Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Media wrap - Hmong refugees are coming



POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Immigration

Refugees fast-tracked to resettlement from Operation Viking rescue – Forty of the 78 asylum seekers rescued at sea by the Oceanic Viking will be resettled this week, with 16 heading to Australia – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Oceanic Viking asylum seekers arrive today - Sixteen asylum seekers from the Oceanic Viking will arrive in Australia today as the Rudd Government works frantically to ensure the bulk of the group are sent to other countries – The West Australian

Australia offers new home for expelled Hmong – Some of the 4000 Hmong asylum seekers forcibly expelled from refugee camps in Thailand back into Laos will be resettled in Australia within a month – Melbourne Age

Minister opens door to Hmong refugees – The federal government has condemned the forced repatriation of 4000 ethnic Hmong to their native Laos, saying Australia's doors are open to genuine refugees. The Australian

Twist as Tamil refugees arrive today – Sixteen Tamil refugees rescued by the Oceanic Viking will begin arriving in Australia today, six via the Christmas Island detention centre – The Australian

Security
AFP secrets undermine air safetyAustralia’s police commissioners have warned of dangerous gaps in airport security, accusing federal law enforcement agencies of failing to share vital criminal intelligence and undermining efforts to stamp out organised crime – The Australian

Economic matters

Low earners promised annual $190 green boost - Acting Climate Change Minister Peter Garrett will today announce that new modelling has revealed more than 630,000 low-income households in Queensland will benefit from the Government's carbon pollution reduction scheme – Brisbane Courier Mail

ETS cash bonus for millions of families – The Federal Government has hit back at claims its emissions trading scheme will substantially drive up the cost of living, releasing figures showing the scheme's household compensation package will leave low-income households an average of $190 a year better off – Sydney Morning Herald

Tax cuts needed to attract investors – Investors will keep bypassing South Australia and spend millions interstate unless the tax system is overhauled, industry leaders warn. In the wake of an Institute of Public Affairs study which found SA business is slugged with the highest tax bill in the nation, business leaders and developers have called for reform to payroll and land taxes – Adelaide Advertiser

Public service

Outrage as officials pocket $36m in bonuses despite crisis - The performance payments of up to $50,000 were handed to more than 13,000 federal public servants at the height of the financial crisis, while the Rudd Government was urging wage restraint in the private sector – Brisbane Courier Mail

Ensuite for Greg Koppenol relief after six-year toilet saga – Finally, Greg Koppenol, the Queensland judge who threatened legal action six years ago after not getting an office ensuite bathroom, has scored the personal porcelain he coveted. The Bligh Government has confirmed Judge Koppenol relocated just before Christmas to chambers at the new $92 million Ipswich District Courthouse - and they include an ensuite bathroom – Brisbane Courier Mail

Transport

Kosky takes the myki: no trams, buses, tickets – Only a tiny number of Melburnians will be able to use the $1.35 billion myki smartcard after Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky yesterday launched the new ticket system for use on trains only. The Government failed to fulfil its promise, made in October, that myki would be available on trams and buses as well as trains by the end of 2009 – Melbourne Age

Aboriginal affairs

Some refusing jobs offered, says report – Some Aboriginal people are refusing to take jobs offered to them, the public servant heading one of the Northern Territory's main indigenous policies said – Northern Territory News

Welfare

Millions caught in welfare debt sting – Welfare recipients forced to pay back overpayments to Centrelink will be worse off from January 1 after the Government raised the repayment rate – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Industrial relations

Julia Gillard protects aged-care nurses' pay – The Rudd government has intervened on behalf of thousands of low-paid aged-care nurses in NSW and Queensland who faced significant wage cuts as a result of Labor's revamp of the nation's award system – The Australian

Opinions

Research key to balancing pay equity with jobs growth – Ian Harper recalls his time as part-time chairman of the Australian Fair Pay Commission – Melbourne Age

The visionary we need right now - It's 200 years since governor Lachlan Macquarie arrived in Sydney, yet the challenges he faced are remarkably similar to those haunting Premier Kristina Keneally in NSW today, argues Michael Duffy in the Sydney Morning Herald. So what lessons could she learn from the state's finest leader?

A piece of democratic window dressing - Politicians have little to fear from the recall system in British Columbia, writes Richard Johnston in the Sydney Morning Herald

BUSINESS

Tourism back from precipice – The multi-billion-dollar tourism industry is expected to bounce back next year with the strongest growth in overseas arrivals since 2005 as the sector stages a better than expected recovery from the global economic crisis – The Australian

ENVIRONMENT

Murray River misses floodwater fillip – Very little of the 300 billion litres of water flooding central NSW will reach the Murray River but the hope is that now that the land is wet, another cyclone will bring the floods the parched river system desperately needs – The Australian

Toowoomba water worries washed away by new pipeline – After a divisive debate over recycled water and years of watching its dam levels dwindle, Toowoomba will soon have what it has been desperate for: water security – The Australian

LIFE

The drink

Liquor boss calls for new laws to get tough on drunks – The state's new Liquor and Gambling Commissioner wants the power to crack down on binge drinking and alcohol-fuelled violence in Adelaide's nightspots. Paul White has outlined the scope of an upcoming review of liquor licensing laws and also put pub and club operators "on notice", promising to develop a hit list of problem venues – Adelaide Advertiser

The beer with no pub – A plan to brew beer in the Territory after a 20-year drought is in doubt following a shock decision by the Licensing Commission. The commission gave permission for a micro-brewery and licensed restaurant to be opened on the outskirts of Darwin. But it disallowed an application for the project to include a money-spinning tavern and beer garden - or to sell takeaway alcohol – Northern Territory News

Equality

Defence salutes rare for women – Just 30 of the 537 most senior officers in the Australian Defence Force are women. An analysis of military staff numbers reveals the navy has the worst record of promoting women with a mere seven making it into the ranks of the top 145 officers – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Holidays

Tourism hit hard as travellers head for distant shores – The number of Australians choosing to leave Australia for their holidays will continue to outstrip the number of tourists arriving here, delivering yet another blow to an already embattled domestic tourism industry, forecasts show – Sydney Morning Herald

Development

Sydney, Melbourne can't handle growth targetsAustralia’s  biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, will be too dysfunctional by 2050 to reach projected populations of seven million unless their rail systems are quickly and radically overhauled – The Australian
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