GAMING THE SYSTEM

Woolworths has been accused of unethical and potentially illegal conduct after a widely shared internal document that included personal details on regular and high value pokie machine users was leaked.

The document was shared on a Google drive that could be accessed by staff in the 400 pubs the supermarket giant controls though the ALH group. Whistleblowers provided the document to the office of anti-pokie Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie, who in turn handed it over to Fairfax.

In the document, staff record ways they have tried to encourage gamblers to spend more at the 12,000 poker machines Woolworths controls, for instance by offering drinks, food, and other promotions. They also record personal details of regular users in order to make it easier for other staff to converse with them and keep them gambling.

Staff themselves are rewarded with gifts when betting targets are hit.

“You’d record that stuff so that any new gaming staff can easily get up to speed with our VIP customers, who we want to keep gambling for as long as possible, so you can easily strike up a conversation with them and build rapport really quickly,” an anonymous whistleblower told Wilkie’s office, in an interview shared with Fairfax.

ALH said it was “concerned” by the story and that it would investigate.

Wilkie is expected to raise the issue today in the federal parliament.

BORDER FARCE

Text messages send by Roman Quaedvlieg to his future girlfriend are at the heart of a probe that will determine the Australian Border Force head’s fate.

The Daily Telegraph reports ($) that “salacious” messages sent Quaedvlieg have been accessed as part of a probe into whether he helped his girlfriend get a Border Force job at Sydney airport. Quaedvlieg denies he was in a relationship with the woman at the time she was hired, though the text messages were sent while she was in the process of applying for the job.

The Tele also reports that an investigation by Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary Martin Parkinson has found Quaedvlieg’s relationship breached the public service Code of Conduct, though it does not outline what steps Attorney-General Christian Porter should take in response.

AIRBAG RECALL

The federal government will today issue the country’s first mandatory recall for vehicles, with around 2.3 million potentially dangerous airbags to be replaced.

According to the Herald Sun, the recall is driven by concerns about the Takata airbag, which has been linked to 23 deaths. But concerns extend to all airbags reliant on ammonium nitrate, meaning car companies will now have to scramble to replace millions of car parts. Some major car makers have already begun a voluntary recall process.

The compulsory recall was recommended by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Northern Territory cash shuffle sees $2bn taken from Indigenous aid ($)

One in six Australian women suffer physical or sexual abuse from partner

Home doctor services to close in wake of Turnbull government cuts

Corrupt former NSW minister Eddie Obeid launches bid for freedom

Mike Baird speaks to the Premier inside his own cooling-off period ($)

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Sydney: Resources Minister Matt Canavan to give a speech at the Australian Domestic Gas Outlook.

Adelaide: South Australia’s Independent Commission Against Corruption delivers its report into the Oakden nursing home.

Hobart: Sky News and The Mercury host a “People’s Forum” at which the premier and state opposition leader will take questions. 

THE COMMENTARIAT

McCormack ideal as Nationals leader and Deputy PM — Scott Mitchell (The Australian $): “The newly factionalised Nationals — divided not by philosophy but by personality, populism and ambition — were unattractive to voters. The Australian people are sick of this style of leadership and the political soap opera of Canberra. With the election of Michael McCormack as leader and the 19th Deputy Prime Minister, that style of leadership and the division it caused are brought to an end.” 

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Ardern thirst: flirtatious interview with NZ leader is 60 Minutes’ nadir — Emily Watkins & Glenn Dyer: “Wooley is having a lend if he thinks there’s anything Orwellian in people criticising him for a segment that missed the mark. It was precisely the sort of journalism Orwell disliked, with this quote often attributed to him: “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.””

Vanishing public servants and Schroedinger’s emails at estimates — Bernard Keane: “For the once-admired Australian Public Service, estimates hearings now regularly serve up examples of how untransparent and incompetent it has become.”

Up Yours: telling deviant truths with Caitlin Johnstone — Helen Razer: “She’s idealistic about a journalism that no longer exists, and a journalism that demanded pessimism from its most serious practitioners.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

Peter Fray

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