Monday, 30 November 2009

Media wrap - The overwhelming media prediction is that Turnbull has had it



Go Joe: voters back Hockey – After a weekend of extreme pressure to challenge for the leadership of the Liberal Party, Joe Hockey last night succumbed and is expected to challenge Malcolm Turnbull tomorrow as a poll shows he is more liked than the Opposition Leader. Two-thirds of voters also want Australia to have an emissions trading scheme. The latest Herald/Nielsen poll finds Mr Hockey is preferred by 36 per cent of voters as the Liberal leader. Mr Turnbull has the backing of 32 per cent and Tony Abbott has 20 per cent – Sydney Morning Herald

Joe Hockey set to take on Malcolm Turnbull – Joe Hockey is expected to announce today he will contest tomorrow's Liberal leadership ballot under a deal allowing the Liberals to crush Kevin Rudd's hope of a pre-Copenhagen deal on climate change. Expectations that Mr Hockey would agree to challenge came as a Newspoll conducted for The Australian on the weekend revealed a stunning eight-percentage-point collapse in the Opposition Leader's rating among voters. Newspoll two party vote Labor 57 Coalition 43 – The Australian

Hockey ready for leadership of divided party – Joe Hockey is poised to run for the Liberal top job tomorrow, despite Malcolm Turnbull insisting he had the shadow treasurer's ''complete support'' – Melbourne Age

No place for Julie Bishop in Hockey's cabinet – Julie  Bishop is expected to stand aside as deputy Liberal leader for Peter Dutton in the event of Joe Hockey securing the leadership because of a troubled relationship between her and Mr Hockey. But she could survive if Mr Hockey fails to contest the leadership, her supporters arguing that she could help balance Tony Abbott's image with female voters – The Australian

Bunkered-down Malcolm Turnbull to fight until the bitter end -  Insiders say Malcolm Turnbull is determined to see his climate change fight through to the bitter end, although he could end up with fewer than 20 votes if he follows through with threats to contest a ballot against Joe Hockey. It would be a closer affair against Tony Abbott, prompting senior figures to warn last night that a close result or even a win by a few votes would be "catastrophic" for the party – The Australian

Three men aiming to be top dog for the Libs – The weekend of the three Liberal contestants – The Australian

Party heavies turn against Turnbull – The Liberal Party is preparing for a new and untested leadership team of Joe Hockey and Peter Dutton in a desperate gamble to prevent an election rout – Melbourne Herald Sun


Kevin Rudd considers double dissolution election over CPRS – Voters are one step closer to a double dissolution election, with the Government weighing its options if its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill is defeated again – Brisbane Courier Mail

Fed-up cops will vote for change – Rank and file police officers plan to turn their backs on the Brumby Labor government at the next election.  An independent survey of more than 2000 officers commissioned by the Police Association shows support for Labor is at dismal levels. Only 9 per cent of those surveyed will vote Labor, although almost half believe Labor will retain power – Melbourne Herald Sun

Greens name election hopes – The executive director of the Nature Conservation Council, Cate Faehrmann, and the Mayor of Byron Bay, Jan Barham, are set to become state MPs for the Greens after winning preselection at the weekend – Sydney Morning Herald


Rudd's approval rating slips but his scheme wins voters – Two thirds of Australian voters back the introduction of an emissions trading scheme - the very policy that is tearing down Malcolm Turnbull's leadership. A majority of voters, 57 per cent, also support the Government calling an early election if the scheme is blocked. Nielsen puts the two party vote at Labor 56 to Liberal 44 with Rudd’s approval rating down two points to 66.

Malcolm Turnbull pays the price for mayhem - His standing in the latest Newspoll as preferred prime minister has dropped to a record low of 14 per cent against Kevin Rudd, and he is being out-pointed by Joe Hockey as preferred Liberal leader. When those surveyed were asked who was the best person to lead the Liberal Party, 33 per cent chose Mr Hockey, while Mr Turnbull received 30 per cent support and Mr Abbott was backed by 19 per cent. When voters were asked who they preferred of the two declared candidates - Mr Turnbull and Mr Abbott - the support was evenly split, 42 per cent for Mr Turnbull and 41 per cent for Mr Abbott.  Two party preferred Labor 57 Coalition 43 – The Australian

Half want a delay on ETS – Australians want to tackle climate change. They endorse emissions trading as a solution, but want to put off a decision on this emissions trading scheme until next year. The Nielsen poll finds confusion and division in the community on the hottest political topic of our time. But the division is most intense among Coalition supporters, spelling big trouble for their next leader – Melbourne Age

Opposition pushes ahead of Labor in key areas – Public confidence in the Rees Labor Government has plunged to such lows that the Coalition has forged ahead in the public's perceptions of how it would handle almost every single policy area, a Herald/Nielsen poll found last weekend – Sydney Morning Herald


Barack Obama to push Kevin Rudd for more troops – Kevin Rudd could be asked to send more Australian troops to Afghanistan when he meets President Barack Obama at the White House tomorrow. The Prime Minister was forced on the defensive yesterday, after a report that much of the discussion between Mr Rudd and Mr Obama on Afghanistan would focus on whether Australia could contribute additional troops to the eight-year war – The Australian

Economic matters

Historic rate boost – Economists expect the Reserve Bank to make history tomorrow by raising official interest rates for the third month running, despite a warning from the Federal Treasurer that companies are set to slash spending – Melbourne Herald Sun

Political life

Michelle Chantelois reveals she wants her hubby back – Michelle Chantelois has revealed she wants to reunite with her estranged husband - a week after accusing Premier Mike Rann of having a sexual affair. In her first interview since alleging on television she had an affair with Mr Rann, Ms Chantelois said she was taking steps to rebuild her life and relationships. She is now in Queensland with her 11-year-old son to protect him from the spotlight, she told The Adelaide Advertiser.

South Australian Premier Mike Rann plans to sue over tryst claims – The woman who claimed she had an affair with South Australian Premier Mike Rann four years ago has hit back over his denials of the tryst. A spokeswoman for Mr Rann emphasised that the Premier was pursuing defamation action. "The Premier has no intention of dignifying these repeat allegations with a reply," she said – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Political lurks and perks

Michael Johnson investigated over use of Commonwealth carQueensland federal MP Michael Johnson is at the centre of a federal investigation into the use of his taxpayer-funded Commonwealth car. As Liberal Party infighting continued yesterday, it was revealed Mr Johnson was being investigated over the use of his taxpayer-funded Toyota Aurion. A "furious" Liberal Party Chief Whip Alex Somlyay yesterday said he had ordered the vehicle be returned to Canberra when he heard Mr Johnson's wife had been driving it – Brisbane Courier Mail

Health and hospitals

Queensland hospital beds fail to keep pace with populationQueensland health authorities have responded to booming population growth with just one extra hospital bed for every 13,553 new residents. The abysmal planning failure is exposed in state and federal health figures analysed by The Courier-Mail.


Political gift bill labelled sexist – Developers have stepped up their attacks on legislation banning developers from donating to political parties, complaining the new law is sexist and violates people's civil rights. In letters to members of the Opposition and Government, the developer lobby group Urban Taskforce says a bill just introduced into Parliament by the Premier, Nathan Rees, authorises discrimination against people ''who have done no wrong other than to marry someone involved in the property development industry'' – Sydney Morning Herald


Transport vision ready, but not the billions – The NSW Government is due to hand down its ambitious 25-year transport blueprint this week, outlining a priority list of at least 10 road and rail projects valued at more than $50 billion, along with controversial options such as a congestion tax – Sydney Morning Herald

Aboriginal affairs

Aboriginal heritage law 'threaten projects' – Councils and developers are struggling to comply with new laws protecting Aboriginal culture, trade routes and even insects from development activity – Adelaide Advertiser


Turnbull overplays his hand with rival – Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald writes that after agonising over the weekend, Joe Hockey is inclining towards standing for the leadership of the Liberal Party tomorrow, with the blessing of his wife, Melissa Babbage. This would set him on an excruciating course; the conventional political wisdom is he should bide his time for an easier, post-election turn at the leadership. But he told colleagues yesterday he would not sit back and preserve his own prospects by avoiding his responsibility as the party's leadership favourite.

Liberals floundering in chaos – Michelle Grattan in the Melbourne Age sees the Liberal Party as a madhouse. Malcolm Turnbull amazed even the Turnbull sceptics by his wild performance yesterday. Turnbull unleashed appeared to many Liberals Turnbull unhinged, as he vented his considerable capacity for wrath against Senate leader Nick Minchin, now cast as the devil by his leader but quite popular in party ranks. Turnbull would have better stayed in bed, rather than appear with Laurie Oakes. His support went further backwards.

If Joe wins, he loses and caves in to Neanderthals – Malcolm Farr in the Sydney Daily Telegraph writes that Joe Hockey knows that to stand for and probably win the Liberal leadership tomorrow would mean he would see little of Ignatius, or four-year old Xavier or two-year-old Adelaide, during the coming election year. Taking the leadership would also almost certainly mean making a compromise in his views on the need for an ETS - and a surrender to people who some around Hockey refer to as “the Neanderthals” - and in his support for Turnbull. Hockey had only two options: back Turnbull all the way; or stand himself with an ETS policy tailored to the demands of people in the party he had argued against for months. All that sacrifice - family, party, principle - to fight an election which from this vantage point the Coalition is set to lose.

It's all over for defiant leader – says Steve Lewis in the Melbourne Herald Sun. Malcolm Turnbull is now Liberal Party leader in name only.

Malcolm and the mincer – Paul Sheehan in the Sydney Morning Herald becomes another journalist to have a flexible view of private conversations as he writes of having dinner with Nick Minchin back in August

Can the Liberals survive the heat? – Alexander Downer in the Adelaide Advertiser remembers that the Liberal Party lost the 2007 election partly because the public did not think it cared enough about climate change.

Joe Hockey's political hot potato – Nick Greiner’s advice to Joe Hockey: "No for the party. No for him." What I mean by that is if you want to be the leader of a party then you must have a chance of winning. And if you have a chance of winning you should run. But you have to run on your own terms. Margaret Thatcher would not have run on a platform in defence of unionism" – Glenn Milne in The Australian

Kingmaker Howard gives Hockey his blessing – writes Tony Wright in the Melbourje Age

Party facing no-win situation as it grapples with carbon conundrum – Lenore Taylor in The Australian writes that the  Liberal Party has run out of good options. Even less-bad options are looking thin. The refusal of the right wing to accept the 49-46 partyroom decision in favour of the ETS deal and Malcolm Turnbull's utter determination not to bow to their demands, even as his party falls apart around him leave only potentially disastrous choices. If Joe Hockey takes the leadership, it would be after agreeing to delay a vote on the emissions trading bills until next year – The Australian

A good deal, so cool the hot airThe Australian in its editorial argues: Come next month, as the world negotiates some form of agreement about greenhouse reductions, it is absurd to think, as some in the Coalition appear to do, that we can stand aloof. Healthy scepticism is one thing. Risking Australia doing nothing in the face of international consensus is another. It shows bad judgment. A case exists for delaying the Rudd government's legislation until after the Copenhagen conference, when it will be clearer what other nations will do. But the bill, as amended after five weeks' intense negotiations with the Coalition, is as good a deal for business and farmers as they are likely to get.

After the tumult, Libs get back on track – Dennis Shanahan in The Australian writes that after a tumultuous two weeks, the leadership and policy of the Liberal Party appears on track to match the sentiment of the Liberal Party faithful. Joe Hockey is set to replace Malcolm Turnbull, but based on a policy of voting against the ETS until after the Copenhagen climate conference next month.

Power giants crying foul? What a joke! - A carbon tax would be a fairer system instead of Rudd's flawed plan writes Kenneth Davidson in the Melbourne Age.

A real review would broaden the fight against corruption - An independent body to monitor integrity would be good for Victoria writes Colleen Lewis in the Melbourne Age

From case to cause of child abuse - To avoid subjecting more children to the trauma of removal from neglectful families, the root causes need to be tackled argues Dorothy Scott in the Melbourne Age

Interest rates are sure to rise, but probably not yet – writes Michael Stutchbury in The Australian


NSW rejigs model for $6bn sale of state power assets – The $6 billion NSW power privatisation will be restructured in a bid to bring more electricity traders into the state and increase competition in the market. NSW Treasurer Eric Roozendaal will today seek approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to offer the trading rights of the privatisation in five tranches, rather than the originally planned three blocks – The Australian

Bye-bye to Dubai – Investors are expected to continue their retreat to safer areas this week after doubts emerged about the willingness of Gulf state Abu Dhabi to help rescue its neighbour, Dubai, from its debt crisis. After a weekend of silence because of a religious festival, pressure will build on it today to detail its plan to delay debt repayments and indicate whether oil-rich Abu Dhabi has expressed a willingness to underwrite its unpaid loans – Melbourne Age


Record month of heat and rainMelbourne is all but guaranteed to post its hottest November on record, in a month of strange weather that has produced above-average rainfall – Melbourne Age

Senate in a spin as carbon debate rages – The Senate will resume debating the Federal Government's emissions trading legislation this morning, but Labor strategists concede they cannot force a vote before the Liberal Party leadership contest is resolved tomorrow – Melbourne Age

Family power bills up $400 – Electricity prices in NSW will soar by a staggering 60 per cent over the next three years, adding more than $400 to the average household power bill. And Kevin Rudd's plan to cut greenhouse gases would account for 50 per cent of the increase, according to a secret report with the State Government – Sydney Daily Telegraph


Third consecutive win for Seven network – The Seven Network has won the 2009 ratings year, its third consecutive win. It won the year on the back of sustained success for drama Packed To The Rafters, which maintained the same audience average as last year (1.9 million viewers) and its news and current affairs slate as well as dominance of the observational documentary genre – The Australian


Social engineering

Children's program does fat lot of good – A national children's activity program that has already snared more than $200 million of public money is proving an expensive flop, according to experts who say children who take part are doing barely more exercise overall than non-participants – The Australian

Aged care

Aged care goes from bad to worse – Aged care has deteriorated in Victoria over the past two years, with some nurses looking after 47 elderly people at a time at nursing homes, compared to 39 in 2007 – Melbourne Age


Human rights call to change laws on apostasy – Changing apostasy laws that mandate penalising or even killing people who convert away from a religion is one of the top priorities for interfaith, according to a human rights specialist – Melbourne Age

The house

A land where dwelling size and social status count - According to official data to be released today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average floor space of new free-standing houses last financial year hit a record 245.3sq m. Australia also topped the list for all new houses, which includes apartments and other dwellings, with an average size of 214.6sq m. By contrast, the average size of new houses in the US in the September quarter was 201.5sq m – The Australian

The drink

Drunk mob chaos on party stripDarwin’s party strip was closed down after hundreds of drunk patrons spilled into the street yesterday morning. Several people were arrested when about 300 partygoers on Mitchell St refused to disperse just after Discovery Nightclub closed about 4am – Northern Territory News

Schoolies Week to stay despite 'worst ever' class of 2009 – Premier Anna Bligh has ruled out scrapping the controversial Schoolies festival despite police branding the class of 2009 the worst behaved yet. There were record arrests during the first week of the event. Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke has described Schoolies as a blight on the tourist city, and residents and business leaders have called for the festival to be abandoned. But Ms Bligh said yesterday Schoolies would "really get out of hand" if the Government stopped providing organised entertainment and emergency services, a "safety response" costing taxpayers more than $1 million a year – Brisbane Courier Mail

The drugs

Sydney's killer drugs on the dancefloor – The head of one Australia's largest emergency departments said his ward was more like a private social and meteorological barometer. He can tell if it is going to be a busy night just by the weather. He can also detect whether a dance festival is in town – Sydney Daily Telegraph

The punt

Punters can join post office queue – Punters will be able to use their local Australia Post office to deposit and withdraw money from their Tabcorp betting accounts under a controversial new partnership which has outraged problem-gambling counsellors and anti-gambling campaigners – Sydney Morning Herald

Real estate

Shortage of premises means big rent risesSydney rents are set to climb more than 21 per cent over the next three years, the forecasting group BIS Shrapnel says – Sydney Morning Herald


30 charged over car defect racket – Thirty people have been charged after police smashed two rackets involving car enthusiasts and hoons paying public servants to wipe clean their driving records. An eight-month Anti-Corruption Branch inquiry has resulted in 144 bribery and corruption-related offences being laid against 30 people four of them customer services officers in the Transport Department – Adelaide Advertiser

Is this news?

'Smart State' Queenslanders among least tertiary educated – Fewer Queenslanders have a tertiary education than their counterparts in most other states and territories, making a mockery of the Smart State mantra. Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that while the proportion of Australians with a bachelor degree or above has increased over the past eight years from 17 per cent of the population to 23 per cent, Queensland is lagging well behind the national average – Brisbane Courier Mail

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