Sunday, 21 March 2010

Media wrap - No definite result from two state elections

POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Elections

Labor suffers in SA and Tasmania – Voters  in Tasmania and South Australia swung heavily against incumbent Labor governments last night, but Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is likely to be relieved the results were not worse – Melbourne Age

Tasmanian voters end chapter of rocky Labor years – Tasmanian voters used yesterday's election to close a bitter chapter of the state's political history that lasted into the campaign's final days – Melbourne Age

Hard to shake: scandal and 'it's time' factor – Who knows how she ultimately voted, but Michelle Chantelois and the soap opera surrounding her relationship with South Australian Premier Mike Rann have been as significant a factor in this election as the traditional bread and butter issues of the economy, police and hospitals – Melbourne Age

Local issues aside, dual swings mean Rudd must take note – It’s a truism of federal politics: if a state election goes against the prime minister of the day's political party, it had everything to do with local issues. On the other hand, if the day goes well, results are billed as a major political win. It is likely the state elections in South Australia and Tasmania will prove no exception as far as Kevin Rudd is concerned - Josh Gordon in the Melbourne Age

Few happy as voters' eyes turn to water works - The Premier's Great Big Water Adventure may be heading for a sticky ending – Melissa Fyfe in the Melbourne Age

Rann hope for 'sweetest victory' – Labor won a probable third term in power in South Australia last night but felt the sting of defeat in TasmaniaSydney Sun Herald

Rann hangs on despite sex sagaSydney Sunday Telegraph


South Australia State Election 2010 result – Mike Rann and Isobel Redmond both have refused to concede the state election, with both saying the result remains on a knife-edge – Adelaide Sunday Mail

State Election 2010 - the key seatsAdelaide Sunday Mail


MPs' $750,000 a year golden handshakeSouth Australia's retiring MPs will collectively earn more than $750,000 in annual superannuation pension payouts as rich reward for their long political careers - Adelaide Sunday Mail

Tasmanian election resultTasmania has been left in limbo after a nail-biting election yesterday failed to deliver a clear majority victory to one political party. Liberal leader Will Hodgman looks most likely to become Tasmania's 54th incoming premier, in charge of a Liberal minority government. With 23 seats decided in last night's counting in the 25 member Lower House of parliament, the Labor Party have won 10 seats, the Liberals 9 and the Greens 4 – Hobart Mercury

Parental leave

Parental leave scheme fares poorly on global scale – The federal government's paid parental leave scheme is among the least generous in the developed world and should include superannuation, sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick says.

Stimulus projects

Teachers fear bullying if they tell of school building rorts – Fear of bullying and victimisation may deter principals and teachers from blowing the whistle on alleged rorts in the federal government's school building program – Sydney Sun Herald

Nuclear waste

Senator's resolve to avoid Tennant 'unfair' – Senator Trish Crossin's decision not to take her inquiry into nuclear waste management to Tennant Creek has "disappointed" the local MLA. Labor member for Barkly Gerry McCarthy said the excuse that the inquiry will not visit the region at the centre of the proposed facility is unfair to constituents – Northern Territory News

Transport

Call for inquiry over $500m poured into doomed Metro – Pressure is mounting on the NSW government to explain to taxpayers how it soaked up $500 million of public money on the shelved Sydney Metro project. And there are concerns the key documents related to the project could escape scrutiny now the Sydney Metro Authority is being dismantled and archiving has begun – Sydney Sun Herald

Local government

Councils are as furious as you about all the rules and fines - Victoria's 79 local councils are planning to audit laws that they say are duplicated, contradictory, redundant and unnecessary. They complain they are being swamped by demands to police regulations issued by the two more powerful tiers of government – Melbourne Age

Aboriginal affairs

Indigenous law ban to continue – The Rudd government has quietly decided to leave in place a controversial ban preventing judges from considering Aboriginal customary law when meting out justice – Melbourne Age

Foreign aid

Foreign aid cash handout – Organisations which campaigned for the Rudd Government's election in 2007 are among those given hundreds of thousands of dollars from Australia's foreign aid budget – Melbourne Herald Sun

Development

Save the Windsor rally call, green bans mooted - The Windsor Hotel development, a five-star hotel with a 26-floor glass "curtain" facade, has exposed a deep rift between, on the one side, the government and the architectural community, which are enthusiastic about the design, and, on the other, parts of the wider community – Melbourne Age

Political life

Kevin Rudd: I'm a fair-dinkum cane toad from Queensland – Kevin Rudd calls Speedos "togs" and says when he refers to the King, he means Wally Lewis, not Elvis Presley. The Prime Minister cited the examples in an effort to prove he was still a "fair dinkum" Queenslander – Sydney Sunday Telegraph


Another state of being - Three former state MPs reflect on the highs and lows of life in Parliament – Melbourne Age

Security

ASIO spooks spied on little girls - An 800-page file on NSW Greens MP Lee Rhiannon, released last week, reveals spies kept a file on Ms Rhiannon from the age of seven, and followed her and her school friends when they were Year 10 students. The file is riddled with glaring inaccuracies about Ms Rhiannon's education, protest activities and family, including her mother Freda Brown, a Communist Party member – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Opinions

Follow the leader - Without a firm grasp of ideology, Coalition politicians have no way of making coherent policies – Chris Berg in the Melbourne Age

Deal proves Senate is not always a dead end – Stephanie Peatling writes in the Sydney Sun Herald that getting the youth allowance changes passed shows the government and opposition can work together, sometimes.

Why Keneally needs some more minions – Wendy Harmer in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph promises that first pollie who owns up to spending the entire day at a luxury spa, having a seaweed wrap and a hot-stone massage, gets my vote.

ENVIRONMENT

Water tips reaching saturation point? – After more than a decade of drought, it appears Melburnians may be reaching their limit on the constant barrage of water-saving tips, research has found. Data collected by La Trobe University's water research team reveals that unrelenting exhortations to turn off the tap could be emerging as a turn-off, particularly for Melbourne water users – Melbourne Age

Disaster declared ahead of cyclone's arrival - Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has declared a disaster zone across the state's central and northern coast ahead of the anticipated arrival of tropical cyclone Ului – Melbourne Age

Waste solution left to rot as landfill capacity runs out – Sydney’s rubbish dumps will be full within six years, according to an independent report which the NSW government swept under the carpet after receiving it a year ago – Sydney Sun Herald

Mayors show approval for wind farms to be developed along Queensland's coast - A new wind map of the state shows most of the coastline from Fraser Island to Bowen and from Cairns to the Torres Strait is blowy enough for turbines, particularly around Cooktown and the Atherton Tableland. Even regions with lower wind speeds, such as the Darling Downs and southern Queensland are considered suitable – Brisbane Sunday Mail

LIFE

Obesity

Deluge of obese patients puts hospitals on alert – Australian hospitals need to prepare for a deluge of obese patients who suffer more complications, say obesity experts. Australian research has shown for the first time that severely obese patients may stay in hospital up to four days longer than other people – Melbourne Age

Counselling

Students forced to wait months for counselling – Vulnerable children with depression, behavioural problems and autism are waiting months to see psychologists and speech therapists following the state government's overhaul of school support systems – Melbourne Age

Consumer affairs

Labels that devour $5.2b in food – Families are throwing out record amounts of edible food because of confusion over ''use-by'' and ''best-before'' labels, say environmental groups – Melbourne Age
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