Amid the braised shin and spiced short ribs on Masterchef on Monday night was a long, very glossy, advertisement for the Crown group, which owns casinos in Melbourne, Perth, London and Macau.
But it wasn’t an ad to attract customers. Among the things it spruiked was that the group employed more than 14,000 people and ran its own hospitality school. It argued that the gaming meccas housed the most awarded, high quality, hotels and restaurants in the country. And it left the distinct impression that any city graced with a Crown megalopolis was pretty lucky economically.
If it had been set out doors and the main actor was wearing a hi-vis vest and a helmet instead of a double-breasted jacket and doorman’s top hat it could have been a mining industry ad.
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At 12.10pm last Friday Julia Gillard strode into the Blue Room in Parliament House with Bob Carr in tow and knocked everyone’s socks off. In the hubbub one of the journos even called Carr “Senator-elect Carr”.
Then at 2pm on the same day NSW Labor emailed its members saying this:
Due to the resignation of Senator Mark Arbib, a vacancy has arisen in the Australian Senate. Under Rule N.4, the NSW Labor Party Officers have called for nominations for this position to be determined by a ballot of the NSW ALP Administrative Committee, according to the following timetable:
Nominations open: 1pm, Friday 2 March 2012
Nominations close: 5pm, Monday 5 March 2012
Nomination fee: $750
The rest of Gillard’s Cabinet movers were sworn in this morning without Carr, who is waiting for this ALP process to pan out and then a joint sitting of the NSW Parliament before being sworn in as both a Senator and the Foreign Minister. It’s all a bit weird.
Bob Carr, along with Steve Bracks and John Faulkner, authored an extensive review into the Labor Party last year, which had many, many recommendations including: “Community engagement with primaries, introducing primaries for preselections in nonheld and open seats so that Labor’s supporters have a say in their local representatives.”
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With the ALP’s leadership tussle over for now, it’s time for the Federal Government to get back to the much needed policy work on competition, small business and consumer law issues.
These issues are fundamental to the ALP’s re-election hopes as the sky-rocketing cost of living will make struggling Aussie families think twice at election time.
Those Aussie families are sick and tired of the gimmicks or, even worse, the lack of policy direction from federal Labor. Take, for example, small business concerns about the growing market and contractual power of larger businesses. And what about the concerns increasingly expressed by farmers about their dealings with food processors and the major supermarket chains?
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Everyone knows the result of the ALP leadership ballot but speculation has been rife as to what really went on inside the caucus room. Now, in yet another extraordinary exclusive, The Punch can reveal the full transcript of what took place…
JULIA: Well thanks for coming everybody. I trust you all know why you’re here?
TONY: Sussex Street.
PETER: Sussex Street.
MATT: To get me out of Sussex Street.
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Senator Mark Arbib, the Minister for Sport, has inexplicably resigned just months before he would have received free tickets to the London Olympics.
Citing the need to spend more time with his family, the faceless, hairless Labor powerbroker is now a jobless, faceless, hairless former Labor powerbroker.
Given the Australian male life expectancy is now almost 80, Arbib statistically speaking would appear to be having some kind of midlife reassessment. But should we we call it a crisis?
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BY all accounts it was an extraordinary sight. Kevin Rudd was in flying form. As were his guests. Last Saturday night, while dining at Noosa’s trendy eatery, Bistro C, adoring patrons mobbed the foreign minister’s table.
They flattered and fawned over the local celebrity, who was born nearby in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. An obliging Rudd did his best to accommodate them, leaving his guests at the table to stand arm in arm for group shots with his fans. He was in his element.
But that wasn’t the most extraordinary of things. Few people noticed the other man sitting at the table with him. And why would they. The former Attorney General Robert McClelland, dumped only last month in Julia Gillard’s frontbench reshuffle, is hardly a household name in Queensland or a face that many would necessarily recognise. But there he was, the political cuckold, dining with Rudd and several members of their families, as if they were long time friends.
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Mark Arbib has been pulling in that shaved and toughened nut over the past few months after he and ALP national secretary Karl Bitar started to be blamed for every Labor woe, and for imposing a policy-by-focus-group substitute for genuine leadership.
His return to the national spotlight through yet more Wikileaks material will not please the political hard-head.
Labor leaders current (Anna Bligh) and past (Morris Iemma) have accused the pair of wrecking their patches. A tactical, personal retreat was Arbib’s response.
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First time in Parliament House since leadership spill.
Never thought I’d be back here. Had been in Pakistan doing media for an NGO. Was really thriving. My experience of NSW Labor factional warfare was the perfect apprenticeship for navigating Pakistan’s male-dominated, clan based society.
Then about ten days ago, ran into Rudd. He was on marathon tour of the region, trying very hard to write notes, listen, and look concerned simultaneously.
Asked Rudd where his staff were. He’d fired them three camps ago. Offered me a promotion, a pay rise, and the right to swear at him.
I couldn’t refuse.
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Despite it being the dawn of the Sunshine Parliament, Julia Gillard is going to have to make some decisions about her cabinet based very much on the darker and drearier realities of the last Government.
Between former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, former Prime Ministerial backstabbers and powerbrokers in Mark Arbib and Bill Shorten and Robb “this could go on for a while yet” Oakeshott, Julia Gillard is faced with political equivalent of a surgical face transplant in a NSW public hospital.
Heres are a few people and portfolios that are going to leave the Prime Minister with some headaches:
He’s not so much the elephant in the room as he is an erudite 200 kilogram, opera singing multi lingual gorilla in the room that regularly supplies analysis for the six o’clock news. Queensland was apparently upset that he got dumped as PM, but as he never really seemed to disappear so it’s unclear why they were so upset.
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There’s a hilarious saga going on over an empty chair on tonight’s Q and A panel.
The ABC last week booked ALP powerbroker Mark Arbib for tonight’s show, but this evening Julia Gillard’s office pulled the NSW Senator from the show, and offered up backbencher David Bradbury instead.
The Q and A producers politely but indignantly told the PM’s office to bugger off. In the grand scheme of things it’s worth remembering it’s just a TV show, but in the absence of any concrete details out of Canberra tonight it’s set off a bit of a storm.
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Here’s a quiz for your readers. How many green jobs did Kevin Rudd announce at the Labor Party Conference and how many of them were new?
Many readers of the Punch could be forgiven for thinking they heard the Prime Minister promise to deliver 50 000 new green jobs.
Unfortunately like so many of the Government’s announcements about a large array of job creation and training programmes it pays to read the fine print.
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When I was 19, I started mapping out my career plans. I was in my second year of university when I decided to volunteer as an unpaid intern for two full days per week at a magazine publishing house. My baby-boomer father never understood how I could do it for two years without pay (while working weekends in retail, where yes, I dealt with the worst customers imaginable and cleaned up kid vomit from the floor of my store), but I had faith in the fact that it would one day pay off.
One day was not this week, because this week, Employment Minister Mark Arbib is urging Gen Y to readjust their ideas about work and employment, stop the “snobbery” associated with certain means of work, and take whatever jobs they could get. For someone whose attitude to work has more to do with paying university fees and funding my internet bill than snobbery and a class act on the career ladder, Senator Arbib’s comments did not go down too well. And I was not the only one to notice.
Generation Y has long bore the brunt of the attention-seeking, lazy, power-hungry generation that refused to put in the hard yards for their future, something which the Senator might have capitalised on in his address to a young labor conference last week. What he failed to recognise is the fact that Generation Y has suffered long enough as a result of this stereotype, and as such, was ditching conventional forms and methods of work in favour of something that works for them.
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@sarselack The question was to implications for public projects *like NBN* when industry is building vast internet infrastructure
Dead tree journalists D Crowe and J Hewitt get a fix in Gladstone Airport. http://t.co/NtTfOuTpGZ
Google is planning to build a wireless network to reach a billion people http://t.co/e972OOc2FT ... NBN implications?
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