Sunday, 14 February 2010

Media wrap - And now it's Conroy's turn to be attacked

POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Health and hospitals

Reforms loom as sick Aussies send health bill soaring – Australians are visiting the doctor more than ever amid growing speculation the federal government is preparing to announce a major package of reforms to control spiralling health costs and set the scene for the election – Sydney Sun Herald

Rudd 'cure' for growing health bill - growing speculation that the Rudd government is preparing to announce a major package of reforms to control spiralling health-care costs and set the scene for this year's federal election – Melbourne Sunday Age

Political life

Julia Gillard hate tattoos on young women – Claire Harvey spends time with Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Transport

Double-decker bridge to get commuters back on track - A team of transport experts, headed by the state's former rail and roads boss Ron Christie, has recommended the government investigate a proposal to build a deck suspended from the bridge undercarriage. The deck would be barely visible, built inside the existing struts and beams, and is vital to solving congestion on CityRail lines – Sydney Sun Herald

Future Brisbane to rely less on cars, says Campbell Newman - Just weeks ahead of the Clem7 opening for business, Lord Mayor Campbell Newman's dream is that 21 years from now most motorists will use the tunnel only on weekends. Their cars will sit idle in apartment garages from Monday to Friday, only nosing on to the city's widened arteries when their owners leave their leafy urban villages to frolic at the beach – Brisbane Sunday Mail

Insulation

Garrett knew of ceiling safety risk – A father has revealed he repeatedly pleaded with Peter Garrett to fix the botched ceiling insulation program after his son was killed, but well before three others died – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Grieving dad asks PM for better insulation safety – Kevin Rudd has ignored a plea for better safety regulations from the father of one of those killed as a result of the ceiling insulation program – Brisbane Sunday Mail

Environment Minister Peter Garrett was warned 13 times of roof insulation scheme risk, Tony Abbott says – Environment Minister Peter Garrett cannot be in every roof as insulation is being installed under the Federal Government's program, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard says – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Call for industry to reveal use of toxic insulation – Environment Minister Peter Garrett has urged the insulation industry to come forward with details of cheap imported insulation products said to contain a toxic chemical – Sydney Sun Herald

Elections

Altona in 12% swing against Labor – Premier John Brumby was last night claiming ''a very strong result'' in the Altona byelection, despite the government suffering a large swing in one of Labor's safest seats – Melbourne Age

Liberal Party wins big swing but Labor holds seat in Altona by-election – Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu appears to have scored a double-digit swing against Premier John Brumby in the Altona by-election. But the Brumby Government was headed towards its first victory of the election year with former Victorian Labor president Jill Hennessy set to win – Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun

Belinda Neale sits tight – Controversial MP Belinda Neal has warned those moving to dump her that infighting could cost Labor the seat – Sydney Sun Herald

Anna Bligh and Labor facing electoral annihilation - Bligh's Government faces annihilation at the next election, with the Premier's approval rating slipping behind the Opposition Leader's for the first time. An exclusive Galaxy poll, conducted for The Sunday Mail, has revealed Queensland voters want to severely punish Ms Bligh and the ALP. On the crucial two-party-preferred basis, the LNP has turned a 49-51 election-day defeat around and leads 59-41 – Brisbane Sunday Mail

State keeps database of Royal Adelaide Hospital opponents – The State Government has compiled a database of people who oppose demolition of the Royal Adelaide Hospital, and is sending material aiming to educate them on why building a new $1.7 billion hospital is good policy – Adelaide Sunday Mail

Lobbyists

Wilderness rebels vow to oust board – Members of the troubled Wilderness Society yesterday denounced the organisation's ''autocratic'' management and vowed to remove long-term leader Alec Marr and his board – Melbourne Sunday Age

Racism

First Australia, now Baz does India – Baz Luhrmann embarked on a personal peace mission to India after a spate of attacks on foreign students in AustraliaSydney Sun Herald

Law and order

Top lawyer Malcolm McCusker warns of WA police state – One of the state's most respected lawyers has warned WA is in danger of becoming a police state through irresponsible law-making – Perth Sunday Times

Immigration

Abbott hits boats 'flood' – Opposition Leader Tony Abbott used a fleeting visit to the Territory yesterday to unveil a new shadow border protection committee before this year's election – Sunday Territorian

Opinions

Brumby finds it hard to be humble - Whichever way the political cognoscenti spin the Altona byelection result - and all parties were busy spinning away last night - the fact is the government suffered a sizeable swing, 12.3 per cent, smack bang in the middle of its heartland – Melbourne Age

This is no fun camp: show underperformers to the door - The right and left in NSW carve up the distribution of parliamentary seats like warlords handing out spoils – Michelle Grattan in the Sydney Herald Sun

Now they're a rabble with a cause - The opposition has a thin veneer of unity courtesy of Tony Abbott's tactic of quelling dissent by taking the fight to the government – Paul Daley in the Sydney Sun Herald

Checks and balance awry in welfare rework – Stephanie Petling writes in the Sydney Sun Herald that he federal government's commitment to 'evidence-based policy' falls short when it comes to payments management.

Winds of change blow on Kevin Rudd – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is becoming increasingly rattled, say his Labor colleagues, who point to his uncharacteristic attempts to be nice to MPs during the past two meetings of the parliamentary Caucus as evidence of his shaken confidence – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Tony Abbott brings back the biff – Tim Gartrell writes in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph that summer is a good time for a new Opposition leader - the Government is taking a short break and the heavy hitters in the Canberra press gallery are at the beach. You can float lots of ideas without having to back them up with much detail and attack the Government while it operates on a skeleton staff.

Peter Garrett can't dodge the finger of truth over insulation deaths – Glenn Milne writes in the Brisbane Sunday Mail that for a bloke who stripped off his orange overalls to reveal the word "Sorry" at the 2000 Sydney Olympics to make a point about the plight of our indigenous people, there's been a lack of humanity in Peter Garrett's response to a government policy which has killed four people.

BUSINESS

Share dilemma: hang up or hang on? - Telstra has disappointed its 1.6 million shareholders yet again - is there any end to this torture? – Melbourne Sunday Age

Palmer has no lease to mine coal contracted to Chinese – Billionaire Clive Palmer has not applied for a lease to mine the hundreds of millions of tonnes of coal he has contracted to sell to Chinese power companies over two decades. A Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation spokesman confirmed that the entrepreneur has obtained only exploration permits for what he says will be the world's largest mine project in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland – Brisbane Sunday Mail

ENVIRONMENT

Jobs lost as Green Loans wallows in red tape – A Melbourne company employing 30 people has fallen victim to the federal government's bungled Green Loans scheme – Melbourne Sunday Age

MEDIA

Minister's Secret Ski Tryst With Seven Mogul Kerry Stokes – Communications Minister Stephen Conroy held a secret meeting with billionaire Seven Network owner Kerry Stokes and went skiing with him at a ritzy American resort a few weeks before handing a $250 million gift to Australia's free-to-air TV networks – Sydney Daily Telegraph

LIFE

Road safety

Why young drivers need compulsory brain tests – A leading psychologist has called for mandatory neuropsychological testing of young drivers to ensure only those with ''mature'' brains are granted licences – Sydney Herald Sun

The drink

Hard workers, hard drinkers – Well-paid single tradesmen are responsible for more than half of Australia's alcohol consumption, new research shows. Just 17 per cent of drinking Australians down 53 per cent of all alcohol sold - an average of three or more glasses of alcohol a day – Sydney Sun Herald

How a young man gave up booze for a year, and found himself - Chris Raine's year off the booze not only boosted his confidence, it provided a unique insight into why young Australians from Castlemaine to Cairns are regularly drinking themselves into oblivion. What began as a playful proposition over a beer with mates has turned into a project that Raine hopes will unlock the secrets driving our entrenched binge drinking culture – Melbourne Sunday Age

Education

Best start begins before school – All kindergarten students in NSW public schools have been assessed for the first time this year, revealing a wide range in abilities - from children who did not know how to hold a pencil or write their name to those who could read an entire poem - Sydney Sun Herald

Real estate

Housing fast-track angers residents – About 20 public housing dwellings are being approved for construction in NSW every day as part of a fast-track approval process. And new figures show Sydney's south-western and western suburbs will receive the highest number of new dwellings – Sydney Sun Herald

Jobs

Record shift into part-time work - According to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, 3.3 million people out of a total workforce of 11 million now work part-time, with the average working week now 31.9 hours - a record low – Melbourne Sunday Age

Welfare

Crisis and welfare organisations in struggle to respond to cries for help – Young people and families are seeking help from welfare and crisis organisations in increasing numbers. An Australian Council of Social Service survey found requests for accommodation continuing to rise as people were forced to drop out of the private rental market – Melbourne Sunday Age

Discrimination

Drivers told: Let adults on Adelaide school buses – Transport bosses have told Adelaide bus companies to allow adults to board city school buses after a passenger who was denied a ride complained of age discrimination – Adelaide Sunday Mail

Nursing homes

Hobart nursing home shame – A spot-check has rated an Eastern Shore nursing home among the nation's worst. Presbyterian Homes Hobart, at Warrane, has not complied with six out of 44 outcomes, including clinical care and leisure activities, and has had its accreditation cut by one year – Sunday Tasmanian
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