Monday, 21 December 2009

Media wrap - The Copenhagen post mortems continue aplenty




COPENHAGEN CONFERENCE

Australian government pledges to match world on carbon pollution targetsAustralia will press ahead with putting a price on carbon pollution despite world leaders' failure to reach a legally binding agreement on reducing global warming.  The Government, which has said it aims to cut greenhouse gas output by between 5 and 25 per cent, will now set a more exact target next February, when other nations reveal the size of any cuts they are prepared to make. Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said: "We will do no more, but no less, than what the rest of the world is doing." – Melbourne Herald Sun

Copenhagen hands Kevin Rudd an emissions trading scheme dilemma – The Rudd government faces a dramatically more difficult task in selling its emissions trading scheme as a result of the weak result from the Copenhagen conference, which has delayed critical decisions on national targets and international timelines – The Australian

Failure puts heat on Kevin Rudd – Lenore Taylor in The Australian writes that even the 100-odd national leaders who had invested so much time and political capital in this negotiation could not pretend the outcome was good. It was too bad even for a greenwash.

The day the Earth stood still- In a faltering step that nearly all concede is too little to avert a climate crisis, the majority of world leaders will adopt the first international agreement that recognises global warming must stay below two degrees to avoid dangerous climate change – Sydney Morning Herald

Many players at Copenhagen climate summit, but pact was the work of just two – The Copenhagen outcome shows the world it has to get used to two crucial new realities: that the G2 -- China and the US -- rule, and that China will do what it says, no more and no less – The Australian

Summit result positive, Chinese declare - China has defended the 11th-hour climate change deal at Copenhagen as a success, despite the lack of legally binding emissions targets or an agreement on who will pay for greenhouse gas cuts – Melbourne Age

Match words with deeds, and time is ticking: scientists – Despite the best efforts of climate change campaigners to distribute ticking alarm clocks to delegates at Copenhagen, and the enormous stopwatch carried during the negotiations by United Nations' climate chief, Yvo De Boer, time is inexorably running out to avert dangerous climate change – Sydney Morning Herald

Climate change talks trigger a train reaction at Newcastle – Environmentalists chained themselves to a coal train and rail tracks near Newcastle Port, north of Sydney, yesterday to protest over the outcome of the Copenhagen climate talks – The Australian

Business calls for carbon plan rethink to cut greenhouse emissions – Business groups have called for a rethink of the Rudd government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, after the Copenhagen climate change talks failed to set targets or timetables to cut greenhouse gases – The Australian

Kevin Rudd makes second bid for ETS tax despite failure in Copenhagen agreement –The Rudd Government will press ahead with its plan to put a price tag on carbon pollution even though the leaders of other nations refused to reach a legally binding agreement on reducing global warming in Copenhagen. Sydney Daily Telegraph

Tony Abbott argues for climate change re-think by Kevin Rudd – The weaker-than-expected climate deal in Copenhagen means Kevin Rudd should go back to the drawing board with Australia's scheme to cut carbon emissions, Tony Abbott argued yesterday – Brisbane Courier Mail

Result vindicates us, Abbott claimsSydney Morning Herald

Heat turned up on Liberal Party – Steve Lewis writes in the Melbourne Herald Sun that Tony Abbott may be rejoicing over the comparative failure of the Copenhagen summit, but he and his colleagues still have much hard thinking to do.

Copenhagen collapse shows the power of polluters over politicians – writes Greens Senator Bob Brown in the Melbourne Herald Sun

Weak outcome a boost for Abbott -  says Michelle Grattan in the Sydney Morning Herald


Rudd's green credentials a lot of hot air - Kevin Rudd, frenetic in Copenhagen, would have us believe he is an environmental statesman. He is certainly trying. But he risks appearing to be an environmental blowhard – Paul Sheehan in the Sydney Morning Herald

Cool heads needed now the heat is on – Phillip Coorey in the Sydney Morning Herald writes that the next time the Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, is accused of being an environmental sell-out, spare a thought for Greg Hunt. The Opposition environment spokesman could be considered Parliament's foremost authority on, and one-time greatest advocate for, a market-based mechanism to reduce carbon emissions.

Clearly the accord is not enough, but at least it's a start – says Ben Cubby in the Sydney Morning Herald
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POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Economic matters

Tax deals encourage more work – Millions of people on welfare will get incentives to work longer and mum-and-dad investors will get a boost in bank savings as part of a massive tax blueprint – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Immigration

First of Oceanic Viking's asylum seekers arrive – The first of 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers off the Australian Customs ship Oceanic Viking have left Indonesia, with two granted resettlement in Australia – Sydney Morning Herald

Refugees look to Canada - The Government yesterday announced that 15 of those who refused to leave the Oceanic Viking last month have left Indonesia, many bound for possible resettlement in CanadaMelbourne Age

Political correctness

Merry Christmas back in place after Parramatta Council dumps Seasons Greetings signs – Councils have turned their backs on political correctness, reinstating the "Merry Christmas" greeting to its rightful place – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Polls

John Brumby topples Mike Rann as the country's most popular ALP premier - John Brumby has toppled Mike Rann as the country's most popular Labor premier and retained a thumping lead over his Coalition opponents. The latest Newspoll survey, exclusive to The Australian, shows the decade-old ALP government has a lead of 57 per cent to 43 per cent over the opposition after the distribution of preferences – The Australian

Development

Big Red struts her stuff, and the sky's no limit - Standing on the northern tip of Barangaroo's stretch of concrete, parts of which will soon be returned to the harbour, the former prime minister was on hand yesterday as the Premier, Kristina Keneally, announced the winning design to redevelop stage one of Barangaroo. Only half an hour earlier, executives from the construction giant Lend Lease learned they had trumped rival Brookfield Multiplex for the right to redevelop the 150-year-old former maritime industrial site – Sydney Morning Herald

Industrial relations

Building industry disputes plummetVictoria’s reputation for having a dispute-riddled commercial building industry has been transformed, with the risk of industrial problems plummeting in the five years since the building industry watchdog was created – Melbourne Age

Circuses

Events bill tops $80m - Taxpayer subsidies of Government-backed "major events" in Victoria have doubled to more than $80 million a year since Labor came to power 10 years ago – Melbourne Age

Transport

Opposition plays waiting game on the buses - Today the NSW Opposition will release the next phase of its transport policy, which includes doubling the number of buses on key routes and introducing services to routes that have been neglected – Sydney Morning Herald

Public service

'Low priority' public servants forced to relocate – Premier Anna Bligh's public service jobs guarantee has suffered a blow after 40 Primary Industries workers were told their jobs were 'low priority' and they would have to move elsewhere – Brisbane Courier Mail

Opinions

Dud forecasts that spring eternal - The overwhelming, plain-as-a-pikestaff economic lesson to be learnt from this year is that economists - whether official, market or media - have no idea what the future holds – Ross Gittins does some truth telling in the Sydney Morning Herald

We're dudded on water but no one rebels – Kenneth Davidson in the Melbourne Age says the question now is whether the Government is, in effect, becoming a kleptocracy with the passive co-operation of the Opposition, as all sides of politics refuse to justify or criticise my calculation that the cost of the Wonthaggi desalination plant will be $650 million a year over the next 30 years or $225 million a year more than if the project was financed with public debt.

BUSINESS

NAB's Axa bid is in the watchdog's sights – National Australia Bank's $13.3 billion move on Axa Asia Pacific (APH), which could see it crowned as the country's biggest insurance, wealth manager and banking business, will be closely examined by the competition watchdog, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission – The Australian

APRA to delay rule changes – The nation's bank regulator will delay the introduction of tough rules requiring banks to hold higher quality liquid assets for a further few years, while new global standards aimed at making banks safer are thrashed out – Melbourne Age

ENVIRONMENT

Protection for koalas delayed – The State Government has put off introducing regulations to protect koalas until March next year, with conservationists saying it is evidence Labor is more interested in appeasing developers than saving the animals – Brisbane Courier Mail

You have to be cruel to be kind to red gum forest, says industry – It is necessary to destroy parts of the Murray River red gum forest in order to save it, says the state's timber industry. The argument is based on the idea that fewer trees will be better able to share the river's dwindling water supply – Sydney Morning Herald

Call to stop $450m Hunter dam – The State Government is facing fresh calls to dump the construction of the $450 million Tillegra Dam - two new internal documents reveal serious concerns about the project's legality and its impact on the environment – Sydney Morning Herald

Household solar rebates burn through extra $500m – The household solar rebate scheme has blown a $500 million hole in the federal Environment Department's budget – Sydney Morning Herald

MEDIA

Online revolution changed the media game – James Chessell in The Australian takes a look at the changes

LIFE

Religion

Masses celebrate Mary MacKillop, bestower of miracles – To the believers, she is a bestower of miracles. But even those who scoff at such Catholic benediction will come to embrace Mary MacKillop as "one of their own" – The Australian


Speaking words of wisdom on how Mother Mary came to be - Vatican documents obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald reveal how a miracle is made. Saffron Howden reports from Penola, the home town of Mary MacKillop.

Pope declares Mary MacKillop's second 'miracle' – Mary MacKillop is remembered as a woman prepared to change with the times. So it was fitting that Catholic church leaders learnt she would finally become Australia's first saint via a miracle of modern technology - a flurry of text messages sent by a nun. Adelaide Advertiser

Sportmanship

Does this herald the return of the Ugly Aussies?Australia is in danger of reviving the "ugly Aussies" tag that has haunted the team for much of the past 30 years following its poor behaviour in the final Test against the West Indies in Perth – The Australian

Ugly Aussies put on notice – Australian captain Ricky Ponting will this week tell his players to clean up their act, admitting they "overstepped the mark" and were "embarrassed" by their antics in the WACA Test – SydneyDaily Telegraph

Consumer affairs

Your home-brand Christmas – The Federal Government has urged supermarket shoppers to buy generic this Christmas after new figures showed branded grocery prices were soaring but no-names were falling – Sydney Daily Telegraph

A $350,000 clue about Wagyu beef and steak - In a bid to crack down on lower-grade beef being sold as top-shelf wagyu, breeders are about to spend $350,000 on a education campaign – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Law and order

Wall of secrecy exposed in policing by state and federal crime commissions  - The NSW judiciary is becoming increasingly frustrated with the highly secretive state and federal crime commissions, with one magistrate slamming their actions as an "abuse of process". Referred to in legal circles as a virtual "star chamber", the NSW Crime Commission has royal commission-like powers and a hefty budget to investigate crime – Sydney Daily Telegraph


War grave

Centaur newsflash stirs memories for survivor Martin Pash – One of the few remaining survivors of the Centaur disaster was heading for the shops yesterday morning when he heard that shipwreck hunters had found the vessel on which he almost died – Brisbane Courier Mail

Charity

Charity loses $2m in controversial investment plan – The Fred Hollows Foundation lost more than $2 million with the investment bank Goldman Sachs JBWere last year, as the Australian head office of the international charity pursued an ambitious growth strategy that some of its international board members had opposed – Sydney Morning Herald
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