From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
Pork-barrelling towers might not improve coverage. The Auditor-General’s report into the initial $100 million mobile black spots program found that many of the towers were not, in fact, covering black spots. The report, which was tabled in Parliament yesterday, explains that the towers (with 44 in government electorates, 10 in Labor electorates, and three in independent electorates) often don’t actually improve mobile coverage much in those areas.
Almost 70% of the base stations in Labor electorates provided “minimal new coverage” to houses of transport routes, the report found (meaning less than 10 square kilometres of total new coverage), compared to 21% providing minimal new coverage in government electorates.
Whodunnit or porn? You decide. The release of the Spicer Report by the Independent Commission Against Corruption has been bad news for many named within its pages, but here in the Crikey bunker we couldn’t help but notice a pattern appear among the names of the chapters. While Ms Tips felt like she was reading the content pages of an old-school British whodunnit, others within the Crikey bunker thought they sounded like titles of an adult film. These are the chapter names that got us wondering under which genre heading they should belong:
“Buildev and its personnel”
“Mr Tripodi and Mr Roozendaal become involved”
“The NSW Treasury Report is leaked”
“Mr Tinkler and Ms McKay”
“The Nicolaou proposal”
“Was the trust a sham?”
“Mr Hartcher’s role”
“The real purpose of the payments”
“Who is ‘our big man’?”
“Mr McCloy and the $10,000”
Lambie v Bernardi. The insults thrown around in both the House of Representatives and the Senate are an art form, and while not all MPs are masters, there are some who are on their way to (some form of) greatness. In the Senate yesterday, Jacqui Lambie took aim at Cory Bernardi, roping in sex workers at the same time:
“I think it is important to make a point in the debate surrounding donations linked to the Chinese Communist government to Australian political parties. Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi lecturing this parliament and displaying mock outrage regarding Labor Senator Sam Dastyari and Chinese political donations is like an angry prostitute lecturing us about the benefits of celibacy. Before I receive unfair criticism from sex workers, I apologise to them profusely for comparing them to Senator Bernardi — I know that is a really terrible low-down thing to do. I can tell you, prostitutes are far more honest, sincere, humane, compassionate and give you a better bang for your buck than Senator Bernardi will ever be able to deliver.”
When called on a point of order and given the opportunity to rephrase the insult by Acting Deputy President Alex Gallacher, Lambie didn’t retreat at all:
“When it comes to political donations linked to the Communist government in China, Senator Bernardi and his Liberal colleagues are rank hypocrites. The Liberal Party and former Liberal colleagues are under the spell of the political donations linked to the Chinese government.”
We’re not sure how the sex work industry has taken towards being dragged into this debate.
It’s Mei world, KRudd just lives in it. Just how well is former prime minister Kevin Rudd taking the thwarting of his dreams to become the Secretary-General of the United Nations? By the look of his Instagram account, he is plotting some kind of feline take over of the world, led by one of his cat masters, Mei Mei. Rudd uploaded the photo of Mei Mei yesterday with the caption “So it turns out Mei Mei’s field of expertise is international relations theory” with the hashtags “#futureUN” and “#ghostwriter”. The photo also gives an insight into the Turtle Bay Gardens, which Rudd has access to as part of his plush pad in New York. He shares the gardens with composer Stephen Sondheim and Olivier Sarkozy (brother of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy), who is married to Mary-Kate Olsen. Mei Mei is among powerful company while she plans the glorious feline revolution.