From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Going to the dogs. NSW voters might be wondering why Labor leader Luke “the Invisible Man” Foley has elected to spring from his normal state of complete obscurity to oppose the Baird government’s decision to close the greyhound “racing” industry, which keeps more people employed killing dogs than racing them. One Labor source — Crikey has been contacted by a number of Labor figures dismayed at Foley’s support for the dog killers — says look no further than Foley’s newish chief of staff, former “controversial” Channel Seven Sydney news director Chris Willis, who was unceremoniously given the flick from his old job last year. Willis, probably best known to the public for his long-running feud with popular Seven News veteran Chris Bath, “encouraged Foley to go hard against the greyhound ban”, we’re told. Presumably the same unerring judgement that Willis employed at Seven has led him to believe there’s political capital to be made from backing a bunch of people who slaughter and brutalise tens of thousands of animals a year.

CUB left hopping. Carlton and United Breweries is being picketed by staff after they were laid off when the beer company cancelled its contract for maintenance workers. The workers at the Abbotsford plant in Melbourne were told that they could return to their jobs on individual contracts, which they say would result in a 65% wage cut factoring in penalty rates and other entitlements. The brewery, which makes Victoria Bitter and Carlton Draught beers, has been bussing in non-union workers for the last four weeks while ex-staff wait outside. Beer production has reportedly taken a hit, but now the brand’s standing with its customers is also facing damage. Posts on the VB Facebook page are less than complimentary, including this one, which gets in the spirit:

Invest in the journalism that makes a difference.

EOFY Sale. A year for just $99.

SAVE 50%

CUB Facebook


Mirabella pops up in Melbourne Ports. Her party may have deserted her, but Sophie Mirabella has not deserted her party. Mirabella was spotted yesterday far away from her former electorate of Indi, scrutineering in the seat of Melbourne Ports. Michael Danby is expected to hold the electorate in Melbourne’s inner city, even though the Liberals’ Owen Guest polled more than 10,000 more votes than Danby in first preferences.

Teething problems. The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age launched new websites this week after months of beta testing. While The Age‘s new site is still online, the SMH has reverted back to its old design. The post from editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir welcoming a “new dawn” for the site has also been removed. A Reddit user complained that the new site was showing him someone else’s name when he logged in, although the “my account” page had his own details. Now we don’t want to throw stones in glass houses, but it looks like there has been a hiccup in the process of rolling out the new site.

UWA v West AustralianThe University of Western Australia’s student magazine, Pelicanhas canned a sponsorship deal with The West Australian newspaper to protest against its cartoonist Dean Alston. Pelican writer Kate Pendergast wrote on the publication’s website this week that Alston’s cartoons were “crude mysoginst ink”:

“Dean Alston is a prolific, provocative and roundly-acclaimed cartoonist. Having published over 14,000 drawings to date and received honour with a number of awards (including a Walkley in 1991), he has since the late eighties been under the employ of WA’s state newspaper the West Australian as editorial cartoonist. Though heading into his autumn years at 66, Alston has told the ABC he has no plans of retirement and will most likely ‘die at his desk’. His wit has been dubbed ‘wicked’, and his line-work — it’s pretty great.”

She went on to slam his views on women. The magazine hasn’t revealed what the deal is worth, but it said it has cut the deal over two cartoons deriding women in sport, one called “Wimmin” and the other “AWFL” about the women’s league in the AFL.

“So. Pelican noticed this and had a think. The West is currently in a sponsorship with us; or rather (because we don’t control our own advertising, and our budget is hardly our own), the UWA Guild. It has been since our first edition of this year, when the marketing arm of the Guild struck up an advertising contract. They have both a banner advert on our website, and an ad space in our magazine negotiated to run in five print issues. A free 12-month digital edition subscription is also offered to students (valued at around $300). There is one remaining print advertisement booked, set to feature in Edition 5, and following this the possibility to continue and expand our relationship into the future. The sponsorship is of significant benefit and value to Pelican financially — out of it, we’ve managed to pad our pockets with a tidy sum, that by commercial agreement, we’re not allowed to specify.”

The editors got a response from The West Australian‘s editor Bob Cronin, and unsurpisingly the paper chose to keep the cartoonist over the small sponsorship deal.

Not what you were looking for. While Theresa May is about to take the reins as Prime Minister of the UK, the Liberal Democrats (the British branch, not David Leyonhjelm et al) are not so happy about it. This is their 404 page:

UK Lib Dems 404

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

Save this EOFY while you make a difference

Australia has spoken. We want more from the people in power and deserve a media that keeps them on their toes. And thank you, because it’s been made abundantly clear that at Crikey we’re on the right track.

We’ve pushed our journalism as far as we could go. And that’s only been possible with reader support. Thank you. And if you haven’t yet subscribed, this is your time to join tens of thousands of Crikey members to take the plunge.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
SAVE 50%