Monday, 19 April 2010

Media wrap - Fairfax downplays bad poll result for Labor

POLITICS AND ECONOMICS


Health and hospitals


Rebel states to defy voters - Almost two-thirds of voters want the states to sign up to Kevin Rudd's health plan today but the government was deeply pessimistic about the scheme last night with Victoria entrenched against surrendering 30 per cent of its GST revenue - Sydney Morning Herald


PM vows $1.7b extra for WA in health deal - The Rudd Government has promised WA a $1.7 billion sweetener in an 11th-hour bid to win the State's support for its health reform plan - The West Australian


NSW wins $5b health handout - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will offer NSW a staggering $5 billion in extra health funding this morning as a final offer to Premier Kristina Keneally to sign up to national reforms - Sydney Daily Telegraph


Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pledges $4.3 billion for state hospitals - The move could be a $3.4 billion win for Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and comes as the Prime Minister faces crunch time for his 2007 election promise to fix the crisis-ridden health system.


Polls


Backing for Rudd on health - More than six in 10 Australians want the premiers to support Kevin Rudd's plan to reform the nation's hospital system, in an Age/Nielsen poll that also shows the Coalition in its best position for nearly four years - Melbourne Age


Tough line on immigration hurts Labor - The government's harder stand on asylum seekers has the approval of most voters but has cost Labor supporters among its own base and enabled the Coalition to close the gap dramatically, the latest Herald/Nielsen poll shows. A loss of primary support left Labor clinging to the narrowest of leads on a two-party-preferred basis over the Coalition - 51 per cent to 49 per cent - Sydney Morning Herald


Jobs for the boys


New MPs stymied Greens deal - Premier David Bartlett and his deputy Lara Giddings tried to have two Greens MPs in his new-look Cabinet but his Parliamentary Labor Party colleagues rolled him late last week, said PLP members who attended the top-secret vote. The sources have told the Hobart Mercury the pair were outnumbered predominantly by newly elected Labor pollies desperate to secure themselves a Cabinet position.


Immigration


Former detention centre comes back into service - The federal government will reopen a mothballed immigration detention centre in remote north-western Australia to hold Sri Lankan and Afghan asylum seekers whose claims for refugee status have been put on hold - Sydney Morning Herald


Asylum seekers vow to resist move - Sri Lankan asylum seekers in Merak say they will not disembark the vessel that has been their home for six months if Indonesian authorities try to move them today to an Australian-funded detention centre at Tanjung Pinang, or continue to refuse to tell them where they are to be taken - Sydney Morning Herald


Disappointment and anger obvious - Anger and disappointment marked the faces of the first asylum seekers to be moved from Christmas Island to Darwin and Port Augusta - Sydney Morning Herald


PM reopens Howard's toughest compound - Kevin Rudd has reopened one of the most controversial Howard-era detention centres, the Curtin facility in Western Australia, in an attempt to send a clear signal to prospective asylum-seekers that Australia is toughening up its refugee policies - The Australian


Political life


Deputy PM recovers - Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard fainted yesterday afternoon at a march at the Werribee RSL. Ms Gillard was given water before getting back up and completing the march. A St John Ambulance volunteer spoke with her but said she needed no treatment - Melbourne Age


Sutherland accused of misusing parliamentary resources on gift issue - Liberal MP Michael Sutherland has been using his time as a State politician to lobby the City of Perth to increase the value of his departing gift from the council, prompting criticism of inappropriate use of taxpayer- funded resources - The West Australian


Barnett's reply to letter on chair sniffing 'not good enough' - In November last year, Karry Smith sent Colin Barnett a detailed account of the events surrounding the chair-sniffing scandal that had been the catalyst for Mr Barnett replacing Troy Buswell as Liberal leader. In return, she received a one-page hand written letter from the Premier - The West Australian



Economic matters


Swan talks up GST windfall for states - Consumption spending is set to rebound after last year's economic slowdown, generating a $13 billion boost to GST tax collections over the next five years, the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, revealed yesterday - Sydney Morning Herald


NSW still nation's basket case, say analysts - The NSW economy continues to be the worst-performing in the nation and the government must urgently introduce initiatives to stimulate growth in housing construction, business investment and jobs, analysts say - Sydney Morning Herald


Resurgent South Australian economy is nation's third fastest growing state - Adelaide Advertiser



Legal matters


Human rights act canned as election looms - The federal government is preparing to announce that it will not create a human rights act for Australia despite the recommendations of a report it commissioned last year - Sydney Morning Herald



Transport


MyZone ticket delay strands commuters - Sydney commuters caught in massive delays because of the new MyZone ticketing system today have been told to take their anger out on Transport Minister David Campbell - Sydney Daily Telegraph



Industrial relations


Abbott to soften IR policy on unfair dismissal exemptions - The federal Coalition is considering softening a key plank of its workplace relations policy, limiting the exemption from unfair dismissal laws to businesses with five workers or fewer - The Australian


Opinions


It's the people and PM v the premiers - Tony Wright says Rudd can feel some level of comfort as he gets down to the serious business of arm-twisting with the premiers and territory ministers today over health reform. Slightly more than 60 per cent of Australians are on his side - Melbourne Age


If Hockey is not heir, who is spare? - Glenn Milne in The Australian writes of Joe Hockey's internal Liberal Party woes




BUSINESS


Coffee giant embroiled in bitter battle over beans - The coffee giant Gloria Jean's is facing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit that threatens to lift the lid on one of the most secretive companies in Australia. Owned and run by the Hillsong Church elder Nabi Saleh and the high-profile church member Peter Irvine, Gloria Jean's parent company, Jireh International, is accused of breaking a joint venture agreement with a small US-based coffee supplier, Western Export Services - Sydney Morning Herald



ENVIRONMENT


Watchdog must take on more polluters: new boss - Victoria's environmental watchdog has stopped prosecuting at the level it should and must tackle a perception it is a toothless apologist for polluting industries, its new boss says - Melbourne Age


MEDIA


Judge rejects fight 'promotion' - A Darwin judge has hit out at the Northern Territory News for "promoting" a fight between two men to resolve a grudge. Chief Justice Brian Martin said it was "unhelpful" to run the story, telling of how two young Darwin men were planning a fight to resolve a grudge - Northern Territory News 


LIFE


Real estate


Home truths on the whys and wherefores of the property market - In the wake of the global financial crisis the housing market in Australia has blown away its international peers with valuations rocketing by 12 to 14 per cent, depending on which estimate you believe. One of the fundamental problems with most of this analysis is that it relies on a "median" calculation of prices - Sydney Morning Herald


Sex


Gen Y women facing pressure to have sex - The rise of raunch culture and the ''advanced consumerist'' culture of Western countries are creating new pressures on young women to have sex early and against their will, experts say - Melbourne Age


The punt
 
Pubs pour in for machines but experts tip strife for poor - Gambling experts have warned the biggest shake-up in Victoria's poker machine industry for 20 years will do nothing to reduce problem gambling and instead entrench poker machines in some of Melbourne's poorest suburbs - Melbourne Age


Art


Consensus elusive but all agree on public art big picture - For Arts Minister Peter Batchelor, Melbourne is still missing an iconic piece of art to define the city - Melbourne Age


Public service


No fix in Queensland Health payroll debacle - A multi-million-dollar roster and payroll system that has bungled Queensland Health workers' pay two fortnights in a row is still not fixed - Brisbane Courier Mail


$300,000 ... but no office - A senior state bureaucrat has no job description or even an office, despite being paid more than $300,000 a year. Former infrastructure secretary Mark Addis is contracted to earn nearly $5700 a week until December 2012 - Hobart Mercury
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