Monday, 12 April 2010

Media wrap - And now it's the aged care component of the health plan

POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Health and hospitals

PM offers states big aged-care lure - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is promising a federal takeover of aged care and an injection of $450 million for the sector in his latest effort to persuade the states to accept his hospital plan - Melbourne Age

Keneally threatens to block Rudd's takeover proposal - The Premier, Kristina Keneally, is telling people behind closed doors that she will scuttle Kevin Rudd's health and hospitals reform plan if the demands of NSW are not met - Sydney Morning Herald

Rudd health reforms 'bizarre', says Reserve Bank board member Roger Corbett - Reserve Bank board member Roger Corbett has attacked Kevin Rudd's hospital reform plan as "bizarre", and a "formula for disaster", as the Prime Minister today prepares to release a $739 million injection to aged-care services as a sweetener to break the deadlock with the states - The Australian

States seek details on health plan - The states are holding out for more information from Kevin Rudd before committing to his $50 billion hospital reform blueprint, despite his release of a $500 million plan to halve emergency department waiting times to no more than four hours - The Australian

Immigration

Indonesia backs refugee freeze - The Indonesian government has welcomed the federal government's freeze on processing Afghan and Sri Lankan asylum seekers, saying it hopes this will stem the flow of people through its territory on their way to Australia - Melbourne Age

Kevin Rudd invited asylum-seeker boats to Australia, says people smuggler - The surge of asylum seekers flooding into Australian waters was a direct result of the Federal Government's policies, according to the men who send the boats here - Brisbane Courier Mail

Detention powderkeg - The first asylum seekers to have their lives thrown into limbo by new refugee policies are yet to be told they face indefinite detention on Christmas Island - Melbourne Herald Sun

Refugees in futile rush to beat law change - A flotilla of asylum-seeker boats is expected to leave for Australia from the Indonesian archipelago within days, despite the Federal Government's move to shut the door on refugees - Adelaide Advertiser 


Afghan refugees in no mood for turning - Bad news spreads quickly in the claustrophobic world of Pakistan's 1.7 million-strong Afghan refugee community - The Australian

Stimulus projects

BER audit may not check value - A review of the NSW government's handling of the $16.2 billion schools stimulus scheme by the state auditor-general may not even check whether value for money was obtained under the scheme - The Australian

Foreign affairs

Our bases retain role in US plan - Defence Minister John Faulkner has hailed the new US nuclear posture as a significant shift, cutting the role of nuclear weapons but preserving what he described as effective ''nuclear blackmail'' - deterrence from atomic attack on the US or its allies - Melbourne Age

Road safety
Drink-driving alcohol reading will not be lowered in NSW -The NSW government has no plans to lower the drink-driving blood alcohol limit from 0.05 to 0.02, the transport minister says - Sydney Morning Herald

Easy money in a desperate trade - The Sydney Daily Telegraph tells the story of a people smuggler turned informer.

Political lurks and perks

Australian MPs have frequent flyer wings clipped - Federal MPs racked up more than 15 million frequent-flyer points in just six months last year, but their wings could soon be clipped - Brisbane Courier Mail

Law and order

Rudd happy over arrests of three crew - The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, says he is pleased charges have been laid against personnel from a foreign vessel accused of entering a restricted area of the Great Barrier Reef - Sydney Morning Herald

Education

Test 'strike breakers' at legal risk - Parents who were used as strike-breakers and asked to supervise tests could be legally liable if students were injured under their watch, the Law Institute of Victoria has warned - Melbourne Age

Crunch time for teachers' test ban - The Australian Education Union is today expected to formally ban teachers from conducting tests that will be used for the My School website, buoyed by an opinion poll showing a small majority of parents believe the action would be justified - The Australian

Parents in plan to bust teacher strike - A Federal Government plan to use parents as strikebreakers if teachers boycott next month's national literacy and numeracy tests has been thrown into disarray after WA's peak parents' group warned that mums and dads would not be used as scab labour - The West Australian

Governments

Intrigue over Cabinet jobs - Treasurer Michael Aird has refused to back down from threats he will resign if the Greens get a Cabinet seat.Labor caucus will meet today to decide the make-up of the new Cabinet.

Elections

Abbott to woo small business with tax breaks - Tony Abbott is considering a suite of tax breaks and incentives for small companies as part of a determined push to recapture the Liberal's traditional constituency of small and family businesses before the election - The Australian

Xenophon dares `tin man' PM to double dissolution - Nick Xenophon is playing up the likelihood of Kevin Rudd using the rejection of the government's health and climate change bills as grounds for a double dissolution in October to force a "rejig" of the Senate - The Australian

Executive privilege

Hulls order on Windsor 'contempt' - Attorney-Gemeral Rob Hulls has committed a serious contempt of Parliament by ordering government advisers not to appear before a parliamentary inquiry into the Hotel Windsor planning scandal, according to the legal guardian of Victoria's upper house - Melbourne Age

Conservatism

How the West was lost: a lack of faith in civilisation - Just over a fortnight ago 84 prominent Australians gathered for a dinner at Stonington Mansion in Melbourne - the home of the art dealer Rod Menzies - to launch the Foundations of Western Civilisation Program - Sydney Morning Herald  

Political life

Poli-cyclist Abbott gets into the spirit of things - Tony Wright of the Melbourne Age accompanies the polly peddle on a motor bike.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott flies in the face of adversity - Nick Cater of The Australian dons the lycra and goes cycling with the Liberal Leader

Transport Minister caught doing 149km/h - Gerry McCarthy copped the speeding ticket on Saturday on the speed-limited Stuart Highway between Tennant Creek and Alice Springs - Northern Territory News

Opinions 

Less can be more, for people, pensions and government - Size does matter but Australia is in the grip of a size mania, led by the Rudd government, pushed by the business lobby, and cheered on by numerous commentators. The argument for rapid population growth and high immigration is presented as if it is the only way of avoiding a slow and inevitable stagnation - Paul Sheehan in the Sydney Morning Herald  

Much to be cynical about in silencing of Windsor witness - Since the Windsor Hotel scandal blew up in the face of Planning Minister Justin Madden just over six weeks ago, he and others in the Brumby government have protested that they have nothing to hide. Why, then, do they appear so desperate to silence the one person who could put an end to the speculation? - Tom Ormonde in the Melbourne Age

Water plans drift behind a veil of secrecy - Kenneth Davidson in the Melbourne Age says there are so many questions and no answers as the desal plant costs keep rising.

No constitutional need for Dr Rudd's referendum - writes Glenn Milne in The Australian. If you look at it closely, the referendum looks increasingly like another piece of action-man window dressing or another political set-piece fix. Take your pick.

Fiery debate bears testament to cultural cleavage - Christine Nixon's incompetence is more alarming than her meal out writes David Burchell in The Australian

Many shared interests but few shared values with China - Alan Dupont in The Australian writes that the once pervasive optimism among Western liberals that China's rise will be strategically benign and a boon to an ailing global economy is giving way to a gnawing anxiety that a strong China may not be so good for the world after all.  

Secondary issues of primary import - Barry Cohen looks in The Australian at the secondary issues that might influence an important 10 per cent of the voters  

BUSINESS

Stokes nears merger success with Seven and WesTrac - Kerry Stokes' bid to merge Seven Network with his private mining and industrial equipment group WesTrac has received a major boost, with two key institutional shareholders poised to back the $3 billion deal after securing an earnings "guarantee" from the Perth billionaire - The Australian

MEDIA

Drug-charge reporter returns to ABC fold for Lateline post - Former foreign correspondent Peter Lloyd will begin work as a journalist at the ABC again this week, almost two years after he was arrested and jailed in Singapore for drug offences - The Australian

Hype is justified as a new media model emerges - If there is one thing that stands out with the Apple iPad, as someone clearly with a vested interest on how newspapers survive and prosper, particularly with a younger demographic, it's simply this: excitement - Geoff Elliott in The Australian

LIFE

Consumer affairs

Families slugged fortune in bank fees - Sydney Daily Telegraph
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