From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Get by with a little help from my friends … James Paterson gave his maiden speech to the Senate yesterday, stating his position on issues close to the hearts of most 28-year-olds — the national curriculum, Israel and a debt ceiling. He also took the opportunity to thank the members of the ratpack that got him preselected to the plum spot. As reported by BuzzFeed, the group rallied the numbers for the baby-faced Senator:

“Powered by homemade Anzac biscuits, the chino-wearing Liberal millennials had been using messaging app Slack for weeks (an app also used by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull) to organise and war-game the vote.

“They’re a group of people who weren’t going to be told ‘no’ by either side of the party and weren’t going to wait their turn,” a source close to Paterson told BuzzFeed News.

“These guys are the next generation feeling and responding to decades of frustration amongst people that politicians haven’t moved with the times, both in terms of how we communicate a vision for the country, and get elected.”

Towards the end of his speech last night, before even acknowledging his parents and wife, Paterson moved onto the “good companions over the years” who “worked very hard to see me take this place in the Senate”:

“They include Aaron Lane, Jess Wilson, Gideon Rozner, Simon Breheny, Luke Tobin, Byron Hodkinson, John Shipp, Annabel Clunies-Ross, Rohan D’Souza, Julian Barendse, Christopher Koch, Georgia Letten, Brendan and Sara Rowswell, Yoni Cukierman, John Osborn, Andrew and Steph Campbell, Evan Mulholland, Adam McKee, Max Williams and Matthew Lesh. I am very optimistic about the future of the Liberal Party because this energetic, talented generation of Liberals is now ready to step up to make their contribution to public life.”

While we are taking note of these names and wondering how soon they will attempt to follow in Paterson’s footsteps, it’s interesting to note the first friend thanked, Aaron Lane, was a candidate for the Liberals until he was forced to resign after offensive comments he made on Twitter.

Max the Axe at Wombat Hollow. Anthony Albanese’s favourite person, Max Moore-Wilton, will be the next speaker at Michael Yabsley’s Wombat Hollow Forum on March 31. According to the invitation, Moore-Wilton will discuss this topic “Australia’s infrastructure — too much politics, not enough policy”. The invite also names Sydney airport as “Australia’s most valuable and important item of standalone infrastructure”. While it may not be quite the occasion, we do hope someone buys Albo a ticket — the heckling would be first rate.

Stamping out crime. We already reported that Australia Post wanted to be added to the list of agencies that could access all your metadata without a warrant and was rejected. It was understood at the time that Australia Post wanted metadata to track phones stolen from its stores, but one interesting tidbit out of the business’ application to the Attorney-General’s Department to get metadata access, released under FOI, is Australia Post’s other law enforcement responsibilities.

AGD required the agency to list all potential crimes it might investigate on the off chance it would need metadata for those investigations. Apart from the usual mail theft, fraud, bombs in letters, AusPost is also looking into “dishonest removal of stamps” and “dishonest use of previously used stamps”, which both carry one-year imprisonment penalties.

Ms Tips wonders whether the gent who admitted to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in his Canberra Al Desko video that he reused stamps will now be worried about a knock on the door.

Gifts good until they die. Freedom Boy Tim Wilson made a point during his time as Human Rights Commissioner to declare the gifts he had received on Twitter:

tim wilson gift

But a freedom of information request shows that the Human Rights Commission did not record as many gifts as Wilson’s Twitter account. Documents provided to Crikey detailing gifts given to the HRC since 2014 only list a painting given to Wilson, which was displayed at the commission. Only gifts above a certain value need to be declared, which is why the list of gifts released to Crikey seems brief. But the list is detailed, noting that six bunches of flowers given to HRC president Gillian Triggs were “displayed in Commission Premises until flowers died”.

What’s in a name? A few years ago Crikey unearthed a trove of people whose names were a result of nominative determinism — “the tendency of people to gravitate towards areas of work that fit their surname” — like Rob Fish, the chairman of the NT Seafood Council. Now we hear Delicious magazine has a new editorial co-ordinator — Sophie Kitchen. It was just meant to be.

What really needs fixing? Interesting caption from the ABC yesterday… (it was promptly corrected)

george christensen mistake

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