Saturday, 24 April 2010

Media wrap - Peter Garrett finds a defender in The Australian

POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Taxation

Miners face billions in new taxes - Australian mining companies face a massive new tax of at least $5 billion a year as the federal government plans to stack a resources rent tax on top of the $7bn miners pay in state royalties - The Australian

Henry tax review released on May 2 - The government has finally bowed to pressure to release the long-awaited Henry Tax Review -- already dubbed by the opposition a Trojan horse hiding big tax shocks. The report -- and Canberra's response to its recommendations -- will emerge on Sunday, May 2, giving the government just over a week to clear the air before the budget on May 11 - The Australian

Tax review could spare tax returns - The Federal government will finally release the long-awaited Henry review of the taxation system tomorrow week, nine days before the federal budget. The centrepiece of the government's response will be reforms to spare ordinary Australians the hassle of filing annual tax returns - Melbourne Age
Housing

New curbs on foreign home buyers - Complaints about foreigners driving up Australian house prices have forced the Rudd government to reinstate a rule it scrapped in 2008 requiring temporary residents to sell their houses when they leave the country - The Australian

Health and hospitals

Anatomy of the Rudd health deal - Peter Hartcher retells the COAG story in detail - Sydney Morning Herald

Local government

Councils call to exclude ministerial staff - Ministerial staffers could be banned from becoming local councillors under proposed changes to legislation. The resolution was adopted by the state's 68 councils at yesterday's Local Government Association general meeting - Adelaide Advertiser


Foreign affairs

Coalition to boost Afghan role - A Coalition government would increase Australia's troop commitment in Afghanistan and take over allied military leadership in the Oruzgun province from the Dutch - The Australian

Abbott pledges more troops for Afghanistan, spy planes for north - Sydney Morning Herald

Tony Abbott pledges budget lift for defence - Melbourne Herald Sun

PM wants robust dialogue with China - Kevin Rudd has defended his government's right to be blunt with China, even if the bouts of plain-speaking cause controversy - Melbourne Age
Immigration

Disorder not enough for asylum - Immigration Minister Chris Evans has indicated the Rudd government is poised to issue further rejections for Afghan and Sri Lankan asylum-seekers who arrived before the government's April 9 suspension of claims from the two countries. "I think the important point to make is that because a country is subject to civil disorder and great difficulty doesn't mean that everyone from that country is a refugee," he said yesterday during a visit to Christmas Island - The Australian

Corruption

Something rotten in the state of Victoria? The Melbourne Age looks at the case for a Royal Comission or some other form of inquiry into the Victorian criminal justice system

Broken promises

Union broadside aimed at Combet - Australian Workers Union boss Paul Howes has slammed Greg Combet over the scrapping of the government's home insulation scheme, accusing him of reneging on private assurances and betraying his background as a former ACTU secretary - Melbourne Age



Opinions

A cowardly way to lead - Laurie Oakes in the Melbourne Herald Sun says when his policies go belly-up, the Prime Minister leaves his colleagues to deal with the tough issues.

Bring out your dead - From the human rights act to pink batts, it was a week of burying bodies before they caused too much of a stink writes Katharine Murphy in the Melbourne Age

Back to practical tasks - This week Kevin Rudd put the stamp of practical reform on his government by affirming health and hospitals as his priority and dismissing the totemic symbolism of a human rights act for Australia - Paul Kelly in The Australian

Prepare for some bumps in the recovery ride - writes Michael Stutchbury in The Australian

Garrett the fall guy in Rudd's roofing fiasco -  claims Peter Van Onselen in The Australian. The Prime Minister and his Assisting Minister for Government Service Delivery, Mark Arbib are the two people who should be hauled over the coals for their (mis)handling of the botched home roof insulation scheme.

ENVIRONMENT

It's not over: Rudd vows to fight for emissions scheme - Climate change is still on the agenda, write Phillip Coorey and Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald. Kevin Rudd says the great moral challenge posed by climate change is undiminished and he will keep trying to implement an emissions trading scheme if Labor is re-elected.

LIFE

Immunisation

Flu jab fears grow as toddlers hospitalised - Clinical tests were never carried out on the latest seasonal flu vaccine - a first-time combination of seasonal flu with the feared swine flu H1N1 - that has left a baby girl fighting for her life in a Perth hospital and sparked fits, fevers and vomiting in up to 60 toddlers across the country - The Australian

Education

Small classes a `costly mistake' - The head of the Productivity Commission has attacked the emphasis on reducing class sizes in schools as "the most costly mistake" in education policy in recent years, stealing scarce resources from investment in teaching - The Australian

Too-hot topics out of ethics - The NSW state government made a last-minute decision to remove a hypothetical scenario involving designer babies from secular ethics classes being trialled in public schools as an alternative to scripture classes - Sydney Morning Herald

Real estate

Who's driving up our house prices? - Melbourne real estate agents say a third of properties sold in the leafy eastern suburbs is to foreign nationals taking advantage of relaxed investment laws - Melbourne Age

Consumer affairs

Energy drink swoop - A national investigation into energy-charged booze promotion will be considered at a meeting of Australia's consumer affairs ministers next week - Melbourne Herald Sun
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