Friday, 4 December 2009

Media wrap - Canberra can have hospitals says Queensland


Health and hospitals

Health Minister Paul Lucas says let Canberra have hospitals – Queensland Minister Paul Lucas says he is willing to surrender control of public hospitals to the Federal Government if it can guarantee better patient outcomes. Mr Lucas was speaking ahead of Monday's Council of Australian Governments meeting in Brisbane, where Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will ramp up discussions with state premiers on health and hospitals reform – Brisbane Courier Mail

Junior doctors sick of inadequate trainingAustralia was nearing a ''medical training emergency'' with nearly one-third of junior doctors reporting they were not adequately supervised, an AMA survey has said. The 900 junior doctors surveyed across the country believe they are missing out on vital medical education and training, with nearly half (48 per cent) reporting they and their supervisors are too overloaded with clinical demands to dedicate the time needed, the survey said – Sydney Morning Herald

Hospitals drag chain when lives at risk – Several of Sydney's biggest hospitals, including Westmead and Prince of Wales, are failing significantly to see emergency patients on time, even those whose condition is ''imminently life-threatening''. Not one area health service in the state has managed to meet the benchmarks for all five triage categories, according to the latest hospital performance data – Sydney Morning Herald

Education industry

Spotlight on high-risk colleges – Foreign students could face tougher English-language entry tests while colleges would have to meet stricter requirements to safeguard Australia's international education industry. The crackdown was foreshadowed in an interim report released yesterday by former Liberal MP Bruce Baird. Education Minister Julia Gillard appointed him to review the legal framework of the nation's third most valuable export – Melbourne Age

Leadership – federal

Abbott hit by Rudd, Turnbull – Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull have launched scathing attacks on new Liberal leader Tony Abbott's ''tax-free'' plan to cut emissions – Melbourne Age

Abbott's high calling - A profile of the new Liberal Leader – The Australian

Rudd signals start of the Abbott attack – Kevin Rudd has launched his campaign to demolish Tony Abbott, warning that the new Opposition Leader wants to dot the nation with nuclear reactors and reinstate John Howard's industrial relations laws. The Prime Minister has also accused Mr Abbott of espousing "magic pudding politics" by claiming Australia could tackle climate change without the market-based solution of putting a price on carbon. And Malcolm Turnbull, ousted by Mr Abbott as Liberal leader on Tuesday, has reignited party tension by endorsing Mr Rudd's argument on the issue – The Australian

Rudd flies in to turn up the heat – Labor has moved quickly to brand Tony Abbott as a climate change sceptic who would re-embrace Work Choices and blow the budget. At the same time, Malcolm Turnbull, who was deposed by Mr Abbott on Tuesday as Opposition leader, continued to agitate as well as engage in a feud with his former deputy, Julie Bishop – Sydney Morning Herald

Dalai Lama gives leader of three days some spiritual advice – Tony Abbott meets the Dalai Lama – The Australian

Ian Macfarlane to lose climate change role – Ian Macfarlane, the man who brokered the aborted deal that saw the Coalition almost back Kevin Rudd's carbon emissions trading scheme, is set to lose his job as its climate change spokesman. Sources confirmed yesterday that Tony Abbott was poised to hand the critical role to the Coalition's environment spokesman, Greg Hunt, in a frontbench carve-up to be finalised next week – The Australian

Turnbull accused Bishop of disloyalty – A series of leaked emails have laid bare the simmering animosity between deposed Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull and his former deputy, Julie Bishop – The Australian

Bishop accused of dodging Turnbull - Recriminations have flown in the party's moderate wing over Tony Abbott's surprise victory in this week's leadership spill, and now Liberal sources say Julie Bishop dodged a request to stand with Mr Turnbull last week as he sought to fight off a ballot.

Leadership – New South Wales

NSW Labor Party warlords get their woman - NSW has its first woman Premier after American-born Kristina Keneally was installed following the sacking of Nathan Rees last night in one of the most extraordinary scenes in the state's political history. Keneally's elevation also resulted in the first female double act in Australian political history, with Carmel Tebbutt her deputy – Sydney DailyTelegraph

Right woman for the job - NSW Premier Nathan Rees was dumped last night in favour of Kristina Keneally, the state's US-born planning minister who has lived in Australia for barely 15 years – The Australian

The 'puppet' Premier – Kristina Keneally will be sworn in today as the state's first female premier and fourth Labor premier in five years after she rolled Nathan Rees in a leadership ballot 47-21 last night. But Ms Keneally's reign will be tainted from day one after the man she ousted, Nathan Rees, declared yesterday morning: ''Should I not be Premier by the end of this day, let there be no doubt in the community's mind, no doubt, that any challenger will be a puppet of Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi.'' – Sydney Morning Herald

Discredited, despised, but still pulling all the strings – Known as He Who Must Be Obeyed, Eddie Obeid is the most powerful politician in the state, yet a check of parliamentary records show the 66-year-old backbencher has not made a single speech in Parliament for the past seven years. The mystery for NSW voters is how the wordless Obeid and his equally controversial right-wing colleague, Joe Tripodi, wield such extraordinary power that they can make - and unmake – premiers – Sydney Morning Herald

Meet 'nobody's puppet, nobody's girl' – Kristina Keneally offered an olive branch to deposed Premier Nathan Rees and her leadership rival, Frank Sartor, but ruled out returning powerbroker Joe Tripodi to her cabinet. In her first press conference as premier-elect at 9 o'clock last night, Ms Keneally rejected claims that she would be a puppet for Mr Tripodi and Eddie Obeid – Sydney Morning Herald

Furious Nathan Rees slams treachery, disloyalty of colleagues – They had turned on him from the day he was elected on September 5, 2008. So yesterday Nathan Rees turned on them. "A malign and disloyal group well known by the community of NSW has made the business of government almost impossible." – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Dying Labor turns to a new heroine -  Kristina Keneally has become the first female premier of NSW, but like previous women premiers in other states, she has inherited a government in decline – The Australian

New figure, same DNA, state opposition says – The Liberal Party view of the new Premier – The Australian

Sartor seen as too gung-ho to lead – Former NSW planning minister Frank Sartor was last night denied his long-term ambition to be premier, as colleagues turned their back on a man who has been seen as a divisive figure in NSW politics – The Australian

A premier from Ohio - She's American, for a start. A young working mother of two, Keneally is also a feminist theologian and former teacher with a passion for social justice. She's elegant, attractive and always charming. As a child she was a friend of Katie Holmes, the actress wife of Tom Cruise – The Australian


Green wowser is no Leftie – It’s popular to call Clive Hamilton, the Greens' candidate in the Higgins by-election, a left-winger. In fact, he's further to the right than the Liberal candidate. It's a sign of the decline of Left politics that a reactionary, pro-censorship sexual moraliser who hates the idea of working people enjoying a higher material standard of living could ever be considered left-wing – The Australian

Higgins hopeful in climate-change push – Liberal Party anxiety over Saturday's by-elections was on clear display in the nominally safe seat of Higgins yesterday, with Peter Costello returning to familiar hustings and local candidate Kelly O'Dwyer issuing a last-minute mail-out to voters to assert her views on climate change – The Australian

Economic matters

Retail spending rebounds but jitters remain – Retail sales rose in October, having dropped in three of the previous four months, but there is concern the Reserve Bank's campaign of interest rate rises will stop the recovery continuing to Christmas – The Australian

Rich stride back to car showrooms - November sales of luxury off-roaders jumped more than 75 per cent, large four-wheel-drives by 36.5 per cent, mid-sized SUVs up 51.2 per cent and sports cars raced out, up 47.8 per cent, compared with the same month last year – Melbourne Age

Environmental matters

Malcolm Turnbull lashes Tony Abbott's 'costless' climate change plan – Dumped Liberal Leader Malcolm Turnbull has lashed his successor's "costless" plan to fight climate change just hours after vowing not to undermine him – Melbourne Herald Sun

Climate experts say plan is risky – Economists have rubbished Coalition plans to tackle climate change without an emissions trading scheme or a carbon tax.

Coalition's nuclear play to inflate power bills – The Opposition's desire to embrace nuclear power in the absence of an emissions trading scheme or carbon tax would result in electricity price rises of between 10 per cent and 33 per cent, according to estimates by the Howard government's nuclear energy expert, Ziggy Switkowski – Sydney Morning Herald

CSIRO accused of gagging scientist on emissions - A quarrel between the CSIRO and one of its employees came to a messy conclusion yesterday with ecological economist Clive Spash resigning and calling for a Senate inquiry. Dr Spash said the inquiry should investigate claims of censorship at the science body – Melbourne Age


Minister ignored development advice – Queensland’s Planning Minister ignored the option of letting a court sort out a development dispute in north Queensland, instead invoking special powers to decide it himself -- a move later slammed as unlawful by a Supreme Court judge – The Australian


Migration numbers at record high – The number of permanent and long-term migrants arriving in Australia has soared to more than 500,000 a year. Record numbers of migrants, temporary workers and overseas students are piling into the lucky country – Melbourne Age

Asylum boat intercepted – An Australian customs vessel has picked up another group of asylum seekers a fortnight after 78 Sri Lankans left the vessel in IndonesiaMelbourne Age

Foreign affairs

Australia a `leader of the free world' – Silvan Shalom, Israel's Deputy Prime Minister, has a higher estimation of Australia than perhaps even most Australians do - he believes Australia is a leader of the free world and as such its strong support for Israel is critically important – The Australian


Executed for acting in the voter interest - For the second time in 15 months, a NSW premier has been executed by Labor, not for doing the wrong thing, but for doing the right thing – Imre Salusinzky in The Australian

Rebels without a clue put brand NSW to the sword – Simon Benson in the Sydney Daily Telegraph writes that such is the circus-like absurdity of what happened yesterday in Macquarie St. A small cabal of malcontents in the NSW Right, the structural pillar of the Australian Labor Party, the faction that delivered power to Kevin Rudd, decided to shoot a second premier in the space of 15 months before they chose the person to replace him. The only conclusion to be drawn from the farce is that the people of NSW are irrelevant. For the second time, they will have a premier foisted upon them by bitter failed politicians driven by nothing but blind vengeance and self interest.

Eddie and Joe try a different dummy – According to Andrew Clennell in the Sydney Morning Herald, choice of Kristina Keneally as Premier shapes as a disaster waiting to happen.

Tawdry cast sits out dance of death playing in bearpit – The chamber of the NSW Legislative Assembly has often been called the bearpit, such is the lower house's reputation for savage political theatre and the bloodlust of its professional players. By rights, it should today be known as the bare pit, given its paucity of talent, low-rent rhetoric and moral turpitude – Tom Dusevic in The Australian

McKibbin bid to spread the load – Tony Abbott’s opposition is considering a less painful alternative to the Rudd government’s emissions trading scheme: cutting greenhouse gases now but making the next generation of Australians pay. The hybrid model devised by Reserve Bank board member Warwick McKibbin could satisfy the Opposition Leader’s rejection of both the ETS and a carbon tax while producing the sort of “magic pudding” emission cuts ridiculed yesterday by Kevin Rudd. But, contrary to some of Abbott’s suggestions, it would still require a higher carbon price – Michael Stutchbury in The Australian

No such thing as a free emissions trading scheme – Lenore Taylor in The Australian points out that Tony Abbott might be able to find a tax-free way of reducing Australia's emissions. But he won't be able to find a cost-free way.

Change in climate as Rudd starts from scratch – Dennis Shanahan in The Australian explains that for everyone expecting blessed relief in the Christmas break from the debate about the emissions trading scheme, after years of confusing, complex and emotional arguments, the bad news is that the debate is starting anew and all the ground rules have changed.

Rights and wrongs of separation of powers – Richard Ackland in the Sydney Morning Herald looks at the High Court ruling on laws where it appears the Government is trying to tell judges what to do.

A day that changed everything - Tony Abbott's ascension to the Liberal leadership has hit the capital like a hurricane, leaving no one untouched. Many Liberals are still shaking their heads at their decision writes Michelle Grattan in the Melbourne Age

Climate sceptics and the Liberals: negotiating in bad faith – Tim Flannery in the Melbourne Age says a history of betrayal means any assurances offered are worthless.


NAB's fairer rise sparks a price war – A price war has broken out in home lending, after National Australia Bank sharply undercut Westpac yesterday with a 25-basis-point rate rise – The Australian

Banks go head to head on rates – Westpac was under pressure last night to reverse some of this week's supercharged interest rate rises across its mortgages after rival banks aimed to capitalise on the interest rate furore by taking a softer approach to increases – Sydney Morning Herald

The day the lights went out at Westpac - Whatever you might think about Westpac's decision to jump ahead of the market, it is guilty of displaying a breathtaking lack of nous when it comes to its marketing – Sydney Morning Herald

Woodside hails Browse deadline set by Canberra – Woodside Petroleum's chances of developing the contentious Browse Basin gasfields through a $30 billion LNG plant north of Broome have been given a huge boost by the federal and West Australian governments. Woodside chief executive Don Voelte said yesterday was "a great day" for the company, 24 hours after the governments declared the Browse Basin partners would lose their retention leases if they failed to agree on a development concept in the next four months – The Australian

730 jobs in 'Curry mining bonanza – North Queensland's mining sector was delivered an early Christmas present yesterday with the anouncement by Xstrata Copper that it would invest $589 million on the Ernest Henry mine operation near Cloncurry – Townsville Bulletin


Raising the climate stakes - On the eve of the Copenhagen conference there are still deep divisions between the great powers. Despite a flurry of diplomatic activity to break the deadlock all nations, rich and poor, are jostling for the right to keep sending large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to keep their economies growing – Melbourne Age


Nine lets the cat out of the bag on free website viewing –The Nine Network may have jumped the gun at the Sydney launch of its 2010 program line-up yesterday by telling advertisers that shows in its programming supply deal with Warner Bros would be made available free online – The Australian



High Court overrules custody travel ban – The High Court has set aside orders that forced a mother to stay in a remote Queensland town so her ex-husband could have equal custody of their daughter – The Australian

The drink

Tougher drinking rules to curb street violence – SA pubs and clubs could be temporarily shut down through proposed laws aimed at curbing alcohol-fuelled violence. The State Government has warned venues in Adelaide's entertainment precincts - particularly Hindley St - to "lift their game" or face tighter restrictions from next year – Adelaide Advertiser

Give up grog for 2030 – Territorians are being asked to give up 130 cans of beer a year as part of the Government's 2030 plan. The Territory 2030 strategic plan set the Government the target of convincing Territorians to consume the national average amount of alcohol. The first stage required a drop of 15 per cent by 2014 – Adelaide Advertiser

South Coast boozers worst in NSW - South Coast men and women are bigger boozers than those in the rest of NSW, leaving a worrying trail of accidents and injuries in their wake, the region's health service says – Illawarra Mercury

Law and order

Damning report on police lab – Victoria Police's forensic services will be radically overhauled following an explosive Ombudsman's report due to be made public within days. For the second time in less than a month, senior police managers will be accused of maladministration and incompetence by Ombudsman George Brouwer – Melbourne Age


Household water price rockets – Water prices will surge by 21.7 per cent next year, forcing the average South Australian household to pay an extra $84 – Adelaide Advertiser

New move to charge bore owners - Up to 175,000 Perth householders could have to pay to use their own garden bores and South-West farmers pay to use their own dams under a draft report released yesterday by the Economic Regulation Authority – The West Australian


Year 12s to graduate with fewer pass marks - Year 12s will be able to pass fewer subjects and still graduate from high school next year, triggering concerns that WA's education standards are being eroded – The West Australian

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