Ita buttrose ABC Chair
ABC chair Ita Buttrose. (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

No progress on the Robert Doyle case, the 5G conspiracy being overlooked, and where in the world is Ita Buttrose? Plus other tips and murmurs from the Crikey bunker.

ABC watch After another round of job cuts at the ABC, where’s ABC chair Ita Buttrose? Beyond one line in yesterday’s press release — so mild it barely made yesterday’s coverage — we’ve heard nothing.

We asked the ABC whether she plans to meet with or address staff, whether she plans to be interviewed or at least put out a more thorough statement, but they didn’t get back to us.

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Council notes An ongoing interest of Crikey is how News Corp can reverse-alchemy a culture war story from nothing. A tipster has pointed out they can also ignore one when it suits them.

Back in mid-May The Daily Telegraph reported — as they should — on the embrace of 5G conspiracy theories by the Greens-dominated Byron Shire Council. On Sky, bellicose fact-dodger Paul Murray blamed it on crazy lefties.

But Cumberland Council Mayor Steve Christou has also posted twice about writing to Communications Minister Paul Fletcher regarding his constituents’ 5G concerns (even though Cumberland apparently doesn’t have any towers).

Beyond a mention in a broad explainer about 5G and coronavirus, this has received a surprisingly muted response from the Tele.

Incidentally, upon becoming mayor, Christou used his acceptance speech to quit the Labor party for drifting too far “to the left, to the Greens”.

Those crazy lefties, huh?

Menzies institute passes the hat Spare a thought for the Robert Menzies Centre, which is clearly feeling the COVID-19 pinch. A tipster sent us an email from the right-wing think tank asking for donations, so as to “strengthen their values” (given their association with a uni, we assume they couldn’t get JobKeeper):

Just a reminder, these proud free marketeers already got $7 million from the government to help with that particular institute.

According to Doyle Given the ongoing news about Dyson Heydon, it’s worth remembering what has happened with the case of another high profile man accused of sexual harassment. It turns out that former Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle, citing ill-health, still hasn’t been questioned by police.

A spokeswoman for Victoria Police confirmed to Crikey yesterday that more than 16 months after receiving several statements from women alleging sexual misconduct by Doyle, no progress has been made.

The Melbourne City Council is waiting for the police reports to be finalised, and for Doyle to be well enough to respond, before releasing a full report. Doyle denies all allegations.

Art attack Scott Morrison has confirmed his standing as Australia’s reality TV prime minister by consulting Australia’s Got Talent contestant Mark Vincent and Australia’s third-best Eurovision performer Guy Sebastian on his belated arts industry “rescue” package.

Apart from anything else, we feel it’s the least Sebastian could do. You know… given what happened

Unity ticket Certain phrases just seem to short out journalists’ memory banks. This week NSW government unveiled its “back to basics” school curriculum. Except that’d be the same “back to basics” curriculum unveiled by the NSW government last year, and, presumably, the same “back to basics” curriculum announced in… 2018.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan will be pleased: he demanded a “back to basics” curriculum last year. Then again, that comes in his job description — predecessor Simon Birmingham was all about the Turnbull government’s “back to basics” approach to education and Christopher Pyne proudly announced a “back to basics” national curriculum back in 2014. Tony Abbott liked to go “back to basics” too

“Back to basics” does involves rote learning, so maybe the repetition is appropriate.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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