Monday, 25 January 2010

Media wrap - Australia to take Guantanamo refugees



POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Immigration

Australia to take Guantanamo refugees - Australia will take a group of Cuban refugees from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp as part of an exchange for a group of Tamils resettled in the US as part of the Oceanic Viking affair – The West Australian

Abbott taken to task over 'offensive' citizenship message – An immigration speech by the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has been criticised as divisive, hurtful and deliberately crafted to push buttons and play the race card before Australia Day – Sydney Morning Herald

Health and hospitals

States face health cost avalanche – Federal Government spending per person on health will rise in real terms from $2290 today to $7210 in 2050, with state governments at risk of being overwhelmed by rising costs, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said – Melbourne Age

Kevin Rudd in alert on health spend – Kevin Rudd has declared 2010 a year of "major health reform", warning that health spending alone will outstrip state tax revenues within two decades – The Australian

Elections

Ads could affect poll: Opposition – State Government advertising must be suspended until the conclusion of the Altona byelection as taxpayer-funded campaigns could unduly influence voters, the Opposition claims – Melbourne Age

Libs get real on change – Liberal  leader Will Hodgman has launched his party's election slogan and its TV ads went to air last night. In yesterday's launch he made his pitch for majority government on March 20 under the slogan Real Change – Hobart Mercury

Polls

Ripper new 'Mr 12 Per Cent' - Opposition Leader Eric Ripper's approval rating has plummeted to an alarming 12 per cent as the latest Westpoll shows WA Labor struggling for voter support. Labor attracted about 43 per cent of the two-party preferred vote in the latest poll compared with the Liberals' 57 per cent, a significant drop for the ALP after polling 47 per cent in October – The West Australian

Economic matters

CPI rule on rates – This week's inflation figures are likely to prompt a fourth consecutive interest rate rise next week, economists say, unless expected volatility in the Australian sharemarket causes the Reserve Bank to take pity on mortgage holders – Melbourne Age

Industrial relations

Business alarm at power of IR body, Fair Work Australia – Employers are alarmed that businesses and workers could be subject to compulsory arbitration of workplace disputes, after federal Labor's industrial tribunal threw out a proposed deal agreed between one of the nation's biggest employers and a prominent union – The Australian


Security

Domestic flights an 'easy target' for terrorists – Failures in basic airport security checks for domestic flights mean it may be only a matter of time before Australia suffers its first terrorist attack on an aircraft, an aviation expert has warned – Sydney Morning Herald

Transport

Anna Bligh steps in to referee toll operators' tug-of-war – Premier Anna Bligh has urged toll operators to ensure motorists are properly prepared for the new tollways set to open in Brisbane – Brisbane Courier Mail

Opinions

China's runaway growth train on a dangerous course – John Garnaut in the Sydney Morning Herald gives a more sober assessment of the future course of the Chinese economy.

The ABC of seduction: how Mr Darcy depends on damsels – Paul Sheehan in the Sydney Morning Herald explains the reason for the ABC poaching Annabel Crabb.

Abbott's plans for the poor all stick and no carrot – writes Phillip Mendes in the Melbourne Age.

Fine words but no action on Christmas Island – Two years after the Rudd government's election, disturbing news about immigration detention rolls on. Some of Christmas Island's asylum-seeker population are now housed in tents - Linda Briskman and Susie Latham in The Australian

Thoroughly Jacked off – The Barmy Army has it right when they goad us with that chant: "Oi, Aussie, take your stars off our flag!" writes Alan Howe in the Melbourne Herald Sun

BUSINESS

Bank reform fears to test market - Uncertainty about the Obama bank reform agenda is set to roil the Australian sharemarket this week, but may offer homeowners the silver lining of delaying interest rate rises – Sydney Morning Herald

ENVIRONMENT

Coalition urges action on climate – The Opposition is seeking to get on the front foot in the climate debate by offering bipartisan support for Australia and Indonesia to host a meeting of the major economies – Melbourne Age

Storm brews over glacier blunder – A mistake about the timing of melting glaciers has snowballed into an unprecedented assault on the credibility of climate science, after revelations that an author of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report knew that one passage was wrong but included it anyway – Sydney Morning Herald

Glacier claims won grants – The chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has used bogus claims that Himalayan glaciers were melting to win grants worth hundreds of thousands of dollars – The Australian

United Nations caught out again on climate claims - The UN climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to a rise in natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods – The Australian

Power-draining desal plants to tap $1bn environment fund – Up to $1 billion in federal government environmental funds will be spent subsidising power-hungry desalination plants, despite objections from the water industry – The Australian

Buying water 'the best option' – A northern Victorian environmental group has called for the state government to drop irrigation infrastructure upgrades under the Food Bowl program, and instead use the money to buy water for the environment – The Australian

MEDIA

Call to banish virus-hit computers from internet – Computers infected with viruses could be "expelled" from the internet under a new industry code to control Australia's plague of contaminated PCs – The Australian

TV upstarts drive up costs of sports programming – Competition from digital and internet television is helping drive up the cost of sports programming for existing players, with the price of local rights to rugby union and English soccer rising significantly this year – The Australian

LIFE

Child welfare

Greater front-line roles on child welfare watch at school – Teachers, police and doctors will have more responsibility for child welfare decisions under changes to the state's child protection system that came into operation yesterday – Sydney Morning Herald

Vaccination

GPs in fear of deadly illness – Parents should vaccinate their children before school starts, doctors have warned. The state faces the re-emergence of potentially deadly diseases not seen for decades – Hobart Mercury

Real estate

Law makes homebuyer bills no pest – Homebuyers will save thousands of dollars under new laws forcing vendors to fork out for building and pest inspections. And people selling older properties could be forced to disclose the building's energy efficiency rating and whether it contains asbestos – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Housing affordability in Queensland predicted to fall – Builders expect housing affordability to plummet this year as costs increase. A total of 40 per cent of the state's master builders surveyed for a recent report said affordability was of major or critical concern for the industry – Brisbane Courier Mail

Trashed houses top $3.6m - Public housing tenants who mistreat their homes are causing $150,000 in property damage a week, but the number of evictions has dropped dramatically – The West Australian

Law and order

Recruits to lift police beatTasmania’s reputation as the safest state in Australia has received a boost. Thirty additional police officers are set to join the front line this year – Hobart Mercury

Charge parents for kids' crimes says Dr John Irvine – Parents of children under 10 who commit crimes should be forced to face criminal charges, one of the nation's leading child psychologists said – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Farming

Farmers pray for cash cow to return - Years of drought have been compounded by the fallout from the global financial crisis, which saw milk prices tumble to alarming lows and forced dozens of farmers to exit the industry – The Australian

The flag

Ray Martin's bid to change Aussie flagAustralia should get a new flag that ditches the Union Jack, according to TV presenter Ray Martin – Sydney Daily Telegraph

The drink

Northside cricket fundraiser descends into chaos – Four men have been arrested at a charity cricket match north of Brisbane after a drunken brawl erupted. Police were called to the ground at Woodside Park about 3pm yesterday, where a large group of people was holding the "North Lakes Ashes'' - a fundraiser for the Mater Children's Hospital – Brisbane Courier Mail

Emergency services

Scramble for emergency levy funds – Volunteer emergency service workers want a bigger share of the government levy charged to fund their efforts, warning they are losing recruits because of funding gaps – Adelaide Advertiser
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