Monday, 4 January 2010

Media wrap - Indonesia exposes the crude Abbott attempt to look tough on boat people


Economic matters

Coalition offers small business tax relief – The Coalition is preparing to fight the next election with an agenda that targets tax relief for small businesses over cutting the company tax rate – The Australian

Political life

Guess who's having a ball at the cricket – Showing  off his ball skills at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd provided a distraction from Australia's stunning collapse in the centre – Adelaide Advertiser

In PM's kids book, it's reigning cats and dogs – Rhys Muldoon furiously rejects suggestions the children's book he has co-authored with Kevin Rudd is the first to be written via BlackBerry. "That's an outrageous allegation," the former Playschool host told The Australian yesterday. "I have an iPhone." – The Australian

Political blackmail

Mass rally for pole-sitting hunger striker Peter Spencer – Hundreds  of farmers from across Australia will head to Canberra this morning to support pole-sitting hunger striker Peter Spencer, who today marks his 43rd day without food. Mr Spencer is demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to discuss laws which stop him clearing his land at Shannons Flat, north of Cooma – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Political lurks and perks

Federal politicians showered with gifts, free tickets – Federal  politicians were showered with gifts last year, enjoying free tickets to sport and concerts, and first class or business seats when they travelled. The latest registers of members' and senators' interests reveal the good tidings bestowed upon our politicians last year – Brisbane Courier Mail


Authorities intercept first vessel of 2010 - A boat carrying 76 asylum seekers and four crew has been intercepted in Australian waters near Christmas Island - the first arrival of 2010 – The West Australian

Jakarta bars Abbott asylum boat planIndonesia has rejected a proposal by Tony Abbott to tow seaworthy asylum boats back to Indonesia, saying Australia must deal with boats in its own waters – The Australian


Brumby attacked for fire warning mail-out – Premier John Brumby has been accused of improperly using taxpayers' money to try to avoid being blamed if Victoria has another deadly bushfire season – Melbourne Age


Homeless need mental health support – The Rudd government will fail to meet its target of slashing homelessness by half over the next decade because it is failing to acknowledge the role of mental health issues in fuelling the problem – The Australian


Pokies clampdown will hit jobs, warn venues - NSW clubs and hotels have warned they will be forced to lay off hundreds of staff if the Federal Government adopts recommendations aimed at imposing further controls on gambling – Sydney Morning Herald


Keneally urged to keep toll on motorway – Business  groups have written to the Premier, Kristina Keneally, calling on her to reverse Nathan Rees's decision and maintain the M4 toll, due to cease on February 15 – Sydney Morning Herald


Kristina Keneally's fluoro vests can't hide ALP failure – Hard  hats, orange fluorescent vests and protective eyewear. It's not Kristina Keneally's preferred battle dress for caucus brawling. It's her campaign wardrobe and it's been getting a flogging – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Opposition can be nasty, brutish and painfully long – Life in the state of nature is nasty, brutish and short, said Thomas Hobbes. The saga of the Liberal Party leadership makes clear that opposition politics can be every bit as nasty and brutish, without the moderating virtue of being short – Henry Ergas in The Australian

Alexander Downer comment: The state of play – Alexander Downer in the Adelaide Advertiser says why people who are highly paid to run organisations representing different sectors of the state think that the Government is the solution to their problems is beyond him.

Three strikes and you're out of the boardroom – Andrew Main in The Australian believes the Productivity Commission's monster report is a shining example of what happens when people start thinking there's a scam going on and the government has to do something.


Plan to reign in CEO pay packets - A Productivity Commission report to be released today recommends directors of blue-chip corporations face re-election if as few as 25 per cent of investors twice vote against inappropriate executive pay packets. Recommendations within the commission's final report on executive remuneration are slightly watered down from the draft report, released last year – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Sting taken out of proposals for crackdown – Business  representatives have expressed relief after the Federal Government inquiry into executive pay softened its most controversial draft recommendation, a ''two-strikes'' proposal to force board spills over remuneration – Sydney Morning Herald

Kevin Rudd's crackdown on executive pay watered down – Kevin  Rudd's pledge to tackle "obscene" executive salaries and rein in what he described as extreme capitalism has culminated in a final Productivity Commission report that waters down a controversial "two strikes and you're out" proposal to make boards accountable for remuneration deals – The Australian

Mixed reaction on exec pay report – A proposal by the Productivity Commission to give shareholders greater control over board appointments divided business groups last night following the release of the long-awaited final report into executive salaries and corporate governance – The Australian


In NSW it's not easy or cheap being green – State  government-owned waste dumps and councils are making millions from our green guilt, slugging families twice as much to recycle organic waste than it costs to dump it – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Power to rich as poor pay for solar power in flawed plan – Households and businesses  and businesses that can't afford solar will pay up to $450 million to those that can as part of a NSW Government scheme even panel makers say is "way too generous''. The scheme, which started on January 1, was to be similar to those in other states - then in one of his last acts as Premier, Nathan Rees dramatically increased payments to solar-panel owners – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Carbon trade warning – Energy  companies need to sign up to the Federal Government's carbon trading register or risk a cash-flow blowout, one of the register's earliest adopters warns – Melbourne Herald Sun

Farmers smiling but unwilling to declare drought demise – Farmers  in northern NSW are looking forward to bumper summer crops this year thanks to drenching rains over the past week. But mother nature being a fickle mistress, farming groups are unwilling to call the end of nearly a decade of drought – Sydney Morning Herald

City will not need pipe water – Melbourne  may never need water from the controversial north-south pipeline, with a stocktake showing existing storages and minimal rainfall should easily supply the city beyond the start of the desalination plant next year – Melbourne Age


Real estate

NT the place to buy for past decade - The median Darwin house price has climbed 223 per cent in the past 10 years, the highest rate in the country – Northern Territory News

Urban sprawl pushes Adelaide past 100km – Urban  sprawl is stretching Adelaide to breaking point and the inner city and surrounding suburbs must be the primary focus for development, leaders warn – Adelaide Advertiser

Beachfront owners left high and dry by planning changesHoliday  home owners across NSW will find themselves forbidden from making improvements as simple as building a new backyard toilet under planning rules introduced because of rising sea levels. Coastal councils are rewriting their planning rules in response to new State Government policies discouraging the intensification of development in coastal areas – Sydney Morning Herald

Planning requests down but value up – The  number of planning applications lodged with Victorian councils slumped 9 per cent in the last financial year, but the 54,162 that were submitted were worth $17.25 billion, 4 per cent higher than in 2007-08.

Law and order

Railcorp staff armed with weapons, batons, golf clubs, pick axe handles – Railcorp employees are so scared of working on remote train stations at night they are arming themselves with batons and golf clubs – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Digital speed cameras to target Queensland motoristsQueensland  motorists could be nabbed for going just a little over the speed limit as new digital speed cameras allow police to lower their margin of error – Brisbane Courier Mail

Thugs beat police knife crackdown – A university  graduate is dead and a father of three is fighting for his life, just five days before police would have begun random weapons searches. The attacks happened just days before police planned to use their new search powers in a crackdown on knife crime. A blitz this Thursday night will see people randomly searched for weapons, including knives. New laws enabling police to make the searches came into effect a month ago – Melbourne Herald Sun

Racism blamed for fatal stabbing of Indian – The furore over attacks on Indians in Australia is set to ignite again, with a young Indian man stabbed to death on his way to work in Melbourne's western suburbs on Saturday night – The Australian


Commonwealth Games 'flying squad' – Athletes  fearing for their lives in India will be able to stage a "hit-run" campaign for Commonwealth Games glory. Team members would stay outside the country, fly in to Delhi only for as long as their event takes, and then fly out – Melbourne Herald Sun

Road safety

Queensland road toll linked to state's prosperity – Road  safety experts have blamed Queensland's historical socio-economic strength for contributing to one of the worst road tolls in the nation – Brisbane Courier Mail


Surgery hits hip pocket – One in every 12 hip and knee replacements need corrective operations and new surgical techniques are more susceptible to problems, according to Australia's largest health insurer – Sydney Daily Telegraph
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