Archive for June 8th, 2009

The minister assisting the minister

I was looking through the list of appointments following Kevin Rudd’s cabinet reshuffle this morning (that is, I was looking at the list this morning, Kevin did not have a reshuffle this morning) and couldn’t help but be amused by some of the titles.

Of particular interest to me is one of Craig Emerson’s many titles, namely “Minister Assisting the Finance Minister on Deregulation”. If we ever see that as the title given to Craig on a TV news super, I will fall off my chair, get back on the chair and fall off again just to make sure the point gets through.

What makes Craig’s title all the more amusing is that Senator Nick Sherry is the “Assistant Treasurer” and not the “Minister assisting the Treasurer” or even worse the “Minister assisting the Minister for the Treasury on matters of Treasure”.

Apart from that, there are just a whole heap of minor roles which I think we forget exist, and I am forced to wonder how many exist merely for the sake of ensuring that a certain number of MPs get an extra allowance because they are a minister or a minister assisting a minister.

[Greg] Combet becomes Minister for Defence Personnel, Material and Science and Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change.

[Chris] Bowen becomes Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law, as well as Minister for Human Services.

Brendan O’Connor takes on the Homes Affairs portfolio, replacing [Bob] Debus, with responsibility for policing and law enforcement and the administration of Australian territories.
In other movements Craig Emerson, Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy and Minister Assisting the Finance Minister on Deregulation, will also become Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs.

Senator Nick Sherry a former Shadow Assistant Treasurer, will be appointed Assistant Treasurer.

Brendan O’Connor will be appointed Minister for Home Affairs, with responsibility for policing and law enforcement and the administration of Australian territories.

Warren Snowdon will be appointed Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery.

And Kate Ellis will be appointed Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare and Youth and will continue as Minister for Sport.

At the risk of picking on Craig Emerson again…the Minister for Independent Contractors? Seriously? Why don’t we just have a Minister for Baked Beans while we’re at it?


June 8th, 2009 at 02:00pm

China Radio International now heard in Canberra

Further cluttering the already somewhat overpopulated lower end of the FM spectrum in Canberra, is China Radio International, now heard on 88FM, a frequency which at one stage was home to a rather interesting tourist information station.

Programming from the state-owned China Radio International (CRI) is now being heard in Canberra with the launch of radio station FM88.

The new Canberra station is the latest in a Chinese-language media empire in Australia which includes eight Chinese-language newspapers across Australia as well as radio stations in Melbourne (1341 kHz) and Perth (104.9 MHz). Attending the radio station’s launch in Canberra were Wang Gengnian, president of CRI, and the Chinese ambassador to Australia, Zhang Junsai.
The radio stations include programming from CRI as well as Chinese-language content from BBC and the Voice of America but also include locally-produced content such as talkback.

Leading the organisation in Australia is Melbourne-based Tommy Jiang, a former soccer player who relocated to Australia 21 years ago. Mr Jiang said that the local Chinese communities “love to talk and find out about Australian politics, about relations with China, about lifestyle issues – including of course restaurants and real estate”.
The radio stations also broadcast programs that teach Chinese.

I wonder if Kevin Rudd will find the Chinese lessons helpful? Perhaps he could get a job on the station when he eventually leaves politics.

Given the frequency allocation and the commercial nature of some of the station’s content, I’m assuming that it’s a narrowcaster. Sadly ACMA’s somewhat outdated website doesn’t provide any information about the Canberra station, however it does confirm that the Melbourne station is a narrowcaster.


1 comment June 8th, 2009 at 01:40pm

1WAY FM’s Future Feed: June 8 to 18

Today is the start of 1WAY FM‘s Future Feed, two weeks (OK, 11 days) of the station going “all out” to provide high quality programming, as a taste of what the future could be for the station.

Many things have changed for the two weeks including the news service, rostering of announcers, the music playlist, and even some changes to the program lineup, but some things have stayed the same. At the end of the two weeks, some things will change back, and some things might stay!

The station is after your feedback, be it by phone (6239 3711), SMS (0432 621 614) or e-mail (, to help it be as good as it can be, which will in turn enable it to reach out to more people.

Excitingly, 1WAY FM have a new website ( by KJWDesign and have a webstream.

I’m on breakfast duties with James Scott this week between 7am and 9am, and again on Monday before I head off to Deniliquin for another week.

1WAY FM’s Future Feed. 91.9 and 94.3 FM, plus streaming online at


June 8th, 2009 at 06:50am


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