offer the chance of permanent residency with a 457 visa. The change has taken the music industry by surprise, though, with promoters told that all visa applicants under the 420 visa -- the one most used by touring musicians -- must physically sign a declaration form and get it to Border Force to go with their application. Ms Tips understands that the changes have completely overwhelmed the workload of promoters at such a busy time, with many musos coming to Australia for the summer festival season. Know more? Drop us a line; you can remain anonymous if you wish. Messing about in boats. It didn't take long for The Australian to pick up yesterday's Tips story on the looming scandal over the eligibility of Wild Oats XI for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. The Oz piece ran as news, splashed over six column on page 3 (not that they acknowledged us by name, preferring to describe Crikey as "an Australian website". How gracious). Rather than follow up the explosive allegation that the recently rebuilt Oats is now longer than the 100-foot (30.48m) limit for the Hobart race, reporter D.D.McNicoll simply went to the race organisers and the skipper of Wild Oats XI for reaction. Both adopted the Watergate defence: total denial.

boat parts

Commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, John Cameron, said that the boat had a valid rating certificate stating that it was not more than 100 feet, and "that is the end of the matter". Mark Richards, who has been skipper of Oats for a decade, told the Oz: "She is not too long. It is measured and approved." Nobody denies the yacht has been measured or that a certificate confirming compliance has been accepted by the CYCA. The issue, rather, is whether Wild Oats was measured correctly. The top section of the new curved bow of the hull clearly extends beyond the 100-foot limit. So where did the measurer place the end of his tape? The rules of yacht racing allow for protests, and that is the most likely next step for any opposing crew with the courage to take on the might of the Wild Oats organisation. A protest of this nature would be heard by a committee nominated by the sport's governing body, Yachting Australia. For many years one of the major sponsors of Yachting Australia has been Robert Oatley Wines. Robert Oatley is the owner of, er… Wild Oats XI. This could get ugly. This. Sick. Beat. What is Anthony Albanese doing with his Christmas break? This video of Albo DJing next to SBS' Lee Lin Chin is a bit of a hint, but if the beats in the four-second clip are anything to go by, we are concerned that Albo may be moving away from his good taste in classic music:

albo and lee lin