Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Media wrap - The pundits turn on the Prime Minister




Tamils set for mixed welcome to detention – The 56 Sri Lankan asylum seekers on the Oceanic Viking are due to disembark today and enter an Indonesian detention centre where resentment is growing about their special treatment – Sydney Morning Herald

Boat sit-in erupts into fights on dock - A fight broke out among the 247 asylum seekers refusing to disembark from their boat in Merak, spilling on to the nearby dock and prompting Indonesian Navy personnel to intervene – Sydney Morning Herald

Foreign policy

Yudhoyono visit had been planned in detail – There was fresh embarrassment for the Rudd Government last night when it was revealed that the visit cancelled by the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, was far more advanced than the Government had let on – Sydney Morning Herald

Boat saga tests ties to Jakarta – The 56 asylum-seekers aboard the Oceanic Viking are due to end their three-week standoff with the Australian government this morning in a move that will help Kevin Rudd address tensions with Indonesia over the impasse – The Australian


Olympic dreams hit for six by funding row – The long-awaited Crawford report into sport says Australia has to stop being an international over-achiever and learn to be satisfied with a ''realistic'' top 10 Olympic result. In 39 controversial recommendations to the Federal Government, the businessman David Crawford says Olympic success is expensive and funding would be better directed to big professional sports and those which reflect the national psyche – Sydney Morning Herald

Report misreads the nation's love of the Olympics - Jacquelin Magnay argues in the Sydney Morning Herald that the Crawford Report hasn't got it right on the future of sport.

Olympic glory has had no impact in child obesity – The Sydney Morning Herald’s Richard Hinds argues that the Crawford Report has got it right on the future of sport.

Olympics row looms over sports report – The  biggest stoush between the Australian Olympic Committee and the federal government since the 1980 Moscow Games boycott is looming over recommendations in a new report that Australia should abandon its ambition to remain a top-five nation on the medal tally – The Australian

Sports system faces a revolution – The highly-successful Australian sports system will undergo dramatic structural reform if the recommendations of the federal government-commissioned Crawford review are adopted. The review, released yesterday, recommends significant changes to both the government's sport-funding arm, the Australian Sports Commission, and to the nation's sports institutes to improve efficiencies that will help Australia to remain internationally competitive without extra funding – The Australian

Rivers of Olympic gold drying up – The Rudd Government faces a tussle with Australia's elite athletes after being told to pump more money into popular sports instead of niche Olympic disciplines – Sydney Daily Telegraph


Minister Kristina Kenneally embracing solidarity with Nathan Rees – Sealed with a kiss. Once a contender for the top job, NSW Planning Minister Kristina Keneally yesterday made no bones about where her new loyalties lie – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Kevin Rudd's ratings slip in latest poll - Rudd's satisfaction rating is looking more and more like the leading indicator for the government's political discomfort writes Dennis Atkins in the Brisbane Courier Mail


Rees reforms pre-empt Keneally rebuke – Nathan Rees’s donation and lobbyist reforms have been exposed as an attempt to get one step ahead of the McGurk parliamentary inquiry, which will report that the Planning Minister, Kristina Keneally, has behaved ''unusually'' over her department's relationship with lobbyists. But Mr Rees's decision to draw up guidelines on lobbyists and to ban developer donations only goes halfway towards meeting the committee's recommendations, which require the Premier to publish a regular report on the internet giving details of meetings between government officials and lobbyists – Sydney Morning Herald

Donations limits expected to hit Coalition hardest – Nathan Rees’s plans to limit how much political parties can raise from donations before the next state election is likely to severely disadvantage the Opposition, which has been raising funds at record levels in the expectation that it will win government – Sydney Morning Herald


Chuckles Combet the warm-up comedian – Annabel Crabb in the Sydney Morning Herald finds a funny side to Greg Combet and heaps a little ridicule on the Prime Minister

Women delivering more bundles of economic joy – Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald  says it remains to be seen whether the fertility rate will continue rising even to the long-term steady-state level of 2.1 babies per woman, let alone exceed it.

Read my lips: book decision a bad ending – Peter Costello in the Sydney Morning Herald  writes how you can say you want to cut down the influence of lobbyists, you can register them, you can require them to declare an interest, but nothing is better for their business than a successful decision to impose protection.

Populism trumps policy as Rudd plays catch-up on refugees – Michael Gordon writes in the Melbourne Age that debate over Australia's response to asylum seekers who attempt to come to this country by boat continues to be defined by the ascendancy of politics over policy and populism over perspective.

Logic shows deal was special – says Dennis Shanahan in The Australian

Rudd is treating us like mugs – Paul Kelly in The Australian does not put too fine a point on it. There is an emerging credibility gap in the Rudd government's navigation of contentious policy issues, a compulsion that denies the obvious and rests on the apparent assumption that Australians are mugs.

Cave-in a potent lesson – In the battle of wills over the people on the Oceanic Viking, the illegal immigrants have triumphed over the Rudd government, and one cost has been the damage to Australia's relationship with Indonesia writes Greg Sheridan in The Australian

Don't deny us chance to be world-beaters – The usually anonymous sports editor of The Australian, Wally Mason, has his say.


Tax office chases Myer millions – Private equity firms have been put on notice that supposedly tax efficient structures for owning and selling assets such as the $2.4 billion float of the department store giant Myer Holdings may in fact attract multimillion-dollar income tax bills – Sydney Morning Herald


Yes we can: climate hopes revived - China and the US last night resuscitated hopes for a binding deal at next month's Copenhagen climate change talks after President Barack Obama said the two countries had agreed to aim for a comprehensive accord to take "immediate operational effect" - The Australian

Climate hardliners stand firm – Malcolm Turnbull is struggling to contain his truculent party room, with about 10 MPs defiantly demanding they not be railroaded over the emissions trading bill. Mr Turnbull also faced fresh problems with his Senate leader, Nick Minchin, a climate hardliner, again making provocative comments – Melbourne Age

Weak ministers blamed for sick river - A former chief of the State's environment watchdog has lashed out at the management of the Swan River, saying the waterway was "deteriorating slowly but steadily". Colin Porter, a former head of the Department of Environment and the Environmental Protection Authority, blamed a combination of inexperienced management and weak environment ministers – The West Australian


Military secrets a click away – Terrorists can get a detailed birds-eye view of every Defence facility in the Northern Territory from the comfort of home. Federal Government legislation makes it illegal to photograph defence installations and military bases without permission. The law's purpose is to protect images of military or Defence installations being circulated and getting in the wrong hands. But high-quality satellite images of all the NT bases - including Robertson Barracks which is home to about 3000 soldiers - have been published on Google Earth – Northern Territory News

Hunt tells AW: yibbida yibbida, that's all folks – Rex Hunt has quit 3AW, claiming he was ''pushed aside'' because he is considered too old for the top-rating station – Melbourne Age


Going bush

Anna Bligh considers $3000 bonus to help people go bush – First-home buyers could be financially encouraged to settle outside of the booming southeast corner to help shift population growth to the regions – Brisbane Courier Mail

Child abuse

Sorry state of abused children – A day after the Prime Minister apologised to the forgotten Australians, fresh evidence has emerged showing more children than ever are being granted protection against family violence and abuse – Sydney Morning Herald

Law and order

Senator calls for police inquiry into Scientology – The independent senator Nick Xenophon has accused the Church of Scientology of being a criminal organisation, calling for it to be investigated by police and the Parliament. Senator Xenophon yesterday used parliamentary privilege to attack the church, after being contacted by a number of former Scientologists who accused the organisation of ''shocking'' crimes – Sydney Morning Herald

SA police to receive Tasers for patrol cars – SA police will receive Taser stun guns to keep in their patrol cars, but will not be able to holster the controversial weapons while on the beat despite appeals from the police union – The Australian

Judge takes swipe at planners - The decline of community interaction on Perth's streets, including the loss of the "corner pub" and a lack of alfresco dining, help fuel antisocial behaviour and crime, the State's top judge has warned. Chief Justice Wayne Martin suggested flawed town planning and the surging popularity of modern technology robbed West Australians of social skills and fed a lack of respect for others and their property – The West Australian

Freddo case sparks ALS call - An embarrassing backdown by police yesterday over criminal charges against a 12-year-old Aboriginal boy alleged to have received a stolen chocolate frog worth about 70 cents has prompted a call for a shift in police culture and an injection of funds for diversionary programs for juveniles – The West Australian

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