Saturday, 27 March 2010

Media wrap - NSW has its own leader's debate

POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Debates

Polished Premier Kristina Keneally is over a barrel- In yesterday's televised debate, Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell - once dubbed the invisible man - captured the attention of voters with a mood for change - Sydney Daily Telegraph

Keneally concession puts spotlight on Libs- NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell extracted a key concession from Premier Kristina Keneally on the costing of election promises yesterday, but may have damaged his political prospects in the process - The Australian

Political life

Tony Abbott's climate change denier to sell water message- Making Barnaby Joyce spokesman on water was a gift for federal Climate Change and Water Minister Penny Wong, because the outspoken Queensland Nationals senator backs giving more control to upstream irrigators and has disagreed with his own leader's policy of national control of the Murray-Darling Basin - Adelaide Advertiser

Rejected Turnbull unsure about future- Former opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull remains undecided about his political future after Tony Abbott this week refused to have him back on the Coalition front bench. Asked yesterday about standing again in his Sydney seat of Wentworth, Mr Turnbull said  "I am still considering my position." - The Australian

Abbott gets a dressing down- Abbott might be advised to tone down his extra-curricular shirt-off activity. Political chieftains want to run the country and to use taxpayers' money to do it, and voters want to be reassured their leaders LOOK as if they are in charge.Hawke's minders in 1983 taught their boss that lesson, and in taming the lair (at least in the sartorial department), created the makings of Labor's longest-serving prime minister - Tony Wright in the Melbourne Age

Stimulus projects

Parents revolt over BER work- Almost half the population of a tiny NSW town blockaded its school's gates yesterday to prevent builders and managing contractor Bovis Lend Lease from entering the site to perform works under the Rudd government's Building the Education Revolution program - The Australian

Barnaby Joyce unleashed on BER waste- Tony Abbott has ordered dumped Coalition finance spokesman Barnaby Joyce to "barnstorm" the nation, exposing rip-offs under the Rudd government's $16 billion school building program - The Australian

Events

Night-time Formula One Grand Prix bid for Sydney - An audacious plot to steal the Formula One Grand Prix and more than 100 million international fans from Melbourne is being hatched by the State Government.  Major Events Minister Ian Macdonald said yesterday: "There are a few hurdles we will need to overcome, but I am confident we can work through these challenges." - Sydney Daily Telegraph

Racism

Far-Right white supremacists planning anti-Islam march on state Parliament- Police are monitoring a group linked to far-Right white supremacists who are planning an anti-Islam march on state Parliament - Melbourne Herald Sun

Immigration

ASIO sinking under asylum-seeker workload- Authorities were last night preparing for another mass transfer of asylum-seekers from Christmas Island, as Australia's intelligence watchdog warned ASIO was struggling to cope with the deluge of security assessments on boatpeople - The Australian

Foreign affairs

Tony Abbott calls for restraint on Israel- Tony Abbott has called on the Rudd government not to expel an Israeli diplomat over allegations the Israeli secret service, Mossad, used forged Australian passports in the assassination of a Hamas terrorist in Dubai - The Australian

Elections

SA Electoral Commission wants to investigate claims that one family voted 159 times - The Electoral Commission wants an inquiry into claims a family fraudulently voted 159 times in last Saturday's state election. The commission says claims in an anonymous letter obtained by The Advertiser that the family stole the identities of other voters are feasible - Adelaide Advertiser

The one-two punch that crippled South Australia's Liberals- Liberals are blaming Vicki Chapman's refusal to rule out a challenge to Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond as the incident which which gave Labor the most heart - Adelaide Advertiser 

Queensland LNP battle over preselection of teenage candidate- Internal divisions over the federal Coalition's marginal seat campaign in the key battleground state of Queensland are set to erupt today when the Liberal National Party's state council meets to endorse a string of candidates, including teenager Wyatt Roy - The Australian

The big issues faced by NSW- Sydney Morning Herald writers give their opinion. 

Defence

New F/A-18F Super Hornet jets put us on war footing- The Australian

The punt

Mildura casino on the cards- Premier John Brumby has described plans for a casino in Mildura as a ''high-quality proposal'' as the developer behind the bid launches the big sell on Mildura residents and businesses - Melbourne Age

The drink

A corker of a vice-regal problem- Governor-General Quentin Bryce has an exquisite problem: a treasure trove of more than 3000 bottles of fine wine. Ms Bryce, who drinks only sparingly and whose husband Michael is a teetotaller, doesn't know what to do with the splendid cellars of expensive wines she inherited when she moved into Government House, Yarralumla, and Admiralty House, Sydney - Melbourne Age

Health and hospitals

McGorry TV ad to lobby leaders - If he didn't have politicians' ears already, Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry plans to get them this weekend with an advertisement due to run between political programs on national TV. In a stirring speech, the psychiatrist calls on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to ensure mental health reform is part of their plans to improve Australia's health system this election year - Melbourne Age

Opinions

Abbott march checked by a dose of realism- Paul Kelly writes in The Australian: The magnitude of the challenge Abbott faces was in stark relief: his removal of Barnaby Joyce as shadow finance minister conceded that populism is not enough; his refusal to reinstate Malcolm Turnbull to the front bench reveals the still fragile state of Liberal Party unity; his loss of the leaders' debate to Kevin Rudd highlights the imperative for viable Coalition policies, notably on health and hospitals; and the victory of the Rann government in South Australia reminds of incumbent Labor's ability to hold marginal seats against the swing.

Venom has no place in political discourse - Laurie Oakes in the Sydney Daily Telegraph contrasts the Australian and the American health debates

A good time will be had by haul- George Megalogenis in The Australian looks at federal-state taxing relationships.

Bull at the gate trips up- Peter van Onselen in The Australian criticises the judgment of Malcolm Turnbull in making public his desire to return to the Opposition front bench.

Battle of the minds- Shaun Carney in the Melbourne Age says Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott have more in common than it might seem. That's why the 2010 election contest is so intriguing.

More than just a wing and a prayer to high-flying plan- writes Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald. Tony Abbott's suggestion that Rudd threw the health plan together in haste just to change the topic away from home insulation is quite wrong.

BUSINESS

Rio Tinto gets to grips with a new reality in China over Stern Hu & co- Terry McCrann waffles about the issues involved - The Australian

Plan for tax bond on small business - Thousands of small businesses could be forced to put up a security deposit for the tax office under Rudd government draft laws meant to target foreign taxpayers and the shonky operators of Australian phoenix companies - The Australian

 LIFE

Real estate

Chinese buyers underpin housing prices - Asian buyers are putting a fire under the country's housing markets, with capital-city sales -- particularly to Chinese buyers -- doubling in the past 12 months, according to a real estate group - The Australian

Negative gearing safe, says Swan- Wayne Swan has hosed down suggestions of a clamp on negative gearing, as the Rudd government seeks to lower expectations that tax reform will be a central plank of its election platform - The Australian

Mansions on move as property market heats up - The Australian

Home owners blitz the auction market- The rush to sell before Easter and the strong property market mean Sydney has a near-record number of auctions scheduled for today - Sydney Morning Herald

Median home price to hit $600,000 - The West Australian

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