Your problem: Jakarta - The 78 asylum seekers moored off the Riau Islands are Australia’s problem, a senior Indonesian official said yesterday, insisting its policy of not forcing them to disembark reflected the human rights values that Australia is always urging the country to embrace - Melbourne Age
Kids destined for detention: Jakarta - Senior Indonesian officials have rejected outright a claim by Kevin Rudd that women and children asylum-seekers aboard the Oceanic Viking could be accommodated in regular housing, rather than behind razor wire in an Australian-funded detention centre - The Australian
Caucus united on refugees - Despite increasing political tension surrounding the Oceanic Viking standoff, Kevin Rudd’s caucus has been remarkably united on the Prime Minister’s handling of the issue - The Australian
Refugees Howard rejected are back - Refugee status has been granted to boatpeople who made return voyages to Australia after they were paid by the Howard government in 2002 to abandon their claims for asylum and voluntarily return home during the Tampa crisis - The Australian
Labor failing its own standards says Productivity Commission - The Rudd government has failed its own test for assessing major infrastructure projects, according to a new Productivity Commission analysis. The nation’s key economic advisory body says the government has not “universally applied” its own promise to subject all major infrastructure spending to detailed and transparent cost-benefit analysis - The Australian
‘Assault victim’ MP Jodie Campbell quits politics - Tasmanian federal Labor MP Jodie Campbell has announced she is quitting politics, on the day a domestic violence case against her partner returns to court. She says she won’t recontest the marginal seat at next year’s federal election, avoiding a by-election. A preselection process will select her replacement - Melbourne Age
Secret plot to sack the Premier - In a sign that the NSW Labor Party is determined on self-destruction, moves to dump Premier Nathan Rees have resurfaced. It is believed Mr Rees’ caucus allies Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid are softening their support for him and a plan has been hatched to oust the Premier after the state conference on November 14 - Sydney Daily Telegraph
NSW set for action on ‘junk’ insurance - The NSW Government is ready to take over the privately run mandatory home building insurance scheme, in an attempt to avert a crisis in the industry -Sydney Morning Herald
PM’s boat policy drifts rudderless - Dennis Shanahan in The Australian describes how everything is highly centralised, indeed almost personalised, into the Prime Minister’s office. Rudd is a hands-on micro-manager who wants to tightly control the policy and politics in every situation.
Brazen panel reveals truths - Michael Stutchbury in The Australianwrites how it’s telling that laying out an orthodox response to the global crisis can so easily be read as a heretical critique of how the Rudd government’s economic policies won’t revive Australia’s productivity performance. The commission’s annual report is impertinent enough to suggest that “increasing flexibility” in labour markets has become even more important in helping the economy exit the global crisis.
Cronyism on the sly - Henry Ergas writes in The Australian how it has become standard practice for Australian governments - and this holds true for the commonwealth’s Infrastructure Australia - to hide from the public the detailed information that would allow any assessment to be made of large infrastructure contracts.
US exits recession - The US economy expanded in the third quarter for the first time in more than a year as the government’s stimulus boosted consumer spending, but a weak labour market was expected to keep the recovery subdued - The Australian
Asian growth to fall again: IMF - The International Monetary Fund has warned that Asia’s rapid recovery will not be sustained, as signs of continuing weakness in the US housing market generated sharp falls on world markets - The Australian
Clergy: Jail gays, don’t hang them - Homosexuals should not be killed but instead imprisoned for life, Ugandan religious leaders have suggested. Making their input in the Anti-homosexuality Bill 2009 yesterday, the clergy said the clause on death as a penalty for homosexuality be scrapped - Kampala Daily Monitor
Aussie banks ‘don’t need fixing’, says ANZ’s Smith - ANZ Bank is pushing back strongly against the rising tide of global regulation, with its outspoken chief executive Mike Smith cautioning the local prudential regulator against “fixing something that’s not broken” -The Australian
BHP banks on global rebound - BHP Billiton does not expect to benefit from a bounce-back in world demand for commodities until mid-2010, but is confident China’s continuing growth will benefit its long-term strategy - Melbourne Age
Liberals lose faith in action on carbon - Liberal Party frontbenchers have begun to dump their support for carbon emissions trading after receiving party research showing voters are increasingly skittish about putting a price on carbon - The Australian
Time names the big five - What do Robert Menzies, Germaine Greer, Victor Chang, Eddie Mabo and Tim Flannery have in common? They have been selected by Time as representative of each of the five decades in Australasia since the magazine was first printed in the region, in Melbourne, in 1959 - The Australian
Brumby struggles for control of licensing - The Brumby Government is scrambling to reclaim control of liquor licensing after admitting that state planning authorities had acted in conflict with its policies and that more all-night clubs could open soon - Melbourne Age
Aussies cant hold our booze - Rob Moore asks in the Melbourne Age:What happens if you open a number of very large licensed venues, give them extended trading hours, watch them aggressively promote alcohol products on-site and then pay little respect to the guidelines and practice of responsible serving of alcohol? You get the recipe for alcohol-fuelled violence as we are seeing in Melbourne.
Architecture award winners - In 2009, a record 800-plus projects vied for Australian Institute of Architects state and territory architecture awards, with 144 rewarded. Of these, 32 projects and practices have been awarded 2009 National Architecture awards or commendations - Melbourne Age
Law and order
RBA’s new ‘bribe’ storm - The Reserve Bank of Australia’s banknote firm paid multi-million-dollar commissions to a senior Vietnamese official in an apparent breach of federal bribery laws that carry a 10-year jail sentence. Anh Ngoc Luong received more than $5 million in so-called ”commission” payments from RBA firm Securency -Melbourne Age
Cops to crack down on Alice thugs - Police in Alice Springs have launched a campaign to get wayward youth of the streets - and protect tourists - following a spate of unprovoked bashings in the town - Northern Territory News
Kill your limits, not the speed, groups say - With new figures out yesterday showing the state’s road toll is well up on this time last year, NRMA Motoring & Services and the lobby group National Motorists Association Australia have argued that speed can save lives. They say speed restrictions that keep motorists driving on rural roads for long periods may increase the likelihood of an accident occurring as this pushes up levels of fatigue, boredom and frustration - Sydney Morning Herald