Thursday, 3 December 2009

Media wrap - And now it's the turn of Labor in New South Wales



POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Leadership – federal

Bring back work contracts – Tony Abbott has defiantly flagged the reintroduction of individual workplace agreements and given notice the Coalition will oppose the Rudd Government's next big reform - the federal takeover of public hospitals – Sydney Morning Herald

While Canberra kips, Abbott gets on his bike – Tony Wright in the Melbourne Age tells how Red Hill is famously steep and its road is twisting. Abbott pedalled up and back four times before he had done his morning self-flagellation.  

Kevin Rudd returns to Australia amid ETS debacle – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd flew home last night to find his ETS dumped, pressure mounting for an early election and his NSW colleagues again embarrassing him – Sydney Daily Telegraph

New leader plans bush whistlestop – Tony Abbott will move quickly to visit rural and regional Australia to underline his rejection of the Coalition's previous support of Kevin Rudd's climate change policies – The Australian

Underdog just raring to unleash the Mongrel within - Malcolm Turnbull was an aggressive Opposition leader. But Abbott, the onetime Oxford boxing blue, is so full of fight he sets a new benchmark – Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald

Elections

Kevin Rudd handed double-dissolution trigger as Senate rejects Emissions Trading Scheme again – Julia Gillard has given Opposition Leader Tony Abbott one last chance to pass Labor's emissions scheme, warning the Government will consider an election. Her early election warning came after the Government's emissions trading scheme legislation was defeated in the Senate 41 votes to 33 today despite two Liberals crossing the floor – Sydney Daily Telegraph

ETS vote gives Kevin Rudd double dissolution trigger – Voters could be sent to the polls early next year after the Coalition gave Kevin Rudd an early election trigger and dared him to fire the shot – Brisbane Courier Mail

Tropical storm brewing - Tony Abbott's people crunch the numbers that count most -- those that could pull off the next long shot of his career and bring down Kevin Rudd -- they should run the ruler carefully over regional Queensland. While aggregated national opinion polls show a sizeable majority of Australians want action on climate change, the view becomes more nuanced on the ground, where elections turn, removed from the beltway thinking of inner Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne – The Australian

Liberal Party voted against ETS out of `fear' of losing preselection – The two Liberal senators who crossed the floor yesterday to vote for Kevin Rudd's emissions trading system say many of their colleagues wanted to do the same, but feared losing their preselection or destabilising their new leader – The Australian

Leadership – New South Wales

Rees leadership under serious threat – There is a strong possibility New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees will face a no-confidence motion today. Anti Rees-forces are likely to call a special caucus meeting today, on what is the last sitting day of parliament for the year. Mr Rees all but confirmed that moves are continuing against him, issuing a statement saying he will not hand over the state to Joe Tripodi, Eddie Obeid and Frank Sartor – ABC News

Knives out for Rees as Sartor buries hatchet with Tripodi – The premiership of Nathan Rees is under threat today, with Frank Sartor preparing for a challenge and powerbrokers Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi jockeying to put Kristina Keneally up for the job. Labor's general secretary, Matt Thistlewaite, is understood to have met Mr Rees yesterday and told him he is backing Mr Sartor for any leadership challenge – Sydney Morning Herald

NSW Labor rebels ready to pounce on Nathan Rees – A formal petition to challenge Nathan Rees for the state leadership is expected to be issued as early as today, with a party room showdown to follow before the end of the week – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Nathan Rees on borrowed time as Premier – State Labor Party bosses are believed to have privately withdrawn support for Premier Nathan Rees, the final sign that his days may be numbered – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Right-wing warlords circle Rees for leadership challenge - NSW Premier Nathan Rees will face a challenge to his leadership today as right-wing warlords continue to seek a consensus candidate to become Labor's fourth premier in as many years. But as plotting continued in the corridors of Macquarie Street last night, it was far from clear that Mr Rees's enemies have the numbers to knock him off, even if they can unite behind a challenger – The Australian

Economic matters

Interest rate rip-offs - millions of reasons to hate the banks – There are 400 million reasons to switch banks - Westpac will pocket more than $400 million a year from this week's merciless pre-Christmas interest rate hike, ripping the cash bonanza straight out of the pockets of struggling homeowners – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Environmental matters

Rudd puts heat back on Libs on ETS – The Rudd Government says it will try again in February to get the emissions trading scheme through Parliament, in a move that will put fresh pressure on the Liberal Party but delay any double-dissolution election – Melbourne Age

Business begs Abbott to rethink opposition to market-based emissions trading scheme – Key business groups have urged the opposition to embrace a market-based scheme to tackle climate change and deliver industry the certainty it needs to invest in energy-saving measures – The Australian

Tony Abbott's tax-free carbon plan – Tony Abbott plans to fight a climate change election using land management and energy efficiency measures to slash greenhouse emissions instead of an emissions trading scheme or a carbon tax – The Australian


We'll try again in February: GillardSydney Morning Herald


Fears lack of certainty will put planning at risk – The Coalition may have won the praise of the minerals lobby in blocking the emissions trading scheme but other companies and business groups are bemoaning the lack of certainty – Sydney Morning Herald

Political life

Joyce ready to move to frontbench - The Nationals Leader in the Senate, Barnaby Joyce, says he is likely to accept an offer to move to the Opposition frontbench. Senator Joyce says he has spoken with the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, about possible portfolio responsibilities – ABC News

Premier Mike Rann quizzed about refusal to take a lie detector test - Ministers jeered Opposition water spokesman Mitch Williams in question time today, branding him "grubby" and "desperate" for asking the Premier why he had "changed his position on lie detectors" – Adelaide Advertiser

The Opposition

Recasting the shadow front bench – Tony has moved to draw rebel Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce into the tent, saying he would be happy to offer him a front bench position under his leadership – Sydney Morning Herald

Barnaby Joyce forgoes freedom for influence – Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce has agreed to serve on Tony Abbott's front bench as part of a new political partnership both hope will yield a 2010 election victory. Senator Joyce's agreement to join Mr Abbott's inner circle yesterday came in stark contrast to his previous refusal to serve Malcolm Turnbull so he would remain free to criticise Liberal Party policy – The Australian

Polls

Poll blow to Anna Bligh as Labor celebrates its rise – Anna Bligh has earned the inauspicious title of the least popular premier in the past 20 years as she fails to resurrect support for her beleaguered Government. As Labor last night celebrated the anniversary of the Goss government's historic 1989 election victory, a new Galaxy Poll has revealed the perilous state of the party on several fronts – Brisbane Courier Mail

Immigration

Island asylum seekers face sleeping in tents - Asylum seekers could be forced to sleep in tents while detained on Christmas Island because officials have run out of room to house them – The West Australian

Anger at Christmas Island tent city – The Rudd government has been forced to erect tents to house Christmas Island's growing asylum-seeker population amid howls of outrage from the opposition and refugee lobby – The Australian

Detention centre blows the budgetChristmas Island will cost the Federal Government $45 million more than it budgeted for this year as it expands the overstretched detention centre to house hundreds more asylum seekers – Melbourne Age

Foreign affairs

Rudd backs Obama push in Afghanistan – The Rudd Government has endorsed a US plan to send more troops to Afghanistan but held firm on its refusal to deploy additional Australian soldiers – Sydney Morning Herald

US troops to partner Afghans in combat - The announcement yesterday by the top US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has major implications for Australian troops serving in a mentoring and training role, amid a foreshadowed coalition switch to more intensive combat operations – The Australian

Petrol prices

Government acts on petrol prices - competition cops will investigate whether fuel companies are duping motorists by colluding over the weekly petrol price cycle. Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs Craig Emerson wrote to the ACCC yesterday requesting the probe – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Aboriginal affairs

Cash injections not helping health of Indigenous population – Federal overnment funding for indigenous health programs has increased by more than 400 per cent in less than 15 years but there's little to show for it, a damning report has found – Brisbane Courier Mail

Bureaucrats take over Pearson's school plan – A Queensland government decision to adopt a revolutionary education syllabus for Aboriginal children in two disadvantaged Cape York communities, devised by Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson, will take effect from January. However, the Queensland cabinet's decision that the program be run by the Education Department, with Mr Pearson excluded from any further input, appears to have deepened divisions between him and the Bligh government – The Australian

Health and hospitals

Rees advocates national health system – A single national agency would fund all public hospitals, medicines, doctor visits and public health programs under a plan by the Premier, Nathan Rees, that would keep the state involved in health provision while reducing its responsibility for the political minefield of public hospitals – Sydney Morning Herald

Extra beds still not enough, says AMA - WA doctors say the State Government's long-awaited blueprint for Perth's public hospitals which promises 567 more beds by 2015 is unlikely to be enough to cope with demand – The West Australian

Opinions

Rudd has trigger - but a March election unlikely -  says Michelle Grattan in the Melbourne Age

Liberal party making policy on the run – The Liberal Party is now making policy on the run -- the direct result of Tony Abbott's "accidental" election as Liberal Party leader – Paul Kelly in The Australian

Liberals stick to emission targets by other means – Lenore Taylor in The Australian writes that Tony Abbott is sticking with the most critical climate change policy for which his predecessor had offered bipartisan support -- not the emissions trading scheme itself, but the emissions reduction targets it was designed to reach.

PM must go to the voters early or risk being labelled a fraud – is the opinion of Peter van Onselen in The Australian

Children deserve better - It will shame all of us if our Government can't find the funds for child protection writes Paul Austin in the Melbourne Age

Taxpayers’ hard-earned cash at risk in this climate – Piers Akerman in the Sydney Daily Telegraph writes that with the second rejection of Labor’s ETS Bill, Kevin Rudd has no option but to call an early election. Rudd previously stated that global warming is the greatest moral challenge of our time and that our children and grandchildren would suffer if Australia did not pass his legislation. He should not now walk away from the challenge he personally set down for the nation. But he has. He has called for the Bill to be reintroduced next year.

Kevin Rudd's insincerity cost Labor the ETS – argues Dennis Shanahan in The Australian. Because it was too cute by half in playing politics with the Liberal Party's leadership, the government is left with a double-dissolution election trigger it cannot pull and doesn't even want to acknowledge it has.

Tony Abbott's rise starts a great political battle – It would be a tragedy for our political culture, writes Greg Sheridan in The Australian if the commentariat is successful in ruling Tony Abbott out of contention for national leadership on the grounds that he is a conservative Catholic, as though that condition were some kind of communicable disease requiring isolation

We should match our military pride with a troop pledge - If we think that we have a special relationship with the US, and every aspect of our defence and security policy is based on this assumption, then now is not the time to hang back, hoping not to be noticed – Jim Molan in The Australian


Brave women follow conscience – David Marr in the Sydney Morning Herald looks at the end of the emissions trading affair and praises the two Liberal Senators who crossed the floor.

Malcolm Turnbull the carbon slayer, now biochar – is the harsh headline above Arthur Sinodinos’s piece in The Australian where he writes that Saddam Hussein was reputed to have paid the families of Palestinian suicide bombers $US25,000. There is no evidence he approached the Turnbull family, but he need not have bothered. Malcolm was happy to strap on the dynamite gratis and detonate it in the Coalition partyroom.

Libs must fix women woes – There is much to like about Tony Abbott. He's funny, unaffected and generally sincere - at least when he's not flip-flopping on climate change. But he's terribly old-fashioned when it comes to women's role in society writes Jill Singer in the Melbourne Herald Sun

Interest rate moves part of big picture – Alan Wood in The Australian says the idea that the central bank is stepping on the brake while the government still has its foot on the accelerator is simply wrong.

18 months tall order for Obama's surge – Barack Obama's decision to boost US forces by an extra 30,000 troops is a hugely optimistic bet that the Taliban insurgency can be rolled over in the next 18 months – Patrick Walters in The Australian

BUSINESS

Westpac could reap $230m from early rate move – Westpac’s decision to almost double this week's Reserve Bank's interest rate rise could earn it an extra $230 million next financial year, according to a leading banking analyst – Sydney Morning Herald


Kev's pennies won't balance these books - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's richer half, Therese Rein, has taken a multimillion-dollar hit from having to flog her Australian job placement agency and expand her empire into a recession-ravaged EuropeSydney Morning Herald

ENVIRONMENT

River polluters to duck scrutiny as audits stop - An environmental monitoring program that has caught thousands of businesses dumping poisons into the Swan and Canning rivers has run out of money, potentially leaving industrial run-off riddled with hormones, heavy metals and pesticides to flow unchecked into the waterways – The West Australian

Wetland destruction means migratory birds will starve – Migratory shorebirds face starvation from the planned destruction of their wetland "pit stops" in South KoreaThe Australian

Act and protect the castle: science chief - On the same day the Government's emissions trading scheme failed to pass the Senate for the second time, Penny Sackett said the economy was dependent on the environment and that there were genuine opportunities for countries wanting to be leaders in ''a new global green economy''.

UN panel head predicts agreement - The head of the UN's intergovernmental panel on climate change believes next week's Copenhagen summit will produce a ''fairly strong'' agreement but he accepts it will not include legally binding emission targets for every country – Sydney Morning Herald

MEDIA

Seven's Chris Bath lags behind Nine's Peter Overton in latest TV news ratings – Seven’s decision to play musical chairs with its new news anchors left viewers switching to its arch enemy Channel 9 – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Court rules against A Current Affair over defamation of Sydney surgeon – Channel Nine defamed a Sydney surgeon when it wrongly depicted him as a "monster" who treated a breast implant patient as a "laboratory rat," a Sydney court heard yesterday – Sydney Daily Telegraph


Google to let news groups set reader limits – Google says it will let publishers set a daily limit on the number of articles readers can view for free through the internet giant's search engine – The Australian

LIFE

The drink

Push to rein in pubs as blitz pays off – Earlier closing times, bans on selling shots and lockouts imposed on 14 Newcastle pubs have slashed the number of assaults by 31 per cent and could see similar restrictions extended across the state – Sydney Morning Herald

Newcastle topped assault list – The city of Newcastle had the highest rates of assault and drink driving when police asked the Liquor Administration Board to impose restrictions on four pubs in July 2007.

Restrictions? We'll drink to that, say hotel licensees – The Sydney Morning Herald talks with Newcastle publicans where liquor selling restrictions apply.

Blitz on overly festive drink drivers - City traffic inspector Greg Parr said police were committing resources to minimise road deaths and injuries during a national drink-driving blitz, which ends on December 12 – Melbourne Age

Cops let DUI woman drive home – Police let a woman drive home moments after she was booked for medium-range drink-driving, a court has heard – Northern Territory News

Urban planning

Expert calls for freeway projects to be scrapped – Building more freeways across Melbourne to solve individual traffic bottlenecks will not solve the city's graver transport problems in the long term, a conference on the city's future growth will hear today – Melbourne Age

Kiss of life to kickstart a revitalised CBD – The $450 million Adelaide Oval redevelopment, which will bring AFL football to the city within five years, will spearhead a revitalisation of the city centre – Adelaide Advertiser

Law and order

SA police can now crush hoon drivers' cars – Tough new laws will give police the power to crush hoon drivers' cars.

SA Premier Mike Rann assault charges downgraded - have filed lesser charges against the man accused of assaulting Premier Mike Rann - meaning the case will not be heard before a jury – Adelaide Advertiser


Abortion

Plea to make 'responsible' choices – Tony Abbott says abortion policy is not on his political radar but he still feels strongly about the issue and would urge women to think twice before undergoing the procedure – Sydney Morning Herald


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