Saturday, 5 December 2009

Media wrap - Two new leaders dominate the news


The new Premier

Keneally pays back puppet masters – The Premier, Kristina Keneally, will reward the dumped ministers John Della Bosca and Ian Macdonald by reinstating them to senior positions in a cabinet reshuffle this weekend – Sydney Morning Herald

Making a Premier - From Las Vegas to Macquarie Street, Deborah Snow and Anne Davies trace the strange odyssey of the latest NSW premier – Sydney Morning Herald

Oath of office puts three females at top – At Kristina Keneally’s news conference just after she rolled Nathan Rees for the premiership on Thursday night, jokes were already flying about the female prerogative to be late. But Ms Keneally, who has had an at times fraught relationship with the Macquarie Street press gallery, did not endear herself yesterday when she kept it waiting almost an hour for her arrival at Government House – Sydney Morning Herald

The time-bomb that elevated a girl from Ohio  – The internal machinations that made a new Premier – The Australian

Convictions in the blood for new Premier -  a profile of a Premier in The Australian

Keneally pledges to pick own cabinet - NSW Premier Kristina Keneally has declared she will pick her own cabinet but refused to directly rule out consulting right-wing powerbrokers Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid – The Australian

The new Opposition Leader

Margie Abbott's policy pledge: home stays a politics-free zone – With her husband now the nation's alternative prime minister, Margie Abbott accepts some things must change. One aspect of the Abbott family life, however, will not. ''When Tony walks in the door, he's walking into his home, not an extension of his office,'' she said – Sydney Morning Herald

The missing element of self-doubt - The new Opposition Leader's destiny was largely forged in an unusual upbringing, writes his biographer, Michael Duffy in the Sydney Morning Herald

Abbott reveals knockout strategy – Tony Abbott thinks he can beat Kevin Rudd at the election next year by attacking him from the mainstream. The new Opposition Leader will harness discontent in the community over the emissions trading scheme and turn the Coalition into an obstructionist force prepared to block Labor's agenda at almost every turn – The Australian

Too hot at home in the kitchen for Tony Abbott - Tony Abbott has learned a lot about life from living in a household of women – Melbourne Herald Sun

Climate of caution surrounds Tony Abbott – Women are not as scared of Tony Abbott as the Labor Party would like and just a small number of voters think he's an extremist, an exclusive Galaxy national poll has found – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Victoria emissions target: Abbott – Victorians would be the ones most affected by an emissions trading scheme, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has claimed. Mr Abbott said that was because big power generators in the Latrobe Valley would be sent into administration – Melbourne Age

Out of the box: is he the right man for the job? Asks Michelle Grattan in the3 Melbourne Age

The Prime Minister

Rudd's Copenhagen dash – Kevin Rudd is considering an unscheduled dash to Denmark next week in the opening days of the Copenhagen climate change conference as world leaders struggle to reach a political deal on reducing global greenhouse gas emissions – The Australian


Roll up: the byelection circus hits town - The battle for the Liberal heartland seat of Bradfield is not the genteel affair it once was – Sydney Morning Herald

Liberals face `line-ball' contest in Higgins by-election – The Liberal Party faces a "line ball" contest in today's by-election for the blue-ribbon seat of Higgins, party sources say – The Australian

Liberals jumpy as polls test ETS stance – Liberals are bracing for an electoral backlash today when voters in two key seats pass judgment on weeks of instability and their new federal leader, Tony Abbott – Brisbane Courier Mail

Labor Party

Head office loses its Midas touch – State Labor’s general secretary, Matt Thistlethwaite, was under attack from the Right and the Left yesterday after leading the most stunning defeat of Labor's head office in living memory by backing the wrong horse, Frank Sartor, for premier – Sydney Morning Herald

Urban planning

Flawed transport masterplan to cost $350 billion – The new Premier, Kristina Keneally, signed off on her predecessor's big-spending public transport blueprint, despite remarks yesterday that the controversial plan was incomplete – Sydney Morning Herald

Aboriginal affairs

Abbott slams intervention `torpor' – Tony Abbott has accused Kevin Rudd of backsliding on the Northern Territory indigenous intervention by giving too much power back to the NT government – The Australian


Soldiers may be first to face charges for combat since Vietnam – A night-time raid in which five Afghan children were killed has cast a cloud over Australia's elite forces and could result in combat-related charges against Australian soldiers for the first time since the Vietnam War – Sydney Morning Herald

Health Services

UN says Aboriginal health conditions worse than Third World – Another United Nations official has deplored the quality of life of indigenous Australians, saying Aboriginal health compares badly with indigenous communities in other developed countries and was even worse than in some Third World countries – Sydney Morning Herald


Secret files on protesters given to desal consortium – Secret police files on people protesting against Victoria's $3.5 billion desalination project are being made available to the private consortium building the plant – Melbourne Age

Economic matters

More banks top RBA's rate rise - ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and St George have increased interest rates across mortgages in excess of this week's official interest rate hike, but have stopped short of Westpac's super-sized increase – Melbourne Age

Traveston Dam decision blows state's budget – The federal government's decision to veto the proposed Traveston Dam has cost Queensland taxpayers $256 million and is partly responsible for blowing out the state's deficit even further – The Australian

Foreign affairs

Rudd accused of appeasing Malaysia – Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has accused Kevin Rudd of appeasing Malaysia's ''corrupt leaders'' in the continuing fallout from the Prime Minister's decision not to meet Mr Anwar – Melbourne Age

Rudd makes case for Asia-Pacific Community – Doing more with less. That message now sits at the heart of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's push for a new "Asia-Pacific Community" to tackle the big threats confronting the region, from climate change to armed conflict – Melbourne Age


Opposition U-turn on Crown expansion – The state Opposition has abandoned its strong criticism of a deal to massively expand Crown Casino following a meeting with casino head James Packer – Melbourne Age

Northern Territory

Northern Territory reshuffles, again – Embattled Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson staged Labor's ninth cabinet reshuffle in two years yesterday, removing two key portfolios from underperforming ministers – The Australian

Minister Knight evicted in Hendo's reshuffle – Besieged Government Minister Rob Knight has been sacked from his housing portfolio. Mr Knight - who was overseeing the implementation of the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program - now has responsibility for business, employment and Asian relations – Northern Territory News


Biometric tests for asylum seekers – A scheme to gather biometric data from asylum seekers is being introduced in an effort to crack down on fraud and help identify those with overseas criminal records.


Santa returns as Mad Monk wins control of the nuthouse – Mike Carlton in the Sydney Morning Herald

The Iceman cometh - The new leader is under pressure to thaw tensions in the Liberal Party and persuade Australians that climate change action is not only unnecessary but dangerous. Phillip Coorey reports in the Sydney Morning Herald

Keneally must show she is not another Labor robotSydney Morning Herald editorial

Labor women's lot: now clean up the mess - on Kristina Keneally's ascension to the premiership, a senior Labor figure yesterday summed up the party's attitude to female leaders: ''The Labor Party are arseholes. We get ourselves into trouble and then we try to use women to get ourselves out of it.'' – Cossima Marriner in the Sydney Morning Herald

Catholic politicians blessed with rise to top of parties - prayers were answered, and others were not, but whichever way you look at it the past week has been very busy for leading Catholic politicians writes Matthew Buchanan in the Sydney Morning Herald

Marching to oblivion, with a quickening pace - The Liberals are at risk of destroying their core claim of being the party of government, argues Judith Brett in the Sydney Morning Herald

Libs risk becoming a down-market protest party – writes Judith Brett in the Melbourne Age

Abbott set to stir up both sides – Tony Abbott possesses a quality Kevin Rudd lacks - he can make complex issues sound incredibly simple. Abbott curtsies at the notion of complexity, but skips decisively to declaratory mode, stripping away messy ambiguity. He is a conviction politician who understands the power of the knock-out rhetorical blow – Katharine Murphy in the Melbourne Age

Abbott and women? No problem – Tim Colebatch in the Melbourne Age says Abbott unpopular with women? That was one theory going around this week, but the polls expose it unambiguously as another urban myth.

Abbott's ascendancy changes the game - The Liberal Party has finally made the right choice and is giving the government a run for its money, writes Christopher Pearson in The Australian

Abbott's grenade ignites debate – Paul Kelly in The Australian writes that this week Tony Abbott smashed the mould of Australian politics. With the opposition divided and behind, he is forcing Kevin Rudd to an election on climate change, the issue that is supposedly owned by the Labor Party. This is either brilliance or sheer folly.

Base jumping – George Megalogenis in The Australian contemplates the electoral arithmetic of a leadership change over emissions trading.

Policy up for grabs – Shaun Carney in the Melbourne Age writes that Abbott has a gargantuan task ahead in forging a climate change position and using it to beat Rudd. More than a mere mad monk – Tony Abbott is a one-dimensional conservative to his detractors, which is a pity, for he is, like a lot of leaders, a splendid tangle of contradictions – Tony Wright in the Melbourne Age

Business and labour equally wary of Mark II – It is not quite two years since Work Choices was buried, but now Tony Abbott is preparing to resurrect those laws as policy. OK, Abbott is smart and he will rebadge the laws with a different name. But no voter should kid themselves these new workplace laws will be anything other than Work Choices Mark II writes Paul Howes in The Australian

Political attack dog Abbott must bite his tongue -  writes Laurie Oakes in the Sydney Daily Telegraph


Climate email mess hits Australia - Australian weather records for an international database on climate change were a "bloody mess", riddled with entry errors, duplication and inaccuracies, leaked British computer files reveal – Sydney Morning Herald

Greenhouse targets won't stop dangers, report warns – Two days before the UN climate conference opens in Copenhagen, the targets for greenhouse gas cuts put forward by individual countries are unlikely to meet the aim of avoiding dangerous climate change, a report has found – Sydney Morning Herald

Clouds gather over Copenhagen - The world is split along geographical lines on climate action, leaving a treaty out of imminent reach, reports Marian Wilkinson in the Sydney Morning Herald

Watts not to like? Owners turn on to solar rebate – Household power bills are likely to rise with or without the Federal Government's emissions trading scheme, state energy ministers said yesterday after a meeting in Hobart. With legislation for the scheme blocked, it was difficult to find investors in the energy sector, they said – Sydney Morning Herald

Food miles concept rubbished – The concept of ''food miles'', or taking transport and fuel emissions into account when choosing food, has been rubbished by a new report from the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics – Sydney Morning Herald

Carbon taxes deliver more emission reductions: IMF – The International Monetary Fund has backed carbon taxes over the emissions trading system favoured by the Rudd government, saying they would deliver greater reduction in emissions and more certainty – The Australian


Kids party as ABC3 Television turned on – Not since Paul Keating was mobbed by schoolchildren in 1996 has a prime minister been welcomed so adoringly by a group of kids. As Kevin Rudd walked across the figure 3-shaped stage to flick the switch on the new children's channel, ABC3, little hands reached up to shake his hand – The Australian

Crikey! 10 years on is it all over? - So when the Melbourne-based Crikey website posted a rumour on Monday that Murdoch had split with his third wife Wendi Deng, what would normally rate as front-page news barely made a blip on the media radar – Sydney Morning Herald



Walk your dog or go to jail – Pet owners could be punished for not walking their dogs, under radical new laws being proposed by the RSPCA. Under the legislation, they would have to regularly exercise dogs, ensure animals are not kept chained up and give their pets adequate food and water. If the proposal becomes law, dog and cat owners across Australia would face prosecution, fines of up to $12,000 fines for animal cruelty and magistrates could consider jail in extreme circumstances – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Real estate

Queensland house prices surge out of economic doldrums - Surging prices in Brisbane's bluechip suburbs are leading the turnaround after more than a year in the doldrums. The regional Queensland market is also showing signs of a resurgence with demand back on track in Rockhampton and Toowoomba – Brisbane Courier Mail

The drink

Here's jeers! – A detailed look at the debate about the alcohol industry’s Drink Wise campaign – Melbourne Age

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