Monday, 9 November 2009

Media wrap - Labor's support still strong while Rudd dips a little




Rudd dips, Labor rides refugee tide – Kevin Rudd’s popularity has taken a hit but support for his Labor Government remains strong following a month dominated by asylum seekers, rising interest rates and the economy – Sydney Morning Herald

Nation split on Rudd's asylum-seeker stance – Australians are divided over how Kevin Rudd is handling the asylum-seeker issue in an Age/Nielsen poll that takes some skin off the Prime Minister but contains little joy for Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull – Melbourne Age

Voters say Rudd is doing a bad job on asylum-seekers - Rudd is doing a "bad job" on managing asylum-seekers, according to a majority of voters, while almost half think he is "too soft" on the issue. A Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian, reveals 53 per cent think the government is doing a bad job of handling the large influx of asylum-seeker boats this year, while only 31 per cent of voters are happy with the Prime Minister's performance on the issueThe Australian

One step ahead of the polls – Glenn Milne in The Australian reckons confidential focus group research conducted by Labor this year suggests that while Rudd's handling of the boatpeople issue may have temporarily angered voters, it will not be a deal breaker with the electorate.

PM can save his voice next time - that poll slide was a rough 'un – Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald declares that despite the Opposition's best efforts to exploit the Government's discomfort with the sit-in of asylum seekers on Oceanic Viking and the arrival of more boats, the fundamental realities of national politics are unchanged. Rudd remains popular. Malcolm Turnbull remains unpopular. And the Government would be re-elected with an increased margin if an election were held today.

Poll predicts Labor loss if Neal stands - faces a big defeat in Belinda Neal's federal electorate of Robertson if she stands for the seat, according to secret research shown to union secretaries last week by Labor's general secretary, Matt Thistlethwaite. The research showed that a swing against John Della Bosca and/or Ms Neal in a lower house seat in the Gosford area would be about 20 per cent, two sources at the meeting have told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Labor pains, neighbours won't vote John Della Bosca in Roy Morgan secret poll – Labor would be unlikely to hold more than half a dozen seats in the Lower House at the next election if John Della Bosca became premier, according to a secret Roy Morgan poll leaked to The Sydney Daily Telegraph.

Outspoken RBA director Warwick McKibbin dropped from PM's science council – Reserve Bank director Warwick McKibbin has publicly questioned whether the Rudd government dumped him from the Prime Minister's science council as payback for saying its fiscal stimulus package was "too big". Speaking yesterday after Wayne Swan said the RBA was "entirely comfortable with our fiscal policy", Professor McKibbin said he had no doubt history would show that the Rudd government had overdone the stimulus – The Australian

Finally, the real Alex steps forward – Former Toronto gang member Sanjeev Kuhendrarajah is heavily tattooed, has a criminal record for death threats and firearms possession that got him deported from Canada six years ago, and is now, perhaps improbably, the articulate and thoughtful spokesman for a boatload of Tamil asylum-seekers trying to get to Christmas Island – The Australian

Fresh bid to break asylum stalemate – Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith will touch down in Sri Lanka today in an attempt to broker a solution to the asylum-seeker impasse, which has hit the Federal Government in the pollsMelbourne Herald Sun

Economic matters
Aussies in grip of grocery inflation – Australians have suffered the highest-rising food prices of any major developed nation.  The cost of feeding a Melbourne family has shot up 44 per cent since 2000, new OECD figures reveal – Melbourne Herald Sun

Positive news for super funds – Superannuation funds are on the verge of delivering positive returns for the first time in 18 months, as a sharemarket rebound has helped funds claw back deep losses. However, the speed of the recovery has started to raise concerns among some funds that share markets could be overheating, according to Rainmaker, a financial services research house – Melbourne Age

Stimulus to stay, insists SwanMelbourne Age

New resources boom to spark faster rate rises - A new commodities boom could force the Reserve Bank into lifting official interest rates "very quickly" to almost 8 per cent, causing pain to the country's mortgage belt but leaving WA virtually untouched, one of the world's leading economists predicts - The West Australian

Foreign affairs
Flawed memo behind Fiji's decision to expel top Australian diplomats – Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama expelled Australia's High Commissioner last week after receiving a memorandum from the country's chief justice containing fundamental errors about Australia's travel bans on Fiji's judges – The Australian

Political life
Malcolm Turnbull's media minder, Thomas Tudehope, faces axe from Liberal PartyThe Australian

Second Liberal figure quits over Hitler YouTube clip – Uproar within the Liberal Party over a YouTube video depicting the federal backbencher Alex Hawke as Adolf Hitler claimed a second staff member's scalp yesterday as the party's state president, Nick Campbell, warned of ''decisive disciplinary action'' against those responsible. Party officials have launched an urgent investigation to track down perpetrators of the clip, which depicts Mr Hawke as a ranting Hitler berating aides for failing to wipe out the forces of factional rival David Clarke. Charles Perrottet, a key staffer to Mr Clarke, stood down from his job over the weekend after the Herald revealed that he and Thomas Tudehope had been linked in emails to the video clipSydney Morning Herald

I'm fit so Taser me, says Redmond – SA Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond has had a medical check-up - ready to undergo being shot with a Taser – Adelaide Advertiser

Anna Bligh deserted by South Brisbane ALP branch – A Labor branch in Premier Anna Bligh's own electorate has accused her of arrogance over privatisation and declared it no longer has confidence in her Brisbane Courier Mail

Law and order
Baillieu pledges police at every station – More than 900 armed security guards would patrol every train station in Melbourne and Victoria's main regional cities from 6pm to the last train under a Coalition state governmentMelbourne Age

PM caught in policy bind – Samantha Maiden in The Australian says Rudd needs to toughen up when it comes to asylum-seekers, according to Newspoll, but any policy shift could put him on a collision course with his own back bench.

The Keynesian kick – Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald tells us not to et the carping of bookkeepers and axe-grinders conceal the remarkable news: the world's economic policymakers have swung back to Keynesian demand-management, with Australia the prime example of its success.

The Future Fund should be scrapped – argues Kenneth Davidson in the Melbourne Age

Cranky old couple on the brink of a nervous breakdown – Phillip Coorey writes in the Sydney Morning Herald that such has been the ill-feeling and paranoia between the Nationals and the Liberal Party that, for a brief moment a fortnight ago, the Nationals thought they were about to be thrown out of the Coalition.

Childish methods of getting attention – Malcolm Farr in the Sydney Daily Telegraph on a hunger strike to do something about climate change


US Health Care
Barack Obama swings healthcare vote his way – Barack Obama is a big step closer to achieving his top domestic policy priority, after the US House of Representatives passed a healthcare bill with a government-run insurance plan – The Australian


Ocean Power Technologies not so swell at delivering projects – The US company chosen by the Rudd Government to build a $200 million flagship wave energy facility in Victoria has been accused by its own broker of being unable to deliver its projects. Ocean Power Technologies, which is to develop the 19 megawatt plant in conjunction with Leighton Contractors and is backed by oil and gas giant Woodside Petroleum, was the surprise choice for a $66.5m grant, beating Australian rivals Carnegie Wave Energy, BioPower and Oceanlinx – The Australian


Local news broadcasts could go the way of black and white television if Canberra gets its way on digital TV –  Local evening TV news broadcasts could become a thing of the past for up to 10 per cent of regional viewers under government plans to use satellite to provide TV services in digital black spots.- The Australian

Radio with pictures: time to stretch the boundaries – Mark Day in The Australian says it is time digital radio with pictures. It's possible now. DAB-plus technology can do it. But the rules and regulations that cocoon the industry prevent it


Traveston Dam verdict expected from Peter Garrett – Environment Minister Peter Garrett will unveil his preliminary verdict on Traveston Dam within days, promising to consider public opinion – Brisbane Courier Mail

At last, some good news on the River Murray as inflows rise – Healthy rains over winter have resulted in more water flowing into the River Murray in the past two months than in the whole of the 2006-07 financial yearAdelaide Advertiser


The drugs
Cannabis takes toll on Aborigines – The serious consequences of long-term cannabis use in indigenous communities are beginning to show, with an alarming surge in the rate of chronic mental health conditions among those who started smoking the drug at an early ageThe Australian

Drugs dog our schools – Hundreds of cases of students possessing, using and selling drugs have been reported in Victorian schools over the past five years, Victoria Police data revealsMelbourne Herald Sun

Real estate
Southeast Queensland housing developments stalledSoutheast Queensland's home affordability crisis is set to worsen, with several housing estates stalled despite Government promises of fast-tracking. Eighteen months after Premier Anna Bligh vowed to keep alive the Australian dream in the region, Queensland is Australia's worst performer for housing approvals – Brisbane Courier Mail

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