Friday, 7 May 2010

Media wrap - More health billions on the way

POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Health and hospitals

Revealed: Rudd's $2b budget lure - Another $2 billion in health funding is expected to be revealed at Tuesday's federal budget to pay for changes to primary care, increase the number of nurses and the duties they perform, and to introduce a long-awaited system of electronic health records - Sydney Morning Herald

Shortage of GPs 'forces children to hospital' - Almost half the young children in some parts of NSW were taken to a hospital emergency department in one year, according to figures which doctors say point to a dangerous shortage of GPs - Sydney Morning Herald

Economic matters

Rate rises put brakes on spending - The spate of interest rate rises have finally hit spending. The latest retail figures show NSW consumers spent less in March than in December, after seasonal adjustment - Sydney Morning Herald

Foley replaces election optimism with warning of tough economic times - A $1.2 billion shortfall in GST revenue for the state will result in "difficult decisions which will cause angst and concern", Treasurer Kevin Foley has warned Parliament - Adelaide Advertiser

Population

Growth too fast: Brumby - Premier John Brumby has acknowledged for the first time that Victoria's population has been growing too fast - Melbourne Age

Immigration

Asylum seeker shock over visa rejection - Immigration Minister Chris Evans has been accused of perpetuating a cruel hoax after his department rejected asylum seekers he moved to Darwin on the prospect of a visa - Melbourne Age

Broadband

Why Rudd is suddenly happy to be the Cable Guy - From now until the election Kevin Rudd and the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, have a good news story to tell on broadband writes Phillip Coorey in the Sydney Morning Herald

Religion

Bernardi backing for burqa ban reflects right-wing influence - The shadow parliamentary secretary assisting Tony Abbott, Cory Bernardi, has called for Islamic women to be banned from wearing the burqa in a pointer to the growing assertiveness of the party's conservative wing - Sydney Morning Herald

Bernardi calls for burqa ban - South Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi yesterday called for the Islamic headdress to be banned after an armed bandit used one as a disguise, a move the Muslim community criticised as a political stunt - Adelaide Advertiser

Community leaders split over controversial call to ban burqas in public - Sydney Daily Telegraph

Taxation

Miners begin ad campaign against tax - The mining industry starts a national newspaper advertising campaign today against the federal government's proposed super-profits tax - Melbourne Age

Law and order

MP defies Brumby on corruption - A senior Labor MP has broken ranks with Premier John Brumby and called for an independent anti-corruption commission, saying Victorians have lost faith in the current integrity bodies - Melbourne Age

Education

Union ban lifted on school tests - National literacy and numeracy tests will go ahead next week after the teachers union abandoned the boycott it had threatened over fears the test results would be misused to rank schools. The union said it had resolved to lift the ban after federal Education Minister Julia Gillard agreed to form a working party of educational experts, including union representatives, to provide input into future improvements to the My School website - Melbourne Age

Schools get test papers back after ban lifted - The NSW Department of Education will return seized boxes of NAPLAN test papers to school principals after the national teacher union decided to lift its ban on the national literacy and numeracy tests being held next week - Sydney Morning Herald

Julia Gillard forced teachers to call off boycott - The Australian

Gillard peace deal fuels leadership talk - The Federal Government secured a rare political victory yesterday after Education Minister Julia Gillard brokered an unlikely deal to end the teachers' boycott of next week's national numeracy and literacy tests - Sydney Daily Telegraph

Political life

Lying MP suspended after oath admission - The state MP Karyn Paluzzano was suspended from the Labor Party last night after admitting she lied to the Independent Commission Against Corruption - Sydney Morning Herald

MP Karyn Paluzzano's lies another blow for NSW Labor - Sydney Daily Telegraph

Carles walks out on Greens - Adele Carles has quit the WA Greens, saying she could not work with senior party MP Giz Watson and fellow Green Alison Xamon because of the way they pushed her into revealing her affair with former treasurer Troy Buswell - The West Australian

Elections

Election overhaul hits stumbling block - The federal government is running out of time to have its ambitious overhaul of the rules on political donations and election spending in place before this year's poll - Sydney Morning Herald

Stimulus projects

Safety prosecutions start as Combet pursues frauds - The government is threatening to seize homes and other property to recover money from fraudulent installers of ceiling insulation, as it attempts to minimise the costs of fixing the disastrous program - Sydney Morning Herald

Defence

Front-line fears about equipment failures lost in Defence black hole - The Defence Department's complaints system is dysfunctional and regarded as a ''black hole'' by many troops, who say senior officials may not be aware of hundreds of complaints by front-line soldiers about faulty equipment - Sydney Morning Herald

Industrial relations

Employers angered by Julia Gillard protection of take-home pay rates - Julia Gillard has bowed to union pressure and introduced new protections to ensure the take-home pay of tens of thousands of workers will not be reduced under the Rudd government's new streamlined awards - The Australian

Public service

Financial watchdog slams executive bonuses - Almost all Victoria's senior government executives are getting pay bonuses that have little do with performance, a damning report by state parliament's financial watchdog says - Melbourne Age

Opinions

For Rudd it's quite atrocious - While the Prime Minister is busy being buried by the miners, his teflon-coated deputy rises above the fray - Michelle Grattan in the Melbourne Age

Rudd's mistake on ETS was not challenging our behaviour - Hugh Mackay writing in the Sydney Morning Herald explains that human nature being what it is, people must be engaged directly and behaviourally in an issue if their commitment and interest are to be sustained.

Vision clouds for the private sector - Jennifer Hewett in The Australian says the grand NBN vision of the implementation study is very different to the one unveiled by the Rudd government in April last year.

Botched policy sale leaves few happy customers - Kevin Rudd pulled two perfectly reasonable policies out of the 1000 pages of the Henry tax review: a resources rent tax and an increase in superannuation contributions from nine to 12 per cent over time. They were perfectly saleable, perfectly respectable Labor policies based on perfectly reasonable advice. But since Sunday's announcement Labor's perfectly reasonable policies have turned to a muddy custard - Dennis Shanahan in The Australian

Peel layers to find Rudd core - Arthur Sinodinos says Kevin Rudd is not so much clearing the decks as burning the furniture in his headlong rush to the election - The Australian

Spiritless Labor leaves liquor reform on shelf - In seeking a politically safe outcome, the federal government has ensured the existing tax system on alcohol remains in place for the foreseeable future. Not surprising, but disappointing. And wrong - Tim Salt, managing director, Diageo Australia, writing in The Australian

Retirees big losers in Rudd’s mine plan - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan have outdone Pauline Hanson with their attacks on “foreigners” since they introduced their big new tax on mining companies last Sunday - Piers Akerman in the Sydney Daily Telegraph

BUSINESS

NBN can be built without Telstra, study finds - A national high-speed broadband network can be built without Telstra's involvement and delivered to consumers at lower prices than many are paying today, a study has found - Melbourne Age

Telstra not essential for national broadband network success - The Australian

Rivals put pressure on Telstra to make up its mind on NBN - The Australian

ENVIRONMENT

One in three voters against paying for climate change 'myth' - Australians are rebelling against the idea they should pay to fight global warming, entrenching the Federal Government's woes on the issue - Sydney Daily Telegraph

LIFE

Religion

Rumours fly over Cardinal George Pell's job in Rome - The Australian

Consumer affairs

Power bills may rise by at least 10% from July - Queensland homeowners should brace for a double digit percentage increase on their power bills from July following official approval of massive spending programs for Energex and Ergon - Brisbane Courier Mail
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