From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Good sports. The NSW Office of Sport is trying to hose down consternation over possible outsourcing of its sports and recreation centres, which are used for thousands of school camps each year. In a letter to clients of the sport and recreation centres, seen by Crikey, chief executive Matt Miller says “initial market sounding has confirmed interest from industry for potential service improvements however further investigations will continue before any decision is made”. The letter mentions “mainstream and social media reports and commentary” about the future of the centres. In October, The Sydney Morning Herald reported the state government had been in talks with “commercial operators and organisations that have Christian mission statements”. The Labor opposition in NSW questioned whether it was appropriate for Christian groups to deliver services at the camps. The tipster receiving the letter didn’t feel at all comforted by Miller’s words.

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Let’s play Tony Abbott. Have you ever wanted to be Tony Abbott? No? Maybe you’ve wanted the chance to make his decisions though? You will soon have that chance with the release of the video game “Tony Abbott And The Quest For The Suppository Of Wisdom”. The game, made for PC, Mac and mobile, is an RPG (role-playing game). RPGs generally have well-defined, often elaborate, storylines and let players make decisions for the character they have adopted, allowing the player to take the game in different directions while they “level up” — instead of simply running around repetitively shooting things. In a YouTube tutorial of the game, Abbott ends up arguing with a BuzzFeed journalist.

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Josh Frydenberg electorate. A tipster in Melbourne’s leafy inner-eastern suburbs tells us that these posters have appeared in Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg’s electorate overnight. The posters, which are taped around light poles, seem to express a number of grievances with the minister, including policies towards fracking, coal mining and the Adani mine in Queensland. But with Frydenberg himself in Marrakesh, there’s no way he will see the amateur artwork.

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Cream of the crop. While the Australian dairy industry still has issues with the low price of milk, over in new Zealand, milk prices continue to rise. After a couple of big rises in the global dairy auction, Fonterra this morning lifted its farm-gate milk price to NZ$6 a kilo of whole milk solids for 2016-17. Since June 1, auction prices have jumped more than 43%. Back in August Fonterra’s price was NZ$4.25 a kilo, so the US$6 a kilo level represents a jump of 41%. On top of this, dairy farmers who are shareholders in Fonterra will get an extra 50 to 60 cents a share in dividends. And what’s happening in Australia? There are rises, but not to the same degree. It’s enough to turn you to soy milk.

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Peter Fray

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