Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Media wrap - Abbott tries to make health the issue


Environmental matters

Kevin Rudd faces new emissions trading scheme demand – The Rudd government is facing calls to raise its carbon emissions reduction target by five times to 25 per cent and deal with the Greens in the Senate to pass an emissions trading scheme in February that would honour the Copenhagen Accord's goal of limiting global warming to 2C – The Australian

Come clean on targets, Rudd told – The Federal Government is under pressure to declare its hand on a 2020 emissions reduction target in the wake of the weak outcome at the Copenhagen summit – Sydney Morning Herald

Environmental and conservation laws put squeeze on polluters – A compensation fund to ensure fines from polluters go towards cleaning up the mess they leave behind should be established in Australia. The recommendation is in a major review of the nation's environmental and conservation laws, which also suggests establishing a taskforce to combat emerging threats – Brisbane Courier Mail

Industrial relations

Strike-breakers hired to move Christmas mail, union claims – Australia Post has been accused of engaging strikebreakers as it brings in extra non-union staff to get the Christmas mail through in spite of industrial action by postal workers – The Australian

Christmas mail faces more chaos – A wave of 24-hour strikes is set to hit Australia Post from today and could continue until Christmas Eve in the latest threat to the delivery of mail during the busy Christmas period – Melbourne Age

Health and hospitals

Abbott targets health – Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is expected to press for a national referendum of voters on health reform, putting heat on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd over his pledge to fix public hospitals – Melbourne Age

Disabled children forced to wait 'years' for essential equipment – Waiting lists for wheelchairs, walking frames and other essential equipment for disabled children are poised to blow out, amid claims children are already waiting years. Novita Children's Services states there are already 400 children waiting for 700 pieces of equipment and a support group says some parents are in "total despair" over the growing problem – Adelaide Advertiser

Hospital refuses to treat officer - An injured prison officer waited five hours for treatment in a public hospital after she was turned away from a private centre contracted by the Government because of overdue bills. The State Government has a long-standing agreement with the Wakefield Emergency Centre to treat public-sector workers. On Saturday, a female officer from the Adelaide Women's Prison with minor head injuries was denied treatment because government bills from early October had not been paid. The bills, totalling $196, were paid yesterday – Adelaide Advertiser

Hospital services pay price of sick wages systemQueensland’s troubled health system has been bleeding millions of dollars to its staff in overpayments because of a faulty payroll system – Brisbane Courier Mail

Political life

Rann sues 7 for defamation - Mike Rann has launched civil defamation action against the Seven Network over claims he had a sexual affair with a married Parliament House waitress – Adelaide Advertiser

Meet our grain of salt Premier – She claimed to have grown up on recycled water in her US home town but Premier Kristina Keneally was stretching the truth a little as she promoted our new and expensive desalination plant – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Abbott denies book-selling junket - Tony Abbott has denied allegations he misused his parliamentary entitlements, blaming Labor's "dirty tricks department" for claims he exploited taxpayer-funded travel benefits – Melbourne Age

Real estate

Doors open for dodgy dealers after property licence scheme axed – Thousands of NSW homebuyers are at greater risk of buying a dud after the State Government abolished the scheme it had set up to stop dodgy building inspectors. Unpopular Labor Party powerbroker Joe Tripodi made the decision before he was sacked as minister for regulatory reform by then premier Nathan Rees, despite the objections of builders, lawyers, insurers - and inspectors – Sydney Daily Telegraph


Grand slam for Barangaroo's grand plan: harbour makeover looks like 'worst of Dubai' – The State Government is poised to waive planning rules so a developer can fill in part of the harbour to build the city's biggest hotel in what critics have dubbed the worst of ''Dubai architecture'' – Sydney Morning Herald


Viking deal 'to sway others': Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka has attacked the decision to resettle the 78 refugees rescued by the Oceanic Viking, warning it will encourage more boatpeople to risk the dangerous ocean journey to Australia – The Australian

Political parties

Victorian powerbroker lashes Libs after poll slide – Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger has publicly condemned the performance of the Victorian opposition in the wake of yesterday's disastrous Newspoll result. His comments are likely to reignite tensions in the state Liberal Party as pressure mounts for a purge of long-serving shadow ministers and MPs – The Australian

Foreign affairs

Political lurks and perks

Hendo and Co spend big on travel – The Territory Government spent more than $1.43 million on ministerial travel last year. The biggest spender was Chief Minister Paul Henderson on $230,000. He was followed by Resources Minister Kon Vatskalis on $209,000 – Northern Territory News


Abbott on the move, PM stuck in muddle – The Rudd government now stands between the Devil (Tony Abbott) and the deep Green sea (Bob Brown) as it tries to do "no more and no less" than the rest of the world after the disastrous Copenhagen climate conference – The Australian

Rudd leaves Denmark with a rotten deal – To secure a Copenhagen Accord Kevin Rudd sold out Australia's long-term negotiating interests and accepted the full cost of any future climate change agreement – Tim Wilson in The Australian

Joyce becomes Labor's problem – Malcolm Colless in The Australian reckons there are signs of growing public concern at the bully-boy tactics that Rudd and his cabinet colleagues have used to demonise anyone who dares to criticise the Prime Minister's policies.

Abbott taps into a climate of confusion – Barry Cohen doubts whether he’s witnessed such unalloyed joy among Labor supporters as when the news broke that Tony Abbott had been elected Opposition Leader. They thought it a real side-slapper. He doesn’t wish to be a killjoy but thinks they were a tad premature – The Australian

Twist in leader's rhetoric – Peter van Onselen in The Australian points out how Kevin Rudd is spinning from government when he talks up the Copenhagen outcome. How else do you explain his about-face as to what constitutes success, unless Rudd has come to understand just how hard it is to secure global agreements?

Australia's goal as financial hub suffers setback as taxman scores own goal – Jennifer Hewett in The Australian believes move by the Australian Taxation Office to tax as ordinary income the profits from the float of Myer by private equity ranks as one of the more extraordinary own goals in the attempt to sell Australia as an appealing destination for foreign investment. It certainly makes a joke of the Rudd government's ambition to set the country up as a financial services hub for the region.

Labor's good intentions fail to guarantee jobs for youth – Gerard Henderson in the Sydney Morning Herald writes how the re-regulation of the labour market, in particular the reintroduction of unfair dismissal legislation, has provided a disincentive for small businesses to employ young Australians.

In NSW, scandal fatigue has set in – Andrew Stoner explains in the Sydney Morning Herald how, as he travels all over the state, the mood in the community is beyond frustrated. It is despair that there is nothing they can do to get rid of the Government before March 2011. And people have switched off.

Obama Accord a good thing amid Copenhagen fiasco – Ross Garnaut sums up in the Sydney Morning Herald


Qantas, Jetstar boost seat capacities – The Qantas Group plans to add more than a million domestic seats from March next year but says it is confident an improving economy can handle the surge in capacity – The Australian


Carbon traders fear slump in global markets – Australian companies trading in global carbon markets are expected to join other traders around the world in taking a step back, as the non-binding Copenhagen Accord reduces the chances more schemes will be put in place – The Australian

China and India in no hurry to lift their climate change offersChina and India -- the key players, with the US, in determining the outcome of the Copenhagen summit -- are in no rush to raise their climate change offers for the next big summit in Mexico in a year. It is instead likely that they will again front up with similar sets of proposals, working palpably in tandem, as they reshape the geography of international power – The Australian

North Stradbroke Island's fish deaths blamed on toxins - has erupted over what killed fish found floating at North Stradbroke Island's Blakesley Lagoon. Environmentalists say it is possibly the third fish kill in three weeks in the state's southeast. But Environment Department regional manager of environmental services Andrew Connor has dismissed the allegation, saying the dead fish were trawler by-catch – Brisbane Courier Mail




Mary MacKillop trail - walking on hallowed ground – Pilgrims  from around the world soon will travel to South Australia to pay homage to Australia's first saint. Interstate and overseas worshippers can travel from the township of Penola to the suburb of Kensington in Adelaide and many other significant locations to retrace Mary MacKillop's steps – Adelaide Advertiser

Imams out of touch, says report – Imans in Australia are badly trained, speak poor English and are "out of touch with contemporary reality", the Federal Government has been warned. Research for the Department of Immigration, released under Freedom of Information laws, found Australia's Muslim leaders were highly conservative and had little knowledge of Australian culture – ­Melbourne Herald Sun

The drink

Carlton players Ryan Houlihan and Andrew Walker banned by Crown casino - The latest fiasco for Carlton came when Ryan Houlihan and Andrew Walker - one of them dressed only in his underpants - emerged from a lift into the Crown Promenade Hotel foyer early on Sunday – Melbourne Herald Sun

City bar told to dish up or shut up – A city bar has been ordered to start serving more food, and proper meals, if it is to carry on trading as the restaurant it claims to be – Melbourne Age

Law and order

DNA to be retested in convicted killer's case – A man jailed for murder nearly 20 years ago has been thrown a legal lifeline, with DNA evidence to be retested for the first time in Queensland legal history – Brisbane Courier Mail

Consumer affairs

It's cheaper to shop overseas - big brands cost more – Australians pay more for the world's biggest supermarket brands than shoppers in the US, UK, New Zealand and South AfricaSydney Daily Telegraph
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