From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

OK, let’s talk about the AHA. PM Malcolm Turnbull had a go at journalists this week for asking him too many pesky questions about marriage equality, while he wanted to have a chinwag about the government’s plan to get up to 10,000 young people into “internships” at pubs and clubs around the country. It’s part of the government’s PaTH (Prepare Trial Hire) program, which pays businesses to take on a young person receiving welfare payments — and the government foots the bill for paying the “intern” $4 an hour during that time. The government had previously announced a partnership with the Australian Retailers’ Association to get young people in retail stores, and this week’s announcement was a partnership with the Australian Hotels Association.

That is the same Australian Hotels Association that donated $216,550 to various state and federal branches of the Liberal Party last year, and $36,508 to the federal and NSW branches of the Nationals. The AHA also donated $97,200 to Labor. So that’s a whole lot of free workers going to good mates of the Liberals.

What was Nigel Scullion doing in the UK? In the kerfuffle over the citizenship status of our elected representatives, there are many stories of the lengths MPs have gone to in order to renounce their citizenship of other countries before going to the ballot box. It’s been reported that Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion made a whistlestop round trip to the UK in order to renounce his dual British citizenship before he was elected as a senator in 2001, but Ms Tips hears there could be more to the trip than meets the eye. Scullion headed the Australian Fishing Industry Association before he was elected, and the word around the industry is that the last-minute flight was chartered just for Scullion. We’ve asked Scullion’s office exactly when and how he got to the UK and back before the election but didn’t hear back before deadline.

Where’s Malcolm? How many pollies does it take to launch a freeway extension? That’s what the sandgropers were asking yesterday when no fewer than 13 state and federal MPs walked the new bitumen of the Mitchell Freeway extension between Joondalup and Clarkson in Perth’s northern suburbs. It was one of many occasions Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attended in his week in the Wild Wild West, which WA Labor Premier Mark McGowan labelled as a “pic op” trip. McGowan loves a photo opportunity as well though, being one of the 13 MPs at yesterday’s freeway opening. Strangely, the photo he chose to upload to social media doesn’t include Turnbull at all.

Turnbull retweeted a few of his ministers that were at the event — McGowan was included in those photos. Harsh. 

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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