From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

What a terrible place, a pub with high taxes. It’s not quite a scene from Cheers, but yesterday the Business Council of Australia opened a new front in its war on company taxes, this time roping in a young bartender concerned about her job without trickle-down economics. “I’m worried there will be fewer job opportunities around here because of high company tax,” the tweet quoted. Because, let’s be honest, what young bar worker hasn’t at some point mused on the effects of onerous company tax on employment options?

Was this #faketradie take two? No need to worry, the BCA assured followers the bartender was real, writing “No need to Google. She’s a #realbartender in a real pub in Adelaide, South Australia where they know that real investment=real jobs.”

Sleuthing from Crikey’s Josh Taylor confirmed that this was indeed a real bar — The General Havelock or “the Havey” in Adelaide — and it appeared that the woman in the photo does indeed work there.

Of course, it’s not just any old bar. Blogger Nathan Lee tweeted that the Havelock is owned by the Fahey family, one of whom, Greg Fahey, is the former vice-president (and a life member) of the South Australian branch of employer lobbying group the Australia Hotels Association. Greg’s sons Jason and Trent are also both currently on the AHASA Council. One of AHASA’s pet causes is — you guessed it — onerous tax burdens on hospitality businesses. Lee backed his assertion with a PDF of the AHASA’s official publication from July 2012. It’s not clear if the Fahey family still owns the bar.

We gave the Havelock a call, but they declined to comment or put us in contact with the #realbartender.

Roll up, roll up, the sideshow continues. While One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has resisted calls to drop David Archibald as the candidate for the WA seat of Pilbara (the charmer who said single mothers were “too lazy to attract and hold a mate” in a Quadrant article in 2015). Now it turns out Archibald was actually the second choice for the seat, after nurse Andrea Randle pulled out of the running. Archibald was only announced as the candidate last week, which is when he told the local ABC he was “part Aboriginal” and didn’t believe in the stolen generations. 

Vultures circle. The replacements for former NSW premier Mike Baird are circling after the member for Manly’s shock resignation announcement last week, and quite a few familiar names are part of the speculation. The Oz reports today Baird will recommend moderate James Griffin, while Tony Abbott-ally Walter Villatora, who also challenged Bronwyn Bishop for her federal seat of Mackellar last year, is also likely to throw his hat in the ring. A tipster tells Crikey most doubt Baird will show favouritism to any candidates, and that Villatora’s chances are good if Abbott loyalists vote for him. Manly is a plum seat for the Liberals and is likely to attract a large field of candidates. We also hear that some Liberals have encouraged Baird to make the move to federal politics; they suggested the seat of Warringah would be a good fit.

Daily MailHerald SunIn recent times the Herald Sun has (deservedly) given the Daily Mail a hard time for stealing its stories — especially court yarns. But how did this item end up tucked at the bottom of page 6 of the Hun and on page 15 of the Adelaide Advertiser, with no attribution, and very little detail about the study that said women with breast cancer could avoid mastectomies?

A tipster tells us the item is almost, word for word, a rip-off of a story that was in the Daily Mail two days ago. Oops.


Make George Christensen great again. George Christensen wants to make Australia great again, but he is literally powerless to do so. Australia’s favourite whip-packing MP appeared on Sky last night to talk about Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban” executive order (guess where Christensen falls on the issue), donning a red “Make Australia Great Again” cap, the must-have accessory for the hard right of his party. A topic that was not discussed was what role Christensen — who has, after all, been part of the elected government for three years — has played in Australia’s ongoing lack of greatness.

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Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey