Sunday, 10 January 2010

Media wrap - Changes to child pornography laws planned



POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Economic matters

Road to nowhere – Car production in Australia has plunged to its lowest level since 1957 as manufacturers buckle under the impact of the global economic slump and the high Australian dollar. Despite strong local car sales, helped by the Federal Government's business tax breaks, exports to markets such as the Middle East and the United States have all but collapsed – Sydney Sun Herald

Going like a rocket - The Australian dollar is on fire - but it's not all good news for the local economy – Melbourne Sunday Age

Foreign affairs

India links strong despite attacks - Australia is ramping up international lobbying efforts to admit India to the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum amid growing concern about the impact of the Indian student furore – Sydney Sun Herald

Fire 'attack' on Indian deepens race tensions – Relations between Australia and India were under greater strain last night after the second Indian man in a week was allegedly attacked in Melbourne – Melbourne Sunday Age

Political life

Solo Kate Ellis sports her mystery man – Sports Minister Kate Ellis spent an active weekend at Bondi Beach with a mystery man, sharing a beachside apartment, cliff walks and breakfast together – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Our Senator for the Umbrian hills – A federal Liberal MP has admitted staying at her Italian property in the Umbrian hills while on a taxpayer-funded study tour - but claims it saved on hotel costs. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, who jetted to Italy for two weeks, said the purpose of her $17,798 trip was to find solutions to the Australian wool industry crisis – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Child pornography

State plans change to child porn laws – Artistic merit will no longer be a defence for the use of images of children deemed to be pornographic under the recommendations of a working party set up by the NSW Attorney-General – Sydney Sun Herald

Prove it's not porn: artists told – Painters and photographers will no longer be able to rely on a defence of artistic merit defence under an overhaul of child pornography laws. Nearly two years after police raided Melbourne artist Bill Henson's contentious exhibition, the State Government will legislate to force artists to account for their works – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Swimming pools

Law targets pool drownings – Installing a backyard pool in Victoria is set to become more expensive under a tough national code designed to reduce toddler drownings. The stricter rules will come into force in May and apply to all states, including Victoria, that have not updated their backyard pool safety regulations to the national standard – Melbourne Sunday Age

Elections

Rann caught out on water – Premier Mike Rann has been caught out claiming credit for securing billions of litres of "extra water" for the Lower Lakes it was destined to get anyway – Adelaide Sunday Mail

Underwear scandal MP faces fight to keep seat – The NSW MP at the centre of the infamous underwear dance party at Parliament House could lose his seat at the next election, polling suggests – Sydney Sun Herald

Libs fire off plan to return cattle to high country – Cattle would again be allowed to graze across Victoria's heritage-listed Alpine National Park if the Coalition wins November's state election – Melbourne Age

Privacy

Myki 'to share our data' – Privacy concerns have been raised over Victoria's troubled myki "smartcard", with fears the new public transport system may be used as a Big Brother-style tool to watch commuters' moves – Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun

Opinions

How to duck howls of disapproval – Paul Daley in the Sydney Sun Herald gives a previews of the preview of the PM’s Jasper and Abby story

Country pays a high price to slake the city's thirst - Bypassing rivers and farmers for city dwellers could backfire for the Government argues Melissa Fyfe in the Melbourne Sunday Age

Here's a forecast: economists will continue to be useless – Edmund Conway in the Melbourne Sunday Age writes that b linded by equations, the experts fail to predict, well, anything.

Tough talk comes a little late – Piers Akerman in the Sydney Daily Telegraph says the Rudd Labor government has been left floundering like a beached whale by the criminal activities of the anti-whaling protesters in the Southern Ocean.

Don't blunt police power – says Wendy Hargreaves in the Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun. We all know how it works in politics. The State Government has to be seen to be doing something about street violence. Now they need to let our police do their job.

BUSINESS

Australian staff in Vietnam 'did nothing wrong' – Two senior Qantas employees prevented from leaving Vietnam after financial losses on fuel markets have done nothing wrong, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said in Sydney yesterday – Sydney Sun Herald

Melbourne in the running for world's richest horse raceVictoria could establish itself as the world's home of horse racing, snaring an $11 million summer race. Magic Millions tycoons Gerry Harvey and John Singleton have launched an audacious bid to turn their marquee race for two-year-old horses - which was run yesterday on the Gold Coast - into the world's richest race – Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun

ENVIRONMENT

Anti-whaler activists say Garrett lied – At the same time as the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd mounts a legal campaign after the sinking of its ship Ady Gil, it has attacked the Rudd Government for allegedly trying to evade its duties – Sydney Sun Herald

No help for grandmother with toxic garden - When the 74-year-old, from Adelaide, bought the land on the corner of Whittaker and Smedley streets in the town, she was completely unaware the site had been used as a major foundry until the early 1980s. Light Regional Council chief executive Brian Carr this week said the land had been rezoned and subdivided before changes to legislation in 1997, which required councils to "have regard to issues of site contamination" – Adelaide Sunday Mail

Farmers block $120m waterTasmania’s landed gentry is standing between the State Government and $120 million of federal irrigation funds. Caps must be placed on the farmers' long-held water rights before the cash can flow under the National Water Initiative, earmarked to turn the state into the nation's food bowl. But some of the state's best-known farmers are demanding up to double the amount of free water they already take before they will agree to a cap – Sunday Tasmanian

LIFE

Law and order

The mean streets: where the locals fear to tread - For most Melburnians, the city remains a safe place. But there are certain hot spots that are menacing, and even locals try to stay away – Melbourne Sunday Age

Police take DNA samples from child offenders – Police have taken DNA samples from almost 1300 Queensland children earmarked as the next generation of criminals – Brisbane Sunday Mail

Assaults, threats all in day's work for parking inspectors – Brisbane City Council parking inspectors are being assaulted or threatened by angry commuters at least twice a month, new figures show – Brisbane Sunday Mail

We feel unsafe in the suburbs, Sunday Mail survey finds – More than a third of South Australians - especially those living in Adelaide's northern suburbs - say they feel unsafe in their community, a survey has found - Adelaide Sunday Mail

Building industry

Gatto denies bashing rivals - Underworld figure Mick Gatto and his business partner Matt Tomas have denied allegations they were involved in bashing two building industry executives last month and demanding $1 million from each of them. The latest allegations of violence raise concerns about attempts by law enforcement to clamp down on Victoria’s building industry. Despite frequent allegations of corruption and intimidation, the Australian Building and Construction Commission and the $66 million Cole royal commission in 2001 failed to penetrate the industry, with only a few minor prosecutions over the past decade – Melbourne Sunday Age

The drink

Women urged to put a cork in it and feel the difference – Sarah Wilson says people should undertake the one-month, no-alcohol experiment to learn how big of a crutch alcohol plays in their lives, particularly when they are socialising – Melbourne Sunday Age

The drugs

Ecstasy use has reached new high – Ecstasy binges and toxic cocktails of pills, energy drinks and alcohol are increasingly common among young drug-users, many of whom believe ecstasy is safer than alcohol.  An emerging-trends report by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre reveals drugs such as ecstasy are readily accessible in NSW.Nearly 90 per cent of users claim the pills are easy, or very easy, to obtain – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

15,000 West Australians hooked on painkillers – People are becoming unwitting drug addicts because doctors are over-prescribing powerful painkillers, the WA Government claims – Perth Sunday Times

Allergies

Air Canada ordered to provide nut-free seatsCanada’s transportation regulator has ordered Air Canada to accommodate passengers with severe nut allergies by seating them in new nut-free zones on aircraft – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Real estate

Median house price to hit $1m by 2010Sydney’s median house price is on target to hit the $1 million mark by the end of this decade. Exclusive figures from property analyst Residex reveal about half of Sydney's home owners will find themselves millionaires by 2020 – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Education

Expensive schools put to test – Private schools may be forced to rebrand themselves to explain lower-than-expected academic results when the federal Government's My School website launches this month. Education and marketing experts warn that the site, which will go live on January 28, will leave poorer-performing elite schools scrambling to salvage their reputations – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Road safety

Wicked Campers fail roadworthy tests – There are are tourist timebombs on our roads. A State Government audit of cut-price rental campervans has found almost 95 per cent of vehicles are not safe to drive. Almost the entire fleet from the biggest and most high-profile company, Wicked Campers, has been ordered off the road – Brisbane Sunday Mail

Security

Commonwealth Games terror fear – Australian athletes will be at risk of terror attacks if they attend this year's Commonwealth Games in India, a leading security consultant has warned – Melbourne Herald Sun

Education

New strategy on sex education – A new sexual-education program for Years 11 and 12 students in WA will target "rite of passage" events such as school balls and weekend parties. The program is being developed by the Drug and Alcohol Office and will teach students about the risks involved in mixing alcohol, drugs and sex. It will be introduced into WA classrooms by the middle of this year – Perth Sunday Times

Truancy staffing slashed by a third – The number of specialised staff tackling truancy in WA schools has been slashed by a third this year – Perth Sunday Times

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