Voters back to boom-time expectations: report - Australians are “over” the global financial crisis and are again ready to worry about the things that troubled them in the last boom - failed state government services. The growing confidence in the economy, revealed in the latest Ipsos Mackay Mind & Mood report, has placed the Rudd government in a better position than it was a year ago, when many voters feared a recession was coming and were troubled by Labor’s excessive cash handouts - The Australian
Barry O’Farrell overhauls Nathan Rees - The leadership of Premier Nathan Rees in NSW will come under renewed pressure after a Newspoll that shows Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell has opened up a clear lead as preferred premier - The Australian
Liberals resurrect Howard policies on refugees - As the 37th boat load of asylum seekers this year was taken to Christmas Island yesterday, the Opposition prepared to return to the border protection policies of the Howard government - Sydney Daily Telegraph
Asylum-seeker’s eight-hour pole protest - A group of agitated Sri Lankans facing deportation staged a tense standoff with police and immigration authorities yesterday when one scaled a pole in the Christmas Island detention centre and threatened to jump - The Australian
One more week to deal with asylum seekers - The Australian Government has another week to convince 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers to come off the Customs vessel Oceanic Viking and on to Indonesian soil after the ship was given an extension to remain in Indonesian territory - Sydney Morning Herald
Malcolm Turnbull ‘traded’ Peter Dutton’s health portfolio - Veteran Liberal MP and former Howard government minister Fran Bailey says Malcolm Turnbull offered her Peter Dutton’s shadow health portfolio shortly after Mr Dutton lost a preselection contest for a safe Queensland seat. Ms Bailey confirmed information given to The Weekend Australian that the Opposition Leader made the offer to try to convince her not to retire from her marginal seat of McEwen, outside Melbourne, but added: “I don’t want to say any more, I regarded it as a private conversation.” - The Australian
Liberal Party dumps Pat Farmer in Macarthur preselection ballot - Pat Farmer, 47, has lost preselection for the south-western Sydney seat of Macarthur to a former local mayor. Unlike Mr Farmer, who lives in the plush harbourside suburb of Mosman, Russell Matheson lives in the Macarthur electorate - Sydney Daily Telegraph
Foley bares his broken heart - Rann Government hard man Kevin Foley considered quitting politics because failed personal relationships turned his life into a nightmare of loneliness - Adelaide Advertiser
China push to heal rift in ties - Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, one of China’s top two emerging leaders, yesterday delivered in Sydney “a blueprint for Australia-China relations” that would sideline recent rows - The Australian
Downer - the man in the middle - A six-month computer hacking operation targeting United Nations emails has caused a diplomatic stir surrounding Alexander Downer’s peace mission in Cyprus -Adelaide Advertiser
Jump-start for Aboriginal education at ‘tough-love’ school - Indigenous children will start school at 7.15am and work until late into the afternoon under a radical classroom program to lift them up to national education standards, The Weekend Australian can reveal. The new Cape York Aboriginal Academy, underwritten by the federal and Queensland governments, is an exercise in tough love due to be rolled out in the far north Queensland townships of Aurukun and Coen next year.
At the Rudder of a ship going nowhere - Laurie Oakes in the Sydney Daily Telegraph reckons the PM has taken a hit over the asylum seeker issue this week. Probably a big one. The longest honeymoon in Australian politics may be ending. Labor strategists are bracing themselves for a dive in the next Newspoll.
Captain Rudd’s preferred course - a little to the right - Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald explains the electoral arithmetic behind the actions of a Prime Minister who s a very methodical politician, and a very strategic one.
Gracious Rudd turns grubby - Annabel Crabb in the Sydney Morning Herald remembers an earlier gracious PM who this week, having snarled himself somewhat in his own net of tough rhetoric, spent much of question time lashing out at his opponents, often in unnecessarily caustic and personal terms.
No infrastructure unless you borrow - If you think we should be spending a lot more on economic infrastructure, you can’t be chicken-hearted about government debt says Ross Gittins in theSydney Morning Herald
World hits home - Shaun Carney in the Melbourne Age how, courtesy of the boats carrying Sri Lankan asylum seekers in the direction of Australia in the past few months the rest of the world seems to have re-entered Australian politics
Coming Ruddslide is hardly a good omen - George Megalogenis inThe Australian finds Labor is better placed now than it was a year ago. The public is almost ready to give Kevin a second term to deliver what he promised in his first. A Ruddslide would vindicate everything the Prime Minister stands for. Which is OK if the message he takes from another victory is the public wants him to implement his program. But if he sees it as a personal mandate for micro-managing - for government run by paperwork and photo opportunity - it will risk stalling his program.
United States health care
Health plan gains support in House - House Democrats on Thursday closed in on the votes they need to pass sweeping healthcare legislation, as party leaders introduced a 1,990-page bill designed to guarantee near-universal coverage for the first time in the nation’s history - Los Angeles Times
Thanks for the ride … and billions in fees - When Macquarie’s satellites were launched, investors happily strapped themselves in. Now the funds are falling to Earth, write Stuart Washington and Michael Evans in the Sydney Morning Herald
Macquarie on the hop, with core profits under pressure - Malcolm Maiden says in the Melbourne Age that the profit result was the product of some big positive and negative financial swings, all associated one way or another with the crisis. They will be less evident from here on — and as they fall away, a decline in Macquarie’s underlying profit is going to be exposed
Labor threatens climate walkout - The Rudd Government has questioned the value of continuing to negotiate with the Opposition after its Leader in the Senate, Nick Minchin, said the Coalition might not vote for the emissions trading scheme even if Labor accepted every change being demanded - Sydney Morning Herald
Liberals clash over climate stance - The Opposition is again in a shambles on climate change, with two senior frontbenchers at odds over the party’s emissions trading stance - Melbourne Age
House prices leap $6000 a month - A typical Melbourne house now costs just under $500,000 after surging $6000 a month since December. The rate of increase is the fastest in the nation, jumping 12.6 per cent in the first nine months of the year - Melbourne Age
Median cost of a Sydney house tops $600,000 - The latest RP Data-Rismark property index shows prices in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra continuing to climb apparently unaffected by a slowdown hitting other state capitals - Sydney Morning Herald
Crackdown on rooming houses - Unscrupulous rooming house operators will be hounded out of the industry and families in crisis offered emergency accommodation under a State Government plan to reduce homelessness in Victoria - Melbourne Age
Drinkers in a fizz over bubbly war - Woolworths-owned Dan Murphy’s and the Coles-owned Vintage Cellars and First Choice stores have for weeks engaged in a ferocious day-to-day battle to win over the hearts, minds and palates of sparkling wine and imported champagne drinkers - Melbourne Herald Sun
Move-on powers plan for Fortitude Valley and CBD - Police want people caught misbehaving or with a violent record to be banned from the City and Fortitude Valley. The call is part of the police submission to a parliamentary inquiry to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence - Brisbane Courier Mail
Chief justice rules out a repeat of Kerr’s err - The nation’s top judge would not give legal advice to the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, about dismissing the Prime Minister in a constitutional crisis and says no one in his position ever should - Sydney Morning Herald
Revealed: drivers freed to speed - Previously secret RTA figures dealing with camera-detected speeding offences appear to expose a policy of allowing a 10per cent tolerance before a penalty is applied -Sydney Morning Herald
Austrade played role in banknote affair - Australia’s trade agency Austrade has emerged as a key player in the multimillion-dollar bribery scandal involving the Reserve Bank and Vietnam -Melbourne Age
Going berko over a bisycho - Miranda Devline courts another big mail bag writing in the Sydney Morning Herald about the way between motorists and cyclists
Going beyond the boundary - The Phillip Island case, in which two 18-year-old women were allegedly gang raped, has (once again) raised community alarm - indeed, outrage - about the spectre of out-of-control young footballers preying on women - Melbourne Age
WA State schools denying students university chance - Thousands of State school Year 12 students are being denied the chance to go to university because they are taking easier subject options more often than their private school counterparts - The West Australian
The stockmarket seemed very happy with the United States’ gross domestic product figures out overnight but there is little joy in them for the country’s unemployed. The Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman put the 3.5% growth figure into a little perspective on his New York Times blog this morning when he pointed out that the growth rate was not remotely enough to make any real headway against the unemployment problem. He illustrated the past relationship between growth and unemployment with this little scatterplot:
Krugman commented that “basically, we’d be lucky if growth at this rate brought unemployment down by half a percentage point per year. At this rate, we wouldn’t reach anything that feels like full employment until well into the second Palin administration”.