Friday, 20 November 2009

Media wrap - Liberals split over climate change policy



POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Emissions trading scheme

Turnbull loses vital ETS ally – Malcolm Turnbull is facing growing shadow cabinet pressure to vote down the government's emissions trading bills, with former minister Tony Abbott abandoning his earlier support for the Opposition Leader's strategy to try to amend and pass the scheme – The Australian

Turnbull urged to lead battle on ETS – Emboldened Coalition rebels have signalled to Malcolm Turnbull he should remain as leader and run the campaign against Kevin Rudd's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme through to next year's election if the shadow cabinet or backbenchers reject the government's compromise – The Australian

Climate sceptics pledge to defy carbon bill – Climate change sceptics united in their most public show of defiance yesterday as the Rudd Government flagged extra sitting days so the Senate could pass its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. Senior Liberal Senator Nick Minchin, who is vehemently opposed to the plan, urged his colleagues to again vote down the Bill – Brisbane Courier Mail

Turnbull burnt by revolt on climate – More than half the Coalition's 37 senators have formally declared their opposition to Malcolm Turnbull's desire to cut a deal with Labor on the emissions trading scheme, setting up a showdown next week that many fear could tear the Opposition apart – Sydney Morning Herald

Liberals at war over climate – The Opposition has descended into open chaos on climate change, with senior MPs now publicly at loggerheads and more senators threatening to defy leader Malcolm Turnbull. In an escalation of infighting, prominent Liberal moderate Mal Washer accused Senate leader Nick Minchin of using climate change to pursue factional warfare on behalf of the party's conservatives – Melbourne Age

Economic matters

Reserve clears banks to lift interest rates – The Reserve Bank has given banks a green light to increase mortgage rates, saying that their margins ''have actually declined a little over the past two years'' – Sydney Morning Herald

OECD warns on stimulus spending – The OECD has urged the Rudd government to review its $48 billion infrastructure stimulus spending to make sure it delivers value for money – The Australian

Curb spending, OECD tells AustraliaThe West Australian

Australia ahead of the pack on jobless – The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says Australia's unemployment rate has stabilised and will not reach either the peak of 8.5 per cent predicted in the May Budget or the lower peak of 6.75 per cent forecast in this month's mid-year budget review. The OECD's assessment, that the unemployment rate will touch just 6.3 per cent next year before turning down – Melbourne Age

Immigration

PM's 'special deal' leaves kids in lock-up - The Prime Minister told parliament last month that "the Indonesian authorities have advised the government that women and children will be offered the option of staying in a house near the Tanjung Pinang detention facility". That has not happened. Instead, the women and children have been separated from the rest of their families and locked in a separate jail block, adjoining the main building – The Australian

Overseas students buy their way in with illegal kickbacks – Desperate overseas students are allegedly paying bribes of up to $100,000 to Queensland businesses to illegally obtain permanent residency visas – Brisbane Courier Mail

Leadership

PM accused of flogging dead parrot over asylum-seekers – Kevin Rudd has been attacked as a compulsive embroiderer of the truth and pathologically unable to answer straight questions on issues such as border security. The opposition yesterday likened the Prime Minister to a character in a Monty Python sketch as he continued to reject its charge that he gave Sri Lankan asylum-seekers a special deal to entice them to leave the Oceanic Viking off Indonesia this week – The Australian

Rees: once a pariah, now a pin-up boy – In the space of a week, Nathan Rees has gone from leper to flavour of the month. The extent of the turnaround, following Mr Rees's spectacular performance at Labor's annual state conference last weekend, has become clear over the past 48 hours, as the NSW Premier has taken his party reform roadshow to Canberra – The Australian

Political life


Health fears for dozy MP Fran Bailey – A sleep expert has said the member for McSnoozin' Fran Bailey may have a medical condition – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Protests

TV's favourite gardener Peter Cundall arrested – Celebrity gardener Peter Cundall was arrested outside the Tasmanian Parliament House in Hobart yesterday. The retired ABC presenter was with a protest group demanding a Royal Commission into the approval of Gunns' Bell Bay pulp mill in the state's north – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Lobbying

McKim apology to Federal – Greens leader Nick McKim has apologised for accusing Federal Hotels of backing a mysterious political lobby group – Hobart Mercury

The law

More power for chief justices – Federal judges could be ordered to undergo health checks and take time off the bench to finish judgments under changes to the power of chief justices. The reforms, which passed the Senate yesterday, will give the heads of the Federal Court, Family Court and Federal Magistrates Court far more control than other judicial leaders in AustraliaThe Australian

Aboriginal affairs

MHR irked by delay in racial inequality act recall - Lingiari MHR Warren Snowdon said the legislation would be reinstated in the Northern Territory with a "package" of other proposals. "It's disappointing that we won't be able to get it out this year probably, but nevertheless, it's very important that the announcement is made," he said – Northern Territory News

Scientology

Scientology practices 'putting people at risk' – Dangerous dismissal of psychiatry and mental health problems must be part of a Senate inquiry into the Church of Scientology, a Melbourne cult-counsellor said yesterday – Melbourne Age

Opinions

Pass the carbon deal - Heather Ridout in The Australian reminds the politicians that to provide the certainty that will drive lasting change, the fundamentals of a climate policy need bipartisan backing.

Day 'the Trellis' Ellis trounced Hulk Hogan - It's a demonstration of just how odd politics is at the moment that yesterday's Canberra highlight was a public arm wrestle between the Sports Minister, Kate Ellis, and the pro wrestler Hulk Hogan, writes Annabel Crabb in the Sydney Morning Herald

Hysteria revisited: 25 years later the world still spins – Richard Ackland in the Sydney Morning Herald attends a wonderful celebration in Canberra to mark the silver anniversary of the passage of the Sex Discrimination Act and recalls how the fearmongering and exaggeration that accompanied the opposition to the Hawke government's Sex Discrimination Bill is like a weird rewind of what we're hearing now in opposition to a proposed bill of rights.

Minchin's emissions opposition a direct challenge to Turnbull – Michelle Grattan in the Melbourne Age says Nick Minchin, the Liberals' Senate leader, is playing a very edgy political game as he tries - in a direct challenge to Malcolm Turnbull - to get the Opposition to vote down the emissions trading scheme. It's high risk for Turnbull, Minchin and the Liberals.

Through a glass, darkly - Raising the drinking age won't change our tradition of booze-fuelled violence writes Chris Middendorp in the Melbourne Age

Elsewhere

Indonesia

Indonesia's gecko-gate – The cancellation last week by Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of his trip here is hardly a sign of deterioration in the bilateral relationship. Regardless of issues between Australia and Indonesia over asylum-seekers, Yudhoyono would have to cancel anyway; he is up to his neck in an enormous domestic scandal that many Indonesians say is starting to look like their Watergate – The Australian

The Taliban

Local links to master Taliban strategist – The veteran mujaheddin leader once married to Australian woman Rabiah Hutchinson has re-emerged as a key political and military strategist for the Taliban in its insurgency in Afghanistan. Egyptian Mustafa Hamid, also known as Abu Walid al-Misri, has authored a series of articles in the official Taliban magazine and on Islamist websites in the past two months, outlining the Taliban's push to retake Afghanistan and re-establish the Islamic Emirate overthrown by US forces in 2001 – The Australian

BUSINESS

Bring it on, declares James Packer – James Packer's combative demand that Jodee Rich and the special purpose liquidator put up or shut up over the collapse of One.Tel could open another long legal chapter in the saga of the failed telco – The Australian

ENVIRONMENT

Heat's on to approve carbon plan – Kevin Rudd has seized on high temperatures across southeast Australia this week as proof of climate change and the need for the opposition to back his proposed carbon emissions trading system. Mr Rudd has also used the data to challenge opponents who doubted the reality of climate change to examine current weather patterns and reconsider their positions. But leading climatologist Blair Trewin, of the National Climate Centre, said the heatwave could not "definitively" be linked to climate change – The Australian

Outlook 'worst in four years' – The fire outlook for this season is the worst in four years -- even accounting for 2006 and 2007 when more than a million hectares burned in Victoria -- analysis by the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre shows – The Australian

States on 'catastrophic' fire alertSouth Australia was on a bushfire knife edge last night as "catastrophic" conditions driven by record November temperatures, high winds and possible lightning strikes threatened to set the state ablaze ahead of a cool change today – The Australian

Japan's whaling fleet sets sail under pressure – Japanese whalers have set out for waters off the Australian Antarctic Territory - the third season since the Rudd Government came to power hoping to end Southern Ocean whaling – Melbourne Age

MEDIA

TV set-top will put internet on the box – The internet is about to become the de facto fourth commercial television network after Telstra confirmed it would launch a digital set-top box to make it easier to watch internet video on your TV – The Australian

Telstra TV ends the sport rort – Telstra’s much-vaunted television launch via its T-Box set-top box must surely ring alarm bells in Communication Minister Stephen Conroy's head: the time has come to end protection of free-to-air television. Telstra will have the ability to deliver all its internet programming on to a television set instead of a computer screen. This seems to effectively bypass the anti-siphoning rules which grant free-to-air television first grab at a long list of sports and events – The Australian

LIFE

The drink

Raise the drinking age, says NSW's top cop Andrew Scipione – NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione called on the State Government to consider raising the legal drinking age and said it is a debate the country must have to address booze-fuelled violence – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Call to lift legal drinking age above 18 and save lives – There were calls to lift the legal drinking age above 18 yesterday under plans for an Australia-wide crackdown on booze-fuelled crime. The legislative change could save thousands of lives, according to experts – Brisbane Courier Mail

Drinking age rise dismissed – Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon has dismissed calls to increase the drinking age to 19, but acknowledged that 70 young people are admitted to hospital every week and four die because of alcohol abuse – Melbourne Age

War on happy hour - Thirsty Territorians may soon have to kiss goodbye to happy hour. NT Police acting Commissioner Bruce Wernham said the "unsavoury lure" must be banned to reduce binge drinking and drunken violence in the NT – Northern Territory News

Cats

Cat curfew plan to save parklife - Councils across NSW are dusting off decade-old legislation in a bid to crack down on irresponsible cat owners and prevent the annual loss of thousands of native birds, lizards and animals. Under the Companion Animals Act 1998, councils have the power to declare cats caught roaming the streets a "nuisance" and impose strict restrictions, or slug owners hefty fines for repeat offenders – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Horses

Federal Government fails to move on Ramzan Kadyrov's Melbourne Cup winnings for Mourilyan – The Federal Government has less than a week to decide whether to freeze $420,000 in Melbourne Cup prizemoney due to be sent to Chechen leader and alleged tyrant Ramzan Kadyrov – Melbourne Herald Sun

Land rights

Tribal war on native title – A verbal war has broken out among key Aboriginal groups over a native title claim on land stretching from Adelaide to Kangaroo IslandAdelaide Advertiser
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