Revealed: DFAT’s dance floor diplomacy

Now we have the final word on the sounds of Australia in 2022 – as voted by the yoof of the nation in Triple J’s annual Hottest 100 last week – CBD is proud to reveal the official government version of what to groove to if you wanna be true blue.

The ever-helpful Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has issued its outposts around the world with some playlists to get diplomatic dancefloors pumping at official events and functions.

The three lists – Upbeat Party Music, Laidback Party Music and Classic Australian Songs – were put together by the Commonwealth’s music export outfit Sounds Australia – think Austrade for the recording industry – and are surprisingly un-fuddy-duddy-ish, especially considering its DFAT we’re talking about.

“We have endeavoured to ensure there is no offensive content or swearing in any of the songs selected,” Sounds Australia assures the notoriously risk-averse diplomatic corps.

The upbeat list has plenty of contemporary tunes from people like King Stingray, Spacey Jane, even a bit of Flume, winner of this year’s Hottest 100, although the track selected for the embassy set, Holding On, was released more than 10 years ago, in case you weren’t feeling old enough this January.

The laid-back list ain’t bad either, mostly contemporary-ish, with the likes of Tame Impala, Lime Cordiale and even dances us back to the noughties with some Ben Lee and Bernard Fanning.

But, maaaaaate, the Classic playlist is Aussie as, just the go for when the beers have flowed, no-one wants to go home and nothing less than a-fists-in-the-air yell-along to the Chisel, ACKA DACKA and the Oils will do.

National disgrace and diplomatic incidents are avoided by the inclusion of John Farnham’s You’re The Voice and Daryl Braithwaite’s The Horses.

The only track to make all three lists: Yothu Yindi’s classic reconciliation anthem Treaty.

Well played, Sounds Australia.

Bridget McKenzie’s race for glory.Credit:Shakespeare


Lost in all the excitement of the tennis, cricket and cycling on the weekend was an appearance by that noted sport, Nationals senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie, who’s now also the federal opposition’s spokesperson for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

McKenzie fronted up in Melbourne with her Liberal colleague, shadow sports minister Anne Ruston, to plead with Anthony Albanese’s government to form a new bureaucracy to ensure accountability for the billions of taxpayers dollars that are to be poured into the – mostly – sporting infrastructure to be built for the 2032 Queensland Olympics.

That state’s Labor government, led by Annastacia Palaszczuk, simply cannot be trusted – insisted McKenzie and Ruston – not to just hand all that lolly over to its “union mates”.

McKenzie would know the tricks of that trade after being forced to resign three years ago as sports minister in the usually embarrassment-proof Morrison government for her role in the infamous “sports rorts” affair.

Indeed, if there was an Australian hall-of-fame for mis-allocation of sporting funding for political gain, McKenzie would be an inductee, joining Keating Labor government minister Ros Kelly who suffered an eerily similar fate in 1994.

Still, it’s the mark of a champion to put past setbacks behind them and although most normal people would not be able to breathe the word “sport” in public if they had McKenzie’s track record, CBD simply has to stand and cheer for a competitor who just doesn’t know when she’s beaten.


It’s no secret that things (like bags of cash) have moved pretty fast on the gaming floors of Melbourne’s Crown casino over the years, and we’re relieved to hear that the seats in the boardroom continue to turn over at a fair clip under gambling giant’s new owners Blackstone Capital.

Blackstone’s private equity boss, James Carnegie (son of the late Melbourne corporate leader Rod Carnegie and brother of investor Mark Carnegie), who along with his colleague Chris Tynan drove the firm’s $8.9 billion takeover of the troubled gaming group, has cut short his stay as a board director this month.

Carnegie barely had time to warm the seat – he only joined the board in the middle of 2022, when it was quite understandable for the bloke to want to keep a close eye on what was his firm’s biggest ever deal in Asia.

He will be replaced by his colleague Michael Blickstead, the former Macquarie dealmaker hired by Blackstone in late 2021 who is expected to have a busy 2023; they say he has up to $11 billion to fund acquisitions in the listed sector this year, in addition to his new Crown responsibilities.

The appointment to the board of Blickstead, who was hired partly to give Carnegie more scope to pursue non-Blackstone interests, could be an indication that the private equiteers reckon that things are finally under control at Southbank.

Or maybe, after a two-year pursuit of the big takeover deal, Carnegie, like many of us, has had a gutful of Crown.

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