Monday, 11 January 2010

Media wrap - A score card on the State economies


POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Economic matters

NSW economy is the worst – A lack of Government planning over the past decade to cater for increasing population growth has seen NSW emerge as the worst performing economy of all the states and territories, according to a report prepared by CommSec – Sydney Daily Telegraph

NSW last in ranking of state economiesSydney Morning Herald


WA tops nation for economic growthThe West Australian

WA, ACT enjoy top economiesThe Australian

Graduate skills shortage loomingQueensland’s  Gold Coast faces a critical shortage of university places that threatens to deprive the region's youth population of graduate skills they will need in a maturing economy – The Australian

Political lurks and perks

Queensland MPs keep perks as federal salaries get overhaul – Queensland MPs are pocketing $34,000-a-year more than their counterparts in Canberra and stand to gain a huge windfall under plans to overhaul federal salaries – Brisbane Courier Mail

Elections

Business seeks SA Parliamentary reform – Radical  changes to South Australia's political system are needed to drag the state into the modern era, the state's peak business group says. With 68 days until the state election, Business SA has released a 39-page manifesto advocating a string of reforms – Adelaide Advertiser

State's public service too bloated – Billions of taxpayer dollars that could be spent on health, education and public transport are being wasted by bloated State Government bureaucracies, Business SA chief executive Peter Vaughan says – Adelaide Advertiser

Facebook cheat hijacks Premier's identity – Premier Mike Rann's name and image have been hijacked by a Facebook user pretending to be the Labor leader – Adelaide Advertiser

Security

Airport staff face tighter checks - As Transport Minister Anthony Albanese met US Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute yesterday to discuss tighter airport security, government sources doused suggestions Australia would adopt full body scanners – The Australian

Transport

Brace yourself for the Metro meltdown – Tens of thousands of Sydney commuters face transport chaos that will last years while the CBD Metro is built, the State Government has admitted. A new report due for release this week shows the Sydney Metro Authority has ignored pleas from other government departments, including the RTA – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Foreign relations

Japan pins whale row on GillardJapan has risked an open breach with the Rudd government by hitting back hard at Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard's handling of last week's whaling confrontation in the Southern Ocean – The Australian

Australian consular staff contact accused man in India – Australian consular officials have visited a Gold Coast man jailed in India on charges of attempted murder. The family said they had received instructions not to talk publicly about Reibel's arrest, which comes as tensions between Australia and India mount, with allegations of racially fuelled violence against Indians studying in Melbourne – Brisbane Courier Mail

Anger at funeral of murdered man – There were scenes of grief mixed with anger at the funeral of Nitin Garg at his home in Jagraon in the northern Indian state of Punjab yesterday, as well over 600 people came to pay their last respects – Sydney Morning Herald

Jaspreet Singh's burns raise questions – Family and friends of an Indian man who alleges he was set on fire by four men have steadfastly rejected suspicions that the fire was of his own doing – The Australian

Book claims 1969 snub set Malaysia's Mahathir against Australia - Barry Wain, an Australian journalist who has watched Dr Mahathir over 37 years of living in Asia, provides some of the answers to the mystery, revealing in a book an Australian diplomatic faux pas dating back almost 40 years – Melbourne Age

Health and hospitals

Doctors demand free aircon to save elderly - Doctors are demanding free airconditioners be installed in all public housing for tenants over 75 and $1000 means-tested rebates for other elderly people, to help defray the cost of heat-protection measures such as block-out blinds – Melbourne Herald Sun

Probe into prostheses inserts urged - The National Joint Replacement Registry, run from the University of Adelaide, has found certain knee and hip parts are needing to be replaced at twice the expected rate, but that hundreds of these devices are still being inserted each year. South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon yesterday called for a crackdown on which devices are inserted in patients – Adelaide Advertiser

Industrial relations

Opposition dismisses 'cheapskate' leave model – The woman charged with crafting the Coalition's paid parental leave policy has dismissed Labor's proposed scheme as a ''cheapskate'' model which does not allow new parents enough time with their babies – Sydney Morning Herald

Union body wins $10m of Fair Work campaign funds – A $10 million chunk of the money earmarked by the Government for explaining its new Fair Work laws will go straight to a union trust fund, outraging small business and the Opposition – Melbourne Age

Opinions

Harming a cause with a thoughtless, stupid stunt – Alison Rehn in the Sydney Daily Telegraph writes that today is day 50 of Peter Spencer's hunger strike. Supporters of the 58-year-old have decided that to mark the occasion, they'll hold a big picnic right under his nose.

Police must act on thugs – Who controls Melbourne's public spaces? Is it law-abiding people going about their business or violent thugs? This question appears to not have an answer yet as another weekend of violence threatens to scar the reputation of our city as a cultured and sophisticated destination – Wayne Kayler-Thompson in the Melbourne Herald Sun

Those waging war on society shouldn't have access to its law – Paul Sheehan argues in the Sydney Morning Herald that the greatest single burden in making a more effective response to terrorism is the West's own legal system.

Self-serving advertisements a shameful exploitation of power - The rules on government communications seem to allow blatant politicking writes Tom Ormonde in the Melbourne Age

Violence in the streets injures us all – Russell Gruen in the Melbourne Age writes of the the appalling outcome of thoughtless actions.

Leaders place plain speaking on the agendaJapan’s position on scientific whaling is straightforward, but in dealing with other governments its leaders and ministers have padded the sharp edges with conflict-avoiding language -- until now – Peter Alford in The Australian

BUSINESS

Qantas digs in for battle in Vietnam – Qantas expects the investigation into its Vietnamese joint venture, Jetstar Pacific, to run for months. It emerged that the interrogation of its two Australian executives is the latest in a string of concerns raised by authorities recently – Sydney Morning Herald

Swan warned that tax rulings deter investors – The nation's ability to fund billions of dollars in much-needed infrastructure is under threat because of tax rulings designed to crack down on private equity raiders, the Treasurer Wayne Swan has been warned – Sydney Morning Herald

ENVIRONMENT

Anti-whalers claim victory despite boat loss - Anti-whaling activists believe they have prevented the Japanese from slaughtering any more whales following Wednesday's violent clash that saw the protesters' boat the Ady Gil sliced in two and eventually sunk – The West Australian

Rich nations 'ganged up' in Copenhagen - In the first detailed, post-Copenhagen interview with the Western media by a Chinese official, climate change ambassador Yu Qingtai told The Melbourne Age that the summit was ''a step in the right direction''. But he repeatedly accused rich countries of ganging up on China.

MEDIA

Seven off and rating early with some of its biggest television shows - Among the top picks that viewers will get to see earlier than expected are Cougar Town, the new comedy starring Friends actor Courteney Cox as a woman on the prowl, and My Kitchen Rules, a reality cooking show that turns couples' homes into restaurants for the night. Both will go to air before the official start of the ratings season on February 8 – Melbourne Herald Sun

LIFE

Law and order


Australia's baby-faced thugs - young kids in AVO epidemic – Kids as young as 10 are turning to the courts to protect them from fellow students, with 613 taking out apprehended violence orders against other children last year – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Call for croc trap spy cams – Croc traps should be equipped with hidden cameras to help prosecute "idiots" jumping on the life-saving cages, according to a Territory politician – Northern Territory News

Consumer affairs

Motorists burned at bowser, says RACQ – Queenslanders are paying up to 9¢ a litre too much for premium unleaded fuel, the RACQ says. And motorists have little choice but to pay inflated prices, with more service stations removing regular unleaded bowsers – leaving just premium and ethanol-blended fuel, E10 – Brisbane Courier Mail

Retail and travel top consumer complaints - he collapse of whitegoods manufacturer Kleenmaid and budget airline Indojet along with many shonky services and scams sparked a whopping 10,077 formal complaints to Consumer Protection in 2009 – The West Australian

Racism

Are Victorians racist?Melbourne’s new kids on the migrant block are from India and African and Arabic countries. Xenophobia - fear of foreigners - is primarily driving racial abuse against them.  But the problem is not new and at least a generation needs to pass before they are accepted, a spread of community leaders who represent ethnic groups in Victoria agree – Melbourne Herald Sun

Real estate

End of the $200 rent in two years for Adelaide – Tenants have fewer than two years to find a home to rent for less than $200 a week in Adelaide, agents warn. Latest figures show 11 suburbs have a median rental price for a home or unit of $200 a week or less – Adelaide Advertiser

Taxis

More taxi drivers 'are not licensed' - While the number of unlicensed drivers is small, taxi industry figures say the problem is getting worse, especially at night when little or no policing is done – Melbourne Age
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