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Councillor strikes gold in Bali | The gift that keeps on giving | Well worth waiting for

This week, InSider tracks an absent Adelaide City Council member, rolls around in SA Labor’s money vault, and plans to get around to joining the latest hot club.

Feb 02, 2024, updated Feb 02, 2024

Blame it on the boogie 

Adelaide City Councillor Henry Davis was absent for the first meeting of 2024, but that didn’t stop him being the centre of attention.

The council approved a $4500 registration fee to be paid for South Ward Councillor Davis to attend the 2024-25 Young Leadership Dialogue Program.

The program spans two years and requires participants to travel to leadership events in Canberra and the United States. As a condition of the funding, Davis will have to provide a report to the Council after the program, detailing how he has applied the skills he learned. If this is not done, or Davis fails to complete the course, costs are to be refunded to the council.

Councillors Carmel Noon, David Elliott and Deputy Lord Mayor Keiran Snape voted against Davis’ request, with Snape suggesting it didn’t “quite pass the pub test”.

“If the councillor wants to pursue professional growth, I certainly suggest he starts much closer to home – perhaps in South Ward,” Snape said in what InSider took as a dig referencing Davis’ move to leafy Aldgate in 2023.

Elliott also had a dig. “I do think there’s something rather galling about someone who hasn’t apologised to attend a meeting because they’re overseas, asking for a large sum of ratepayer money to go back overseas and not be present representing their ward or their constituents yet again,” he said.

While Councillor Janet Giles said she didn’t have a problem with Davis accessing the funding to assist him with his involvement in council, she hoped it was not “some sort of politically connected program that will assist him in his bid for the seat of Mayo”.

“I’ve had a number of donors and members in the party suggest that I run for a state or federal seat,” Davis told InDaily last October.

“I live in the Mayo electorate. It’s something that I am considering.”

Councillor Mary Couros noted it was “sad Councillor Davis is not here to be able to defend his reasons” as he was on holiday outside of Australia.

Councillor Davis did not send his apologies for missing the first council meeting of 2024, nor did he respond to InSider’s request for comment, likely due to his travels.

But InSider discovered via the councillor’s Instagram stories that he’s been enjoying 24-carat gold cocktails and dancing with sparklers in Bali with George-Alexander Mamalis, founder of local Instagram-based media brand, The Adelaide Set.

Councillor Davis reposted Bali adventures to his public Instagram story.

On Davis’ absence this week, Lord Mayor Dr Jane Lomax-Smith told InSider: “The community would expect, as I do, that Elected Members fulfil their obligation to the role.”

InSider isn’t usually one to sniff at a cocktail or beach club boogie and wishes the councillor safe travels back to the Town Hall chamber.

Shop assistants fill Labor till

While the Malinauskas government figures out how to ban political donations, it hasn’t deterred the party faithful from tipping into the cause.

The South Australian branch of the Labor Party took in more than $2.2 million in 2022-23, according to annual political returns published by the Australian Electoral Commission on Thursday.

Naturally, the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association – the power base of Labor’s dominant Right faction – was the biggest contributor, with the Shoppies’ pouring $163,915 into party coffers last financial year.

The United Workers Union contributed a cool $123,892, while Labor’s fundraising arm, SA Progressive Business – the “networking forum” trading access to ministers – is ticking along nicely, with a $95,098 donation recorded in 2022-23.

The Australian Workers Union ($28,258), Australia Services Union ($25,168), Australian Manufacturing Workers Union ($24,990) and the Communications, Electrical, Energy and Plumbing Union ($16,045) also chipped in, while the Transport Workers Union – which gave the government a headache last year with a widespread bus drivers’ strike – still contributed $15,388.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong provided $26,390 to the local branch, with fellow federal heavyweights Mark Butler, Don Farrell and Amanda Rishworth making similar contribution. Premier Peter Malinauskas for his part added $25,995.

Not to be outdone, the Liberal Party took in just over $3 million last financial year, aided by nearly $900,000 from the federal division.

Perennial donors the Australian Hotels Association helped out with more than $44,000 across a series of smaller donations. Responsible Wagering Australia, which represents some of Australia’s top betting companies, also found space for a $25,000 contribution to the SA Libs.

The magic $25k donation was also made by Pelligra Group’s Lionsgate Business Park, which is developing the old Holden site, defence contractors Saab Australia and immigration and citizenship service Migration Solutions.

The SA Liberal Party’s true romance, Chinese businesswoman Sally Zhou, was a notable omission from the latest financial returns.

Today’s club to join… tomorrow

InSider sometimes puts off writing this column until minutes before deadline (OK, all the time), so you can imagine our delight when this email lobbed into the inbox. Reprinted here without an edit, cause it’s just that good:


Draft 837

NOT URGENT: AUSTRALIAN PROCRASTINATORS CLUB TO BE LAUNCHED SOON

  •      Club expected to call for six-day working week and ‘try-before-you-buy’ votes in elections
  •      New website, holdingpage.com.au, launches

The Australian Procrastinators Club, an organisation devoted to the power of slow ideas, rearranging record collections and putting off 5-minute DIY jobs is as ready as it’ll ever be to launch.

The club’s draft goal is to celebrate slow-burn thinking. The club believes that urgency is often detrimental to quality in many aspects of our lives.

Addressing ‘the room’ at the first meeting of the club, founder, Hamish Thompson, said: “Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something, so after the achievement of 17 years of planning, I’ve decided to make this club happen. Little did I know that this day would finally arrive. I had planned to welcome delegates today but I’m a busy man and I hadn’t got round to inviting anyone. On the upside, the constitution of the club was voted through by a 100% majority.”

He added: “One of our club proposals is the creation of an eight-day week. By making the working week twenty percent longer, we feel that there’s an opportunity to make ourselves even more productive and give ideas a bit more time to breathe. I have little doubt that these proposals will be widely welcomed by society once they are finalised.”

Procrastination has long been regarded as an affliction, but there is a growing body of clinical evidence that conscious procrastination can be beneficial in the creative process.

DRAFT GOALS OF THE AUSTRALIAN PROCRASTINATORS CLUB

Amongst proposals that will go to committee stage once the organisation has members and elections are held to appoint committee members and a location is decided for committee meetings and a decision has been made on whether it will be orange juice and tea on arrival, a break for sandwiches or perhaps a hot buffet with a vegetarian option at lunch and the font for the name plates has been agreed by the font subcommittee, are:

  1. Launch of ‘MAKE SOMEDAY SPECIAL’ Campaign: The Australian Procrastinators Club calls for an eight-day week, with the insertion of a new day, ‘Someday’, between Sunday and Monday, to create, in effect, a six-day working week.
  2. A call for ’Try before you buy’ votes in elections.
  3. A thirty-year cooling off period for retail purchases – “28-day return windows disadvantage procrastinators,” says Thompson. “How many people still have items of clothing for instance still in the bag they were bought in and with the labels attached, months, if not years, later? It leads to spills from procrastination into hoarding.”
  4. Extending restaurant times into the early hours of the morning for diners who want to take a little bit more time deciding on their orders.
  5. Make wipe-clean placards mandatory at all protest marches to allow for flexible thinking.
  6. Make performance appraisals a once-a-decade event.
  7. An annual ‘Do It Eventually Yourself’ awards for people who like to take their time over home improvements.  Categories will be process and progress focused, rather than focused on the ‘tyranny of outcomes’.
  8. Call for a three-fold increase in slip roads for the undecided.
  9. A ‘Slowlympic’ Games that celebrates time-investment in events.
  10. An alternative names register for babies and pets for parents needing a bit more time with their choices.
  11. Easy-peel paints and wallpaper.
  12. Mandatory smorgasbords in all restaurants.
  13. Overdue library book amnesty.
  14. An AI-powered revised deadline date function in e-calendars when you first enter a deadline date, codename SIRIously?

Hamish Thompson added: “In our personal and professional lives, we are frequently under pressure to make quick decisions, but too often speed is at the detriment of impact and effectiveness. Think, for instance, of the millions of people worldwide who are employed as ‘content managers’. The word ‘content’ in this context is possibly the emptiest buzzword in modern business life.”

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He added: “A lot of what is praised in modern life is linked to pace. We’re constantly urged to run, build, read, travel, access, deliver and create faster.  But faster isn’t often synonymous with better. A bit more time and care is no bad thing.  Pushing an idea to a justifiable and realistic deadline, or even a revised deadline, if we feel instinctively that it would be beneficial, can often deliver a far better outcome.”

“Anyone excited about the prospect of joining the club can email me and join the waiting list for more information. I’ll eventually get round to responding. I have plans for membership cards, merchandise, special events, seminars, a tiered membership structure, a regional organisational structure, an awards scheme, calendars, and more. But tiny steps. I will update the membership in the future.”

For more information about the Australian Procrastinators Club, visit

ENDS (for now)

About Hamish Thompson

Hamish Thompson is the founder of such things as the Museum of Crisps (an online resource dedicated to recording every flavour of potato chip worldwide – currently 1343 and counting), The Buzzsaw (an online automated buzzword removal tool), Polifiller (a campaign to eradicate political jargon), State of Invisibility (a museum featuring kitsch depictions of the shape of Australia that fail to include Tasmania), Polar Opposites (a podcast describing his experience of abandoning his career as CEO of a London-based PR agency and moving to rural Tasmania to refurbish an old Gold Rush Bank building).  When he is not curating his collections of vintage stationery, space flight memorabilia and failed gadgets, he is writing a book, though the creation of the Australian Procrastinators Club may lead to a revised deadline.

About the Australian Procrastinators Club

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A Friday arvo time waster

Here’s a perfect way to action (or not) the above by whittling away your Friday afternoon hours. Insider has been fiddling with a neat website launched yesterday.

Created by NYC-based coder Neal Agarwal, Infinite Craft is a simple idea with endless possibilities.

By dragging two ‘elements’ together, users are encouraged to create wild solutions.

You start with four elements: Water, Fire, Wind and Earth. By dragging two together you’ll get a new element to play with.

For example, Water + Earth = Plant. From there, combine Plant and Wind to get a Dandelion.

Eventually, you’ll build up a suite of elements to use. In a few clicks, Insider managed to create a Dragon (we won’t spoil the solution).

On X, Neal said in just one day more than 200,000 unique combinations had been made.

Just give it a go yourself and you’ll soon see how addicting this time sink is.

Stuff you should know…

For some unknown reason “experts” at an online casino company have conducted research into how accents are perceived. To do so, they did a global study of 5,000 participants to uncover which country has the highest odds of having the most and least friendly accents. 

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