Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Media wrap - CPI forecasts and interest rate rises predicted


POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Economic matters

Strong growth as world recovers – Australians should brace for a further spate of interest rate rises this year as a consequence of the country weathering the global economic storm better than the rest of the developed world. The latest economic outlook, released overnight by the International Monetary Fund, forecasts a strong global rebound for the world economy, predicting growth of 3.9 per cent this year and of 4.3 per cent in 2011 – Sydney Morning Herald

Effects of rate relief expected to show in retail results – Woolwworths is expected to show the effects of lower than expected food-price inflation and the impact of the Rudd government handouts when it releases its second-quarter sales numbers today. The figures, along with an expected slowdown in the December quarter CPI numbers, will cast some doubt on the need for the expected interest rate rise from the Reserve Bank next week – The Australian

Inflation fears tipped to trigger four rate rises – Inflation is expected to remain stubbornly high in Australia, forcing the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates four consecutive times, an unprecedented move for the central bank – The Australian

Rates tipped to rise 1.75 points - Interest rates will rise up to 1.75 percentage points over the next 18 months, one of the country's leading economic forecasters has predicted as the economy rebounds from the global recession on the back of strong demand from AsiaThe West Australian

Banks take a U-turn on mortgages – Banks will not pass on the full increases in interest rates this year in a reversal which would save home loan customers a combined $150 million a month – Sydney Morning Herald

Immigration

Two Aussies detained for visiting asylum seeker boat - Three refugee advocates, two Australians and a Canadian, have been detained by Indonesian police for visiting a group of Tamil asylum seekers locked in a stand-off with the Indonesian government – Sydney Morning Herald

No offence meant, McGorry tells Rudd - and no offence taken - The Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry has expressed regret to the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, over the reporting of his strong opposition to immigration detention, but Mr Rudd has defended the mental health expert's right to speak his mind – Sydney Morning Herald

McGorry softens blow on detention criticism – The  new Australian of the Year, eminent psychiatrist Patrick McGorry, said yesterday his criticism of mandatory detention of asylum seekers was not an attack on the Federal Government's policy – Melbourne Age


Christmas Island at breaking point: Frank Brennan – The head of Kevin Rudd's bill of rights consultation committee, Frank Brennan, has called on the government to transfer asylum-seekers to the mainland, saying conditions on Christmas Island now resemble those seen in the darkest days of the Howard-era – The Australian

Foreign affairs

Police hand attacks dossier to India – The  Federal Government has bowed to pressure from India to release a police dossier of high-profile attacks on Indians over the past year, which reveals nearly half the attackers are juvenile. According to a report in The Hindu, India's External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna, urged Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith in a recent phone conversation to hand over details of police action taken in cases of violence against Indians – Melbourne Age

Political life

Ministers' secret luxury dinner hosted by Gina Rinehart – Ministers and advisers were wined and dined by Australia's richest woman onboard one of the world's most exclusive cruiseliners while her project was under State Government review. The Courier-Mail has learnt Deputy Premier Paul Lucas, Mines Minister Stephen Robertson and Speaker John Mickel last month enjoyed hospitality aboard The World, a $350 million floating resort on which billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart owns a plush residence – Brisbane Courier Mail

Elections

She shows up, he cancels – Stormy  scenes erupted at a North Adelaide art gallery yesterday after Premier Mike Rann cancelled an appearance in order to avoid alleged ex-lover Michelle Chantelois. Mr Rann was due to open the annual Australia Day Show at Greenhill Galleries, which he does each year. His wife, Sasha Carruozzo, was also expected to attend – Adelaide Advertiser

Shopping centres want to ban politicians from electioneering in retail malls - As Victorians gear up for state and federal elections this year, shopping centre owners have declared they do not want their turf overrun with the travelling circus of an election campaign – Melbourne Herald Sun

Sex

'Hypocrite' Abbott panned for virginity stance – Tony Abbott's advice to young women about not giving away their virginity lightly would confirm ''the worst fears of Australian women'' about him, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard says. The Government is seeking to use Mr Abbott's remarks on sex, made in an Australian Women's Weekly interview, to try to fan doubts about his views on social questions – Melbourne Age

Virginity a purely personal call – The Sydney Daily Telegraph talks to a Christian City Church family of five girls whose intention to abstain from sex until marriage is a personal one but it is a decision now thrown into a wider community debate after Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said women should think of their virginity a "gift".


Tony Abbott can't bribe the family to go to Mass – Tony Abbott has revealed he is disappointed his wife and three daughters no longer go to church with him and he can't "bribe" them to attend Mass. And the Opposition Leader has shared more of his personal feelings about family life by admitting he wishes he had a son to teach how to surf and that one of his three daughters had body piercings that were "not to my taste" – Sydney Morning Herald

Security

Call to speed up security checks for propeller planes - Tighter security measures for aircraft powered by turbo-propeller engines will not be introduced sooner, despite aviation experts warning that such checks are essential to ensure the safety of domestic flights – Sydney Morning Herald

Education

Organised crime targets universities – The  infiltration of Australia's $16 billion foreign education sector by organised crime has been exposed in a confidential report to the Immigration Department showing nearly 40 per cent of detected fraud involving student visas last year was aimed at universities – The Australian

Julia Gillard's threat to classrooms over literacy and numeracy testing - Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard yesterday vowed the testing on which the controversial My School website is based would continue, even if teachers refused to conduct them – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Principals rally troops to combat new website - Principals will enlist parents and former students to counter any negative publicity stemming from the launch of the My School website tomorrow. The NSW Secondary Principals' Council has devised the campaign to protect its members, who get their first look today at how their school will appear on the website, a day before it is made public – Sydney Morning Herald

My School website data 'inaccurate and unfair' – The Rudd government's My School website compares schools based on an inaccurate measure of their performance that casts the worst light on schools in disadvantaged areas. A report to be released today by independent think tank the Grattan Institute calls for schools to be judged on the individual improvement students make every year rather than the comparison based on raw test scores used on My School – The Australian

Schools website grading – A federal Government website that will allow parents to compare their school's performance with others starts tomorrow. Bitterly opposed by the Australian Education Union, the My School website will provide profiles of almost 10,000 schools and will include enrolment information, staff attendance and literacy and numeracy test results – Hobart Mercury

Coalition proposal 'help for the rich' - A Coalition -dominated Senate committee has recommended every student who has to move away from home to study be given a yearly allowance of $10,000, regardless of whether their parents are wealthy. The Education Minister, Julia Gillard, criticised the idea and said it would deliver unneeded help to rich families – Sydney Morning Herald

$11m to boost adult literacy – The Tasmanian Government has announced an $11 million plan to lift Tasmania's poor rates of adult literacy – Hobart Mercury

Transport

$270 million spent on doomed Metro rail service – Without a single sod being turned, $270 million has already been spent on a metro rail project the State Government is on the verge of scrapping – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Development

Don't call it Barossa – Planning definitions lumping Gawler and other areas with famed wine centres under the Barossa Valley banner are damaging the region's refined brand, industry and community leaders say. The State Government's 30-year development plan includes Dublin, Mallala and areas on the city's northern fringe under the Barossa – Adelaide Advertiser

Opinions

Rudd's options on health costs are alarmist and misleading – Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald welcomes us to another year of media manipulation by our political leaders.

Ladder of opportunity rises above league tables - Tim Hawkes. headmaster of The King's School, Parramatta, writes in the Sydney Morning Herald that after tomorrow, half of the school principals in Australia will be ''under the hammer'' because half may well be seen to be underperforming relative to ''like schools''. This is an uncomfortable place to be, but perhaps it is a necessary place.

Julia's revolution should measure up - is a lot of debate over whether the Australian government and Education Minister Julia Gillard should publish school performance data and allow the public to compare results. The only people who should fear more transparency are those who have something to hide argues Joel Klein in The Australian

There's a better way of school appraisal – Ben Jensen writes in The Australian that The My School website is a step in the right direction, but overseas experience shows these school performance indicators can be biased against schools in lower socioeconomic communities.

Nanny state can't save us from ourselves – Jessica Brown says that protecting our physical security - for example from threats of war, violence and other types of crime - is at the core of what governments do, but asks in the Sydney Morning Herald how far does the definition of security extend?

Another day of national celebration, but forget about a republic or new flag – Shaun Carney in the Melbourne Age says flag-wavers, politicians and jingoism push a republic further away.

PM, ignore Massachusetts warning at your peril - Barack Obama's overreach on health care has plenty in common with Kevin Rudd's dogged pursuit of an emissions trading scheme says Janet Albrechtsen in The Australian

In an uncertain climate, Australia should start by fixing a carbon price - Copenhagen's failure is no excuse for us to shirk from action writes Ross Garnaut in the Melbourne Age

Eddie's mates help Labor dump cash by trainloads – Adam Walters in the Sydney Daily Telegraph explains how Premier Kristina Keneally has found herself with a multi-billion dollar dilemma. Does she resist what's becoming overwhelming public pressure to scrap the unpopular $5 billion CBD-Rozelle Metro project? Or does she write-off the $300 million already spent, wear the heat for yet another waste of public money and top-up huge piles of cash squandered on failed transport projects?

The billion-dollar hoax – Andrew Bolt writes in the Melbourne Herald Sun that once global warming was the "great moral challenge of our generation". Or so claimed the Prime Minister. But suddenly it's the great con that's falling to bits around Kevin Rudd's ears.

BUSINESS

BHP, Rio run European gauntlet – BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto's proposed iron ore joint venture has hit snags at the European Commission. The regulator has announced an investigation of competition issues raised by the $US116 billion ($129 billion) merger of the miners' Pilbara operations. And personnel changes at the commission could prolong the investigation – Sydney Morning Herald

ENVIRONMENT

Coalition tree target dismissed - The Government has moved to torpedo the Coalition's alternative climate change policy, alleging that it would require tens of millions of hectares of trees to be planted, costing taxpayers billions of dollars – Sydney Morning Herald

$10bn tag on Libs' climate strategy – The Rudd government has calculated the Coalition's greenhouse gas reduction scheme of planting trees and burying carbon in the soil would cost $10 billion and achieve only one-third of the aimed 5 per cent cut by 2020 – The Australian

Liberals dig deep for climate answer - Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has hinted his climate action plan will centre on storing carbon in soil and planting more trees. But the Government is preparing to release modelling which will rubbish Mr Abbott's plan – Brisbane Courier Mail

National anthem 'needs updating'Australia’s national anthem is "outdated and incorrect" and must be changed to better reflect the environment, a national sustainability group says. Headed by former South Australian Democrats MP Sandra Kanck, Sustainable Population Australia wants a new anthem that does not "lie to the world" to replace Advance Australia Fair. "It is an absolute nonsense to say that this continent has boundless plains to share, as is claimed in the second verse of the anthem," Ms Kanck said – Adelaide Advertiser

LIFE

The drink

Big win for live music venues – Live music venues are expected to be the big winners from an urgent meeting today between the Director of Liquor Licensing Sue Maclellan and representatives of the live music scene – Melbourne Age

State Government to drastically backpedal on new liquor licensing scheme – With live music venues crashing down around its ears, the State Government is about to drastically backpedal on its new liquor licensing scheme – Melbourne Herald Sun

Law and order

Bikie T-shirt colours ban test case - Mick Holland and Malcolm Piper have entered the annals of bikie legal history: the first to be charged with failing to leave a licensed premises because they were wearing "gang colours". In their case, club T-shirts – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Sport

'Europe only' in 2018 – Australia’s  bid to secure the 2018 soccer World Cup is looking shaky, with moves afoot to favour only European bids for that year's event – Adelaide Advertiser
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