Friday, 13 November 2009

Media Wrap: Rupert Murdoch Punished by British Prime Minister

THE FRONT PAGES

POLITICS AND ECONOMICS
Elsewhere






Australia

Water

Anna Bligh's $3bn water blowout after Traveston decision – Taxpayers must fork out more than $3 billion because the State Government refuses to pump recycled water into southeast Queensland dams. Premier Anna Bligh's decision to replace the failed Traveston Crossing Dam project with energy-hungry desalination plants – while leaving the $2.4 billion recycled water pipeline network largely idle – will add to the state's budget woes – Brisbane Courier Mail


Anna Bligh defies Traveston dam fallout – Anna Bligh has insisted she will lead Labor at the 2012 state election after the demise of the Traveston Dam sparked speculation about her position – Brisbane Courier Mail


Peter Garrett had difficult decision to make on Traveston – Before we rush to condemn or congratulate Peter Garrett for his decision to reject the Traveston Dam, we should try to imagine ourselves in his place. Garrett and his advisers must have felt confident the range of biodiversity protection measures built into the dam design would not achieve their objective of protecting the lungfish and the turtles – Brisbane Courier Mail

Easing restrictions would save water, gardens: Jon Lamb – Gardeners have increased the pressure on the State Government over water restrictions, saying there are more effective ways to manage water while preserving dying plants. As the Government yesterday continued to put off calls for changes to water usage rules, gardeners pleaded for more flexibility and swifter action – Adelaide Advertiser

Double water ration now – Keelan – Respected  and outspoken Adelaide garden expert Michael Keelan said the government's watering times should be doubled immediately to six hours a week - enough to sustain most gardens – Adelaide Advertiser

It's time to ease watering restrictions: Jon Lamb – The Adelaide Advertiser’s gardening writer gets his column elevated up to the news pages to say that experienced gardeners know the way to keep their gardens alive through heatwave conditions is to soak the plant’s root system before the heatwave, not after. One hundred litres of water applied to a shrub or small tree before a heatwave is far more effective than applying 500, maybe 1000 litres, after the event.

Experts torn on plight of Mary River turtles – For the Mary River turtles, it was a question of whether they would be happier living in a $1.8 billion dam, in the care of government officials and researchers, or a winding river surrounded by dairy farmers and hippies – The Australian


Labor ignored warning on $450m Hunter dam project – The $450 million Tillegra Dam is a dud which will not be needed for at least 30 years, according to a briefing note prepared last year by a senior public servant for the Water Minister, Phil Costa – Sydney Morning Herald

Leadership

Anna Bligh spurns mutiny talk – Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has dismissed rumblings from her back bench and parts of the union movement over her leadership style as the sort of criticism that comes with making hard decisions – The Australian


PM Kevin Rudd branded an 'economic illiterate' – Former Labor finance minister Peter Walsh has savaged the Prime Minister as an "economic illiterate" in the wake of the government's decision to reject the Productivity Commission recommendations that would have slashed book prices. Mr Walsh slammed Kevin Rudd's reform credentials and style of governing. "The Prime Minister is an economic illiterate," he told The Australian, "an economic illiterate and an egomaniac". "He won't take any hard decisions. He's capricious. He sees himself as some sort of Platonic philosopher king." – The Australian

Political lurks and perks

Premier backs Tsang despite more revelations of gifts from builder – The Premier, Nathan Rees, yesterday resisted calls to stand down an upper house MP, Henry Tsang, after further revelations of Mr Tsang's failure to declare gifts and accommodation from construction group Hightrade – Sydney Morning Herald

Immigration

20 Oceanic Viking asylum seekers agree to leave ship – Up to to 20 of the 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers aboard the Oceanic Viking have finally agreed to leave the ship and enter an Indonesian detention centre – Brisbane Courier Mail


Oceanic Viking impasse set to end – Some of the 78 asylum-seekers on board the Oceanic Viking are prepared to leave the vessel, and may disembark in Indonesia as early as today, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. Approximately 20 of the Sri Lankans - most, if not all, of them already judged to be refugees - appear to have accepted the offer of the Rudd Government to resettle them in Australia in four to six weeks, part of a generous package of measures proposed to end a 3½ week impasse – Sydney Morning Herald

The staggering cost of refugee crisis – The bill for sheltering 78 Tamil asylum seekers who are refusing to leave an Australian patrol boat will top $1 million today. It is costing us more than $42,500 per day to keep the asylum seekers, who rejected a special deal that would allow them to jump the refugee queue, on the Oceanic Viking after it rescued them when their boat capsized – Sydney Daily Telegraph


Sign of end to Oceanic Viking boat standoff – Up to 20 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers were last night preparing to leave the Oceanic Viking as early as today, in the first signs of an end to the standoff that began almost four weeks ago – The Australian

Sri Lankan navy 'forcing refugees further afield' – A Sri Lankan naval crackdown on refugees attempting the short boat trip to India, and torrid conditions in Indian refugee camps, have forced many Tamils fleeing persecution to seek asylum in more distant nations such as Australia – The Australian

Foreign affairs

Let's get closer, says Rudd – Kevin Rudd has outlined plans to deepen military links with India, noting its increasing naval strength and economic power will give it greater power to influence global security – The Australian

Kevin Rudd refuses to buckle on refusal to sell uranium to India – Kevin Rudd has made clear he will not buckle on Australia's refusal to sell uranium to India just hours ahead of a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi – The Australian


Kevin Rudd is a global player – Greg Sheridan in The Australian reckons that something different is at work with Kevin Rudd and other world leaders. Rudd has gatecrashed the party of international leaders and quickly become an influential member.


Economic matters

Part-timers hold jobless below 6pc – Rapid growth in part-time employment last month has boosted hopes that Australia can keep its jobless rate below 6 per cent. Financial markets expect the labour market's extraordinary performance will lead the Reserve Bank to push its official rate up by 25 basis points at its December 1 meeting to 3.75 per cent – The Australian

An art attack in the doctor's waiting room – A little-known loophole in the federal government's stimulus package is fuelling a pre-Christmas boom in new art sales, with cashed-up doctors and dentists leading the pursuit of generous tax breaks for paintings purchased for waiting-room walls – The Australian

Industrial relations

Resource giants face maritime strikes – Shipping companies servicing the multi-billion-dollar offshore oil and gas sector face major disruption as the Maritime Union of Australia embarks on a series of strikes seeking massive increases in allowances and wages – The Australian

Freedom of speech

Clamour for action on league tables row – The Premier, Nathan Rees, dared the Opposition Leader, Barry O'Farrell, to take the Herald to court yesterday to secure a $55,000 fine after the paper published details of the test results of three schools in breach of Opposition-backed laws – Sydney Morning Herald

Law and order

New laws will target fight club kids – Students who stand by cheering as others are being bullied and those caught filming fights face tough new penalties being considered by the State Government. Organisers of fight clubs - which have claimed at least one teen's life in Sydney - will also be targeted for prosecution under recommendations delivered by a committee of the NSW Legislative Council – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Proceeds of crime laws take beating – The NSW government was scrambling to rewrite its proceeds of crime laws yesterday after the High Court declared a key section unconstitutional and "repugnant to the judicial process" – The Australian

Health

Emergency rooms fail to deliver: Queensland health figures – Emergency departments are failing to meet national performance targets in every area but non-urgent treatment, according to latest Queensland Health figures – Brisbane Courier Mail

Opinions

Rudd's plan for a new federalism is showing signs of strain – Michelle Grattan in nthe Melbourne Age finds that two years after Kevin Rudd promised Labor's harmonious, high achieving version of federalism - beyond the ''blame game'' - the new era in federal-state relations is showing a few strains.

Trick or treat? Truth behind the loopholes – Sue Dunlevy writes in the Sydney Daily Telegraph that Facing an uphill battle to get almost all her policies through the Senate, Health Minister Nicola Roxon is using her legal ingenuity to find ways of governing without parliamentary approval. The tricks she’s using to get her way have reaped hundreds of millions of dollars for the Federal Government.


Rudd’s reality deficit on Oceanic Viking 78 – Samantha Maiden in The Australian says Kevin Rudd’s rhetoric on Australia’s border protection policy does not match the reality of the special deal for the Oceanic Viking 78. The Prime Minister has talked the talk, but he hasn’t walked the walk on this claim on Monday.

Figures put ball in RBA court – Michael Stutchbury in The Australian says the economy’s resilience continues to surprise, so much so that even Treasury’s upgraded jobless forecast released only last week has started to look too pessimistic.

BUSINESS

Tax office misses its share of $2.3bn Myer float – The Australian Taxation Office is urgently pursuing private equity firm TPG for $452 million related to its cash windfall from the float of the Myer department store chain – The Australian


Myer float cash sent offshore by TPG equity firm – Texan private equity group TPG has sent offshore its share of the spoils from the Myer float, believed to be $1.4 billion, despite a belated tax bill of $452 million – Brisbane Courier Mail


Agencies pulled into ASIC net - The Australian Investments and Securities Commission has drawn credit rating agencies into the firing line, trying to make them more accountable for their actions – Sydney Morning Herald

ENVIRONMENT

Rudd set for Copenhagen climate change summit - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has confirmed he will attend the Copenhagen conference on climate change and has urged other world leaders to follow suit – Melbourne Age

MEDIA

Papers' people power – More than 15 million people, or about 87 per cent of the population aged 14 and over, read a newspaper in any given week in the year to September, according to the latest Roy Morgan Readership survey released yesterday. Weekend newspapers were read by about 11.5 million people in any given week, weekday papers by about 9.4 million and regional papers by about 2.8 million – The Australian

LIFE

Breastfeeding

Government to push for mothers to breastfeed newborns – Mothers will be urged to ditch the baby bottle under a controversial and potentially divisive five-year plan to boost breast milk feeding rates. State and federal health ministers today will endorse the plan and consider establishing a national breast milk bank – Brisbane Courier Mail

Pokies

Town's gamble against pokies strikes pay dirt – Few  people win against poker machines - the locals of the small Victorian town of Romsey are the exception. In a landmark decision that could serve as an inspiration for other communities fighting the introduction of or increase in poker machines, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has upheld a decision by the state's gambling regulator rejecting an application for 30 poker machines at the town's only pub – Melbourne Age
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