POLITICS AND ECONOMICS
Tony Abbott boat plan 'miserable' – A pledge by Tony Abbott to tow seaworthy asylum boats back out to sea, a policy that was endorsed by Kevin Rudd before the last election, has been effectively rejected by Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor, in what amounts to a major rebuff for the Prime Minister – The Australian
Refugee crisis a 'threat to unity', say 1979 cabinet papers – The Fraser government in 1979 secretly feared that the arrival of refugee boats would divide Australian politics and society for decades, posing a continuing threat to national unity, according to newly declassified cabinet documents – The Australian
Welcome mat for refugees put us on the map – The government led by Malcolm Fraser shrank from a proposal to turn back boat people 30 years ago - an option being kept open today by Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd – Sydney Morning Herald
1979 Cabinet papers
Special section – The Australian
Labor MPs take aim at Greens – Victorian Labor has lashed out at the Greens, accusing them of siding with climate-change deniers to prevent
setting up an emissions trading scheme. In a foretaste of what could be a bitter battle between the ALP and the Greens at this year's state election, Brumby Government MPs are telling voters that the Greens are impeding Australia's efforts to tackle global warming – Melbourne Age Australia
Julia Gillard sells the savings in reforms – Julia Gillard has moved to ease business concerns about Labor's new workplace regime, releasing modelling that estimates the economic benefit of the federal takeover of industrial relations from the states at $4.8 billion – The Australian
Rudd reckons he did alright in 2009 - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has defended his government's 2009 record in a New Year's Eve address to the nation. He focused on climate change, saying the outcome of the United Nations meeting in
could have been worse – Sydney Morning Herald Copenhagen
Farmers stranded as Premier jet-sets – Stricken farmers have attacked the State Government for leaving it too late to declare parts of western NSW a natural disaster area. Farmers around the badly-flooded Brewarrina shire said yesterday that while Premier Kristina Keneally was taking "joyflights" over parts of Coonamble this week, property owners less than 200km away were struggling to save their livelihoods – Sydney Daily Telegraph
Policy levers set to irrational – John Stone in The Australian remembers his days in 1979 as the new Secretary of the Treasury and some irrational attitudes within the Fraser Government.
Put the champers away and ring in the new IR – says Peter Anderson in The Australian as the New Year brings in the new industrial relations laws.
How Frog's Breath blew more freedom into Canadian press – Richard Ackland in the Sydney Morning Herald wishes the principles of a recent Canadian decision on defamation applied in Australia
A lifetime of Labor leaves new voters cold – Ellie Harvey in the Sydney Morning Herald points out that at the next state election, there will be people voting who were born in 1994, the final year of the most recent Coalition state government. Independents and the Greens aside, they face a choice between two parties, Labor and Liberal, neither of which is talking to them and from which they deserve much more. Don't we all.
John Laws interview on 2GB pulled at the last minute - Stand-in 2GB host Ben Fordham was forced into an embarrassing on-air apology yesterday after station management canned his planned special guest minutes before he was due to go to air – Sydney Daily Telegraph
Wealthy buyers banned from first-home owners grant – Wealthy househunters will be banned from accessing the first-home owners grant for properties worth $750,000 or more following claims on multimillion-dollar houses – Brisbane Courier Mail
Sydney house prices surge a record 12% - Sydney Morning Herald
Melbourne housing prices soar 17% to record – Melbourne Age
Perth property values rise 6.5pc – The West Australian
State's road toll hits record lows –
has recorded the lowest road toll since records started in 1952. Last year, 295 people died on the state's roads, eight fewer than in 2008 – Melbourne Age Victoria