Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Media wrap - Population debate

POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Population

Heat on Burke to slash migrant intake - The population debate is heating up as an election issue with the newly appointed minister Tony Burke resisting demands to slash migration before his first consultations in the job - Melbourne Age

Coalition to reduce migration - Tony Abbott's Coalition will cut net migration levels if it wins government, in a bid to stop Australia's population reaching its predicted size of almost 36 million in 2050 - The Australian

Immigration

Iraqi 'rejects' flown off Christmas Island - Proteesting Iraqis at Christmas Island were among 65 asylum seekers and boat crew, including a number of small children, moved to Sydney's Villawood detention centre yesterday - Melbourne Age

Population boom hits island paradise-cum-Alcatraz - Christmas Island, a little bit paradise, a little bit Alcatraz, is a jumble of non sequiturs. One of Australia's most rancorous political issues crystallises here in a little cove, watched by surfers, snorklers and the tenants of the Kampong flats that overlook its one jetty - Melbourne Age

Australian move agreed - The federal government has agreed to resettle three Cuban refugees in Australia at the request of the US - Melbourne Age

New front opens in refugee fight - In a last-ditch effort to slow boat people arrivals, Indonesian fishermen will be delivered a blunt message: Stop helping the smugglers or go to jail in Australia.The marketing blitz will kick off shortly in dozens of coastal villages - Sydney Daily Telegraph


Tony Abbott's delivers asylum sermon on Q&A - Jesus would not necessarily have allowed every asylum-seeker into Australia, Tony Abbott said last night - Melbourne Herald Sun


Law and order
Baillieu to promise more police - Victorians will today be promised an extra 1600 police over the next four years if the Coalition wins November's state election - Melbourne Age

Prisoner shooting exposes uncertainty over gun use - The shooting of an escaping prisoner by prison guards has raised questions about their powers and the procedures covering escape attempts - Sydney Morning Herald

Health and hospitals

Senate may thwart a Rudd health referendum - Kevin Rudd could be stymied by the Senate from carrying out his threat to hold a referendum to get the power to take over hospital funding if the states refuse to sign a deal - Melbourne Age

Health showdown looms as states resist  - The prospect of marathon summit talks to hammer out agreement on health reform is looming with NSW and Victoria taking up the Rudd government's challenge of a showdown - Sydney Morning Herald

Kevin Rudd's $3.2bn health and hospital funding favours Labor seats - The federal government's $3.2 billion in nation-building health and hospital investments overwhelmingly favour Labor electorates and marginal Coalition-held seats that could tumble at the coming election - The Australian


John Brumby spurns bully tactics on healthcare - Victorian Premier John Brumby says he will not be bullied into signing a bad deal on healthcare funding under the threat of a referendum from Kevin Rudd, but other premiers say a health deal will be struck without acrimony - The Australian

Fund raising

Labor's rich pickings stir political aid row  - The well-manicured streets of Toorak are the new battlefront in the row over political donations and election-year fund-raising, with the family of trucking tycoon Lindsay Fox set to host an exclusive $5000-a head soiree for Premier John Brumby and senior ministers - Melbourne Age

Rubber chicken for the cause - Less than a year out from the state election , the party fund-raising machine is in top gear, its key luminaries wheeled out for special guest appearances - Sydney Morning Herald

Economic matters

Swan puts weight behind rate rise - Treasurer Wayne Swan has effectively conceded the case for an increase in interest rates in advance of today's Reserve Bank meeting. ''I think most families understand rates are currently at 1970s levels and can't stay there forever,'' Mr Swan said - Melbourne Age

Reserve tipped to bump up rates - The West Australian


Families struggle to pay for water - Serious concerns have been raised about the financial pressure on WA families after new figures revealed more than 38,000 households have sought help to pay their water bills in the past nine months - The West Australian

Stimulus projects

Call for stimulus inquiry falls on deaf ears - The federal government has rejected an opposition call for a judicial inquiry into $18 billion of its economic stimulus measures, including the home insulation scheme and school building program - Melbourne Age

Builders who inflate school prices fenced off - Chris Sale, a principal of Davis Langdon, said some builders, suppliers and subcontractors might be "trying it on a bit" with their quotes for a share of the federal $16.2 billion building program for schools. But projects did not get the green light until they were at or below budget - The Australian

Public housing

Job strategy still a work in progress -Housing Minister Richard Wynne said that while public housing was once ''worker housing'' providing subsidised rent for low-income families with jobs, that was no longer the case. Public housing has been targeted to those most in need, Mr Wynne said: many residents have complex needs and are long-term unemployed - Melbourne Age

Human rights trump public housing eviction - A Government decision to evict a Somali refugee and his young son from public housing leased to his late mother was unlawful and a breach of the man's human rights.
In a landmark decision that will affect 70,000 public housing applicants in Victoria, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled public tenancy agreements had to be consistent with the Charter of Human Rights - Melbourne Age

Development

Conflict-of-interest row hits Liberals - Liberal leader Ted Baillieu is caught up in a new conflict-of-interest row, with the revelation that the parents of one of his frontbenchers are selling a multimillion-dollar property near Melbourne's urban-growth boundary - Melbourne Age

Polls

Labor on track to increase majority -Extensive analysis by pollster Andrew Catsaras of all available opinion poll results has found that the Rudd government stands to achieve what no other first-term government has done since World War II - win with an increased majority - Melbourne Age

Elections

Parliamentary research paper criticises electoral boundaries - Three of the past six state elections, including the most recent, have produced the "wrong winner", according to a new parliamentary research paper - Adelaide Advertiser

Leadership

Liberal leadership a short-term contract - Opposition frontbencher Mitch Williams is expected to be elected unopposed as Liberal deputy leader today after Martin Hamilton-Smith's eleventh-hour withdrawal from the race - Adelaide Advertiser

Censorship

Call for soft porn curbs rejected - The publishers of so-called lad mags and their more explicit adult counterparts have hit back at claims the easy availability of the magazines is exposing young children to harmful material - Melbourne Age

Security

Iranian embassy in Canberra 'spying on activist students' - The Iranian embassy in Canberra has been accused of spying on Iranian democracy activists in Australia, collecting intelligence on their activities and reporting back to Tehran, where critics of the regime can face severe punishment - The Australian

On the track of Tehran's agents - Sally Neighbour in The Australian reports that as the Iranian regime tightens its political stranglehold and pursues its nuclear ambitions, security services in Australia are zeroing in on Iranian-backed militants on Australian soil. While the counter-terrorism focus since 2001 has largely been on Sunni Muslim militants, the activities of Shia activists - principally linked to Iran and its ally, Lebanon's Hezbollah - are of growing concern to ASIO and other counter-terrorism agencies.

Opinions 

Coalition election focus on crime and safety - writes Paul Austin in the Melbourne Age declaring that the Victorian election campaign has now started.

PM faces a woo or whack health dilemma - Kevin Rudd doesn't seem clear whether he wants to woo or whack the premiers into agreeing with his plan for Canberra to take the major responsibility for hospital funding says Michelle Grattan in the Melbourne Age

Labor Left will find it harder not to mention the war - writes Marcus Strom in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Whether or not Australia commits more troops, the longer the war continues, the more unpopular it is likely to become. Voices of opposition will grow. Progressives in the ALP will come under increasing pressure to oppose the war. With their counterparts in the US Democratic Party, they will be called upon to voice, and lead, growing anti-war sentiment.

Laugh at your peril: Joyce is not a joke - If Joyce has been influenced by a political culture in Australia, it is that of the National Civil Council founded by the late B.A. Santamaria says Gerard Henderson in the Sydney Morning Herald

A boat load of rubbish - Susie O'Brien points out in the Melbourne Herald Sun that despite what some say, what Australian governments do doesn't really affect who tries to come here and why.

Size matters when it comes to the debate on population - Phillip Hudson asks in the Melbourne Herald Sun: Populate and perish. Or Big Australia. What is the right population for Australia?

The rising cost of Rudd's high-speed broadband - Malcolm Colless writes in The Australian that the determination of the federal government to go ahead with mandatory internet filtering is not only creating diplomatic tensions between Canberra and Washington but is casting a dark cloud over the beleaguered $43 billion national broadband project.

How to defuse population bomb - Michael Stutchbury writes in The Australian that the Labor government's new population focus first needs to explain that a "big Australia" is a desirable and unavoidable byproduct of the rise of China and India.

BUSINESS

Greens to propose plan for mining boom tax - A steep tax on mineral projects in Australia would help prevent the country from squandering riches from future resources booms, according to a radical proposal to be put forward by the Greens - Melbourne Age

China race to invest in Australian resources - Chinese leaders have been advised to ''race against time'' to secure more overseas resources, potentially accelerating the investment rush into resource-rich countries like Australia - Sydney Morning Herald

ENVIRONMENT

Stricken carrier Shen Neng 1 may have tried shortcut before Barrier Reef grounding - The Chinese-registered ship now dragging against the Great Barrier Reef could have been attempting an illegal shortcut when it ran aground on Saturday night - Brisbane Courier Mail

Stranded coal ship could be on reef for weeks - The Chinese-registered coal carrier stuck on coral banks on the Great Barrier Reef could be there for several weeks, as authorities investigate why the ship was travelling so far outside the normal shipping channels - The Australian

MEDIA

Level playing field urged for broadband rivals - Telecommunications companies will think twice about investing in their network if they think the government's national broadband company will be given an unfair advantage, a business group has warned - Melbourne Age

Elderly learn to beat euthanasia blacklist -While some of the 47 people attending the Chatswood workshop - which is not illegal but is expected to become so when the legislation comes into force - are still taking elementary computer lessons, others learnt in only a few minutes how to access any website through a proxy server to bypass the filter's firewall - Sydney Morning Herald

LIFE

Real estate

House prices to defy rise in rates - House prices in Sydney and Melbourne are tipped to rise in the coming months, defying concerns that rising interest rates will dampen the heated sector - Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney suburbs ready to go boom as population soars - Some Sydney suburbs will have their populations double or even quadruple in just 25 years, official Government documents reveal, as the city hurtles towards a population of six million people by 2036 - Sydney Daily Telegraph

Religion
What would you do if Jesus came to Geelong? - A Christian church group will lodge an official complaint after police cut short a bloody Crucifixion re-enactment in the heart of Geelong - Melbourne Age

Taxis

Rank disapproval: cabs cop it in new passenger survey  - Melbourne's troubled taxi industry has hit new depths, with passenger satisfaction plummeting to its lowest since records began - Melbourne Age

Banking

NAB's vow to peg rates - The National Australia Bank is challenging its rivals' claims that borrowers may have to bear the brunt of higher bank funding costs, promising not to exceed any rise in interest rates from the Reserve Bank today - Sydney Morning Herald 

Millions of workers have poor language, literacy and numeracy skills - An astonishing four million Australian workers have poor language, literacy and numeracy skills and cannot understand the meaning of some everyday words - Melbourne Herald Sun
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