Monday, 23 November 2009

Media wrap - island detainees brawl



Political life

SA Premier Mike Rann had 'sex affair with married woman' – Allegations about Premier Mike Rann's sexual relationship with a married Parliament House staffer have rocked state politics and put his political future under intense scrutiny. The eyes of the state are now fixed on the Premier, who will today respond to lurid claims of a secret relationship with former waitress Michelle Chantelois – Adelaide Advertiser

Michelle Chantelois speaks out – Extracts from the transcript of last night’s television interview – Adelaide Advertiser

Sex scandal Premier Mike Rann to face music – A married ex-parliamentary barmaid says she had sex with South Australian Premier Mike Rann on his Parliament House desk during a lengthy affair, a confession that threatens to end his political career – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Rann leadership under threatAustralia’s most popular premier, Mike Rann, is facing the biggest crisis of his political life as married former parliamentary barmaid Michelle Chantelois last night expanded on claims of a sexual relationship with the South Australian Premier – The Australian

'Fantasy sex' for Premier alleged – South Australian Premier Mike Rann acted out a fantasy from a Hollywood movie when he had sex with a married woman in his Parliament House office, the woman claimed last night. Speaking on Channel Seven's Sunday Night program, receptionist Michelle Chantelois said Mr Rann asked her to watch a ''hot and steamy'' sex scene from a film called Unfaithful – Melbourne Age

Premier on brink over sex claimsMelbourne Herald Sun


Inmates run riot in Australia Island detention centre – A riot involving more than 150 inmates at the Immigration Department's Christmas Island Detention Centre has left 37 injured, 10 in hospital and several others scheduled to be flown to Perth for further treatment. The fight between Afghan and Sri Lankan detainees broke out at 6.30pm (10.30pm Sydney time) on Saturday – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Asylum seekers evacuated after mass brawl - Three asylum seekers are being flown to Fremantle Hospital after being badly injured in a mass brawl involving 150 Sri Lankan and Afghans at the Christmas Island detention centre. Thirty-seven men were injured as detainees wielded broom handles, pool cues and tree branches as weapons during the violent fight last night – The West Australian

Our resident evil – A teenage thug who was a member of a face-slashing armed robbery gang is still walking the streets of Melbourne after his deportation order was overturned.  The New Zealand-born teen was given his marching orders by the Immigration Minister earlier this year, after being found guilty of 66 offences. Several victims were left scarred for life after being attacked with box-cutters and hammers. But the 19-year-old went to the federal Administrative Appeals Tribunal, which overruled the decision to cancel his visa – Melbourne Herald Sun

Lurks and perks

Liberals stockpiling taxpayer-funded office equipment – A criminal investigation has been launched into claims the cash-strapped Liberal Party is illegally stockpiling taxpayer-funded office equipment. A month after the Auditor-General uncovered widespread rorting of MPs' entitlements, the Liberal Party is fighting allegations it has breached laws that prevent political parties raiding the public purse – Brisbane Courier Mail


Brumby divides the bush on water – Premier John Brumby is travelling badly in the bush - and his Government's contentious water policies are a key reason. A new opinion poll shows Labor riding on a wave of popular support in suburban Melbourne towards a big win over the Coalition at next year's state election. But the poll, commissioned by The Age and The Sunday Age 12 months out from the election, points to one small concern for Mr Brumby: voters outside Melbourne are giving Labor the thumbs-down.


Labor Left denies push for looming upper house vacancy – Left faction bosses in NSW Labor have denied reports they are eyeing a spot in state parliament reserved for the Right as factional turbulence continued in the wake of last week's execution by Premier Nathan Rees of right-wing warlord Joe Tripodi. It is understood a Right member of the upper house, Henry Tsang, will quit parliament before the end of the year, allowing Labor to fill the vacancy with a new MP whose term will continue until 2015 – The Australian

Economic matters

School rip-off concern – A Melbourne school principal has accused government-appointed consultants of overquoting for a project funded by federal stimulus cash – Melbourne Herald Sun


Skin cancer patient lashes health system - Skin cancer patient Sam Baker has spoken out against Government cuts in health spending after he waited more than six months to have a cancerous growth removed from his face because surgical appointments were cancelled three times – The West Australian

Gay rights

Rudd may overturn ACT gay union law – The Federal Government is still toying with the possibility of overturning laws recognising same-sex civil ceremonies in the ACT – Adelaide Advertiser

State Labor defies Rudd and calls for gay marriage – The Victorian Labor Party has challenged Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to legislate for gay marriage – Melbourne Age

Law and order

Minister stalls on speed cameras – The NSW Government is resisting the reintroduction of mobile speed cameras despite clear evidence from interstate that the cameras would drive down NSW's worsening road toll. NSW Police phased out ''wet film'' mobile speed cameras between 2005 and 2008 because they had become technologically redundant. But instead of following Victoria's example, and replacing the cameras with digital models, the State Government has stalled, wary of an electoral backlash and concerned about opposition from the powerful motorists' lobby, the NRMA – Sydney Morning Herald


Gillard holds to education regulator plan – Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard will press ahead with plans for a national vocational education regulator, despite the refusal of Victoria and Western Australia to sign over their powers – Melbourne Age


Richardson to face planning inquiry again – The lobbyist and former federal MP Graham Richardson will be called to appear again before a state parliamentary inquiry. The inquiry committee intends asking Parliament tomorrow for an extension that will allow it to call Mr Richardson for further questioning at a future date, with its deliberations to be wrapped up by late February – Sydney Morning Herald


Rees gags the shark spotters - Despite Premier Nathan Rees's promises of open and transparent government, secrecy demands are part of the tender documents for a trial of government-funded helicopter surveillance this summer – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Aboriginal affairs

Congress 'resets' Aboriginal affairs – Almost five years after the abolition of ATSIC, the Rudd government has announced details of a new national indigenous representative body, which will receive $30 million in funding. Members of the new National Congress of Australia's First Peoples will be subject to unprecedented probity checks to avoid the corruption problems that besieged ATSIC, and will be made up equally of men and women – The Australian

Calls to scrap income controls – Further calls have been made to scrap compulsory income management to avoid more damage among Aboriginal people in Territory communities – Northern Territory News


Split Liberals may see Tony Abbott – Malcolm Farr in the Sydney Daily Telegraph on how Tony Abbott wants to lead the Liberal Party in the tradition of John Howard and the "Liberalism" of the North Shore by paying careful heed to any changes to the mood of the electorate and in the Liberal party room.

Sceptic shows his true colours – Glenn Milne in The Australian writes asks if the Coalition votes in support of the ETS, what else is it going to fight the election on? Without the economy and the budget as election issues, what does Turnbull have left? Boat people and border protection? The truth is this is an intermittent issue dependant on the arrivals. No spike in asylum-seekers, no spike in the polls for Turnbull is the brutal equation. Allied with this realisation is Abbott's instinct that voter sentiment has shifted and is shifting on the ETS, a softening that has been picked up in private Liberal polling over the year and in particular within the Liberal base.

Political gamble worth taking – Malcolm Turnbull needs the legitimacy a secret ballot in the Liberal partyroom would give to his preference to pass an amended ETS writes Peter van Onselen in The Australian

PNG enters a period of optimism – Rowan Callick in The Australian believes Papua New Guinea is entering a period of opportunity unmatched since its springtime of optimism in the independence period 30 to 35 years ago.

Leader finds a legacy at risk – At a recent lunch Mike Rann was asked how he would like to be remembered once his days as South Australian Premier were over. Mr Rann replied that his most important accomplishment had been psychological. His premiership had convinced South Australians that their long sense of inferiority was misplaced; that they stood as tall as other Australians and could compete with them at any level. History will one day make its judgment of this, but it's unlikely to do so ahead of a rollicking examination of whether Mr Rann fell prey to the type of human frailty that seems to afflict so many successful male politicians. – David Nason in The Australian

Taxman needs a better handle on how we behave – Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald recommends study of Behavioural Economics and Complex Decision-Making, by Andrew Reeson and Simon Dunstall of the CSIRO.

Minchin's game is swallow the leader -  writes Phillip Coorey in the Sydney Morning Herald. Minchin believes embracing an ETS is dumb because the nation is sticking its neck out ahead of others for no measurable global environmental gain. His critics believe his ideology has clouded his pragmatism. Either way, there is an emerging consensus within that the Liberal Party is not big enough for both men.

This ETS-lite deserves to be rejected – writes Kenneth Davidson in the Melbourne Age


One.Tel suit looms for Murdoch and Packer – Funding for a $132 million legal claim against One.Tel backers James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch over a withdrawn rights issue is "95 per cent of the way there'', the company's liquidator says – Melbourne Herald Sun

Superannuation funds spurn local infrastructure investment – Superannuation funds are extremely reluctant to invest their $1 trillion-plus fortune in local infrastructure, despite growing pressure for them to take over major Australian assets – The Australian


Lib disarray over climate deal – Anger has deepened within the Opposition over emissions trading, with internal criticisms that chief Liberal negotiator Ian Macfarlane has become too close to the Rudd Government – Melbourne Age

Victoria unplugged – The Victorian Government is warning of looming blackouts and power shortages if the Rudd Government's plan to cut greenhouse gases passes the Senate this week. In a blistering letter, Victorian Premier John Brumby has pleaded with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to provide billions of dollars in extra compensation to the state's coal-fired power stations – Melbourne Herald Sun

Labor makes bid to sweeten ETS deal – The Rudd Government is considering a number of "sweeteners" - including more compensation for power generators - as it battles to win Coalition support for its plan to cut greenhouse gases – Adelaide Advertiser

Generators threaten ETS legal action – Coal-fired power companies are warning of price volatility, threats to future power supply, a collapse in the electricity market and even a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the government unless they win a big increase in compensation under the emissions trading scheme -- one of the final sticking points in negotiations between the Rudd government and Malcolm Turnbull's divided Coalition – The Australian

Hackers expose climate brawl – Computer hackers have broken into Britain's leading climate science research centre, making public thousands of private emails between top climate change scientists and, in the process, laying bare their bitter disagreements about the cause of climate change – The Australian

Wetlands disaster at the mouth of the Murray – The collapse of the Coorong wetlands at the mouth of the Murray River is shaping up to be one of the Australia's worst environmental disasters, an author of a report on the region said yesterday – Sydney Morning Herald


Investors eye internet TV boom – Malaysian billionaire and media investor T. Ananda Krishnan has seized an opportunity created by the government's proposed national broadband network, whereby he could challenge traditional media players for Australian television viewers – The Australian

Final bulletin: Roscoe to go on a high note – On Friday, Ian Ross will read his final bulletin for Seven News, ending a historic six-year period that saw the network move from second place in the ratings to first -- and stay there – The Australian

Balancing act to safeguard content – Mark Day writes in The Australian how last week two of the industry’s most powerful figures drove their stakes into the ground with opposing views about the way ahead.


The drink

Police catch parents buying booze for Gold Coast Schoolies – Parents of Schoolies revellers are ignoring pleas from police, politicians and welfare leaders to stop buying alcohol for their underage children – Brisbane Courier Mail

Girl power turns ugly and violent during Schoolies Week – They are the shiny, silver bracelets teenage girls would never factor into their well-planned outfits. But an increasing tendency for young girls to booze and brawl along with the blokes is seeing them slapped in handcuffs – Sydney Daily Telegraph


New airport set for take-off – The Rudd Government is expected to pave the way for the Richmond air force base to be opened up to commercial airline traffic when it releases its long-awaited aviation white paper next month – Sydney Morning Herald

Real estate

Home market rebounds after downturnSouth Australia's property market has recorded its best results since the global financial crisis hit, latest figures show – Adelaide Advertiser

First home blockade – Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are opting to stay put in their homes rather than sell, making it harder for Generation Y to get into the housing market, new research shows – Melbourne Herald Sun


Tax battle may affect advocacy bodies – The charitable status of many organisations that raise billions of dollars, including Amnesty International and Greenpeace, is at stake in a battle with the Australian Taxation Office that may soon reach the High Court – The Australian


Council parking penalties soar to $139m – Council rangers stung motorists with $139 million worth of parking fines last year with overstaying metered time limits and offences in school zones the biggest cash cows. Six years ago local government fine revenue was $59 million – Sydney Daily Telegraph


Checks catch 2000 students cheating at Queensland unis – About 2000 students studying at universities in Queensland have been found guilty of cheating during the past three years – Brisbane Courier Mail


Your call is important to us – Paul Sheehan in the Sydney Morning Herald gives Telstra an almighty and very readable blast.
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