Friday, 15 January 2010

Media wrap - The Opposition tries to go green


Economic matters

Aboriginal affairs

Environment jobs vital for Aborigines, says UN study – Aborigines need access to jobs in the environment sector if they are to benefit from any global attempt to curb climate change, says the author of a UN report out today – Sydney Morning Herald

Health and hospitals

Federal health `riddled with conflict' – The commonwealth Health Department is an obstacle to reform and should be broken up, with its core staff numbers slashed by 95 per cent, a report presented to the Prime Minister's Department yesterday recommends – The Australian

Doctors want approval to use marijuana to help treat Victorians suffering multiple sclerosis - If successful it would be the first time permission has been given for the drug's legal use in prescription medicine in AustraliaMelbourne Herald Sun

Public service

Leading Rann public servant resigns - Brian Cunningham, a former Australian football champion and the inaugural chief executive of AFL club Port Adelaide, will not renew his contract as chief executive of the Department of Trade and Economic Development – The Australian


Privacy laws for sex fiends – New laws to stop the public learning the danger posed by our worst sex offenders have been quietly pushed through. From January 1, court proceedings aimed at keeping serial rapists and paedophiles on a short leash after their sentences expire have become virtually secret hearings – Melbourne Herald Sun

Industrial relations

Toys'R'Us ripping off staff, Ombudsman says - The FairWork Ombudsman raided Sydney toy stores in December and found hundreds of illegal workplace agreements that failed fairness tests – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Political life

I've never danced in my undies, says outcast Labor MP Matt Brown – Outcast Labor MP Matt Brown is fighting for his political life. His battle has started with the categorical denial of the scandal that ruined his ministerial career. "It never happened - I never danced in my underpants," Mr Brown said yesterday in his first lengthy interview since he was dumped as police minister three days into the job by former premier Nathan Rees – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Lance Armstrong has a laugh with his old mate Mike Rann – Lance Armstrong uttered the dreaded "R" word yesterday. He called Premier Mike Rann "Ranndy" – Adelaide Advertiser


Row over cricket tour escalates – The Australian Cricketers Association has refused to recommend its members play in the Indian Premier League, following a threat against them by a militant Hindu group – Sydney Morning Herald


CASA denies failed checksAustralia’s aviation watchdog has denied claims it has failed to investigate dozens of safety concerns – Melbourne Herald Sun

Whistleblowers told: 'You will bring us down' - The men who raised concerns about Jetstar Pacific feel vindicated by an inquiry into the airline, write Tom Allard and Matt O'Sullivan in the Melbourne Age


Rudd's taxing climate policy is a liability – argues Malcolm Colless in The Australian. Far from being intimidated by the reintroduction of this emissions trading legislation the opposition should be daring Rudd to bring it on.

Something fishy in whaling debate – Adrian Pearce writes in The Australian how whaling nowadays entails minimal economic return and directly employs only a few hundred workers. A number of social scientists, Japanese and non-Japanese, have tried to explain why this intensely capitalist country persists in this seemingly irrational economic behaviour.

Vision behind Wild Rivers Act – While he clearly was not paying attention, when Tony Abbott sat around the cabinet table in 2004, he would have put up his hand to endorse the Howard government's National Water Initiative requiring all states and territories to identify and protect high conservation water systems for their ecological values, writes Stephen Robertson in The Australian

The rise and rise of the regulators – Robin Speed has done the counting and found in 2009, more than 50,000 pages of new laws were enacted at the federal, state and territory levels. These were in addition to the 100,000s of pages of existing laws – The Australian

More police on the beat the answer to drunks' violence – Tim Wilson in the Sydney Daily Telegraph asks what have the NSW Police been drinking? An email from Chief Inspector Haberley to Sydney bottle shops asks that they take full-strength products off the shelves on Australia Day. But rather than intimidating bottle shops, the police should focus on making their presence more obvious on the day. It's absurd to think that a booze sale ban before 2pm will significantly change people's drinking behaviour.

Combative Abbott turns green message on its head – Ben Cubby in the Sydney Morning Herald writes that Tony Abbott's plan to mobilise a ''green army'' and seek battle with the Federal Government over climate change has the ring of a death-or-glory mission: brave, bold and with a minimal chance of success. Abbott knows if he loses he may well be among the casualties.

Political paymasters starve our galleries – John McDonald in the Sydney Morning Herald writes that Christopher Menz's resignation as director of the Art Gallery of South Australia represents one of the few occasions a senior figure in an Australian public art museum has shown the courage of their convictions.

Old news is better news in the eyes of the law – Richard Ackland discovers that Amazon has a CD promising to teach journalism by a ''subliminal technique''. It's only $US15.95 ($17). Each session is crafted by a hypnotist and you hear ''no audible voice''. ''Through repeated use of this CD you will notice that you have a knack for journalism . . . [and that] it will increase your desire and ability for all things related to journalism success.'' – Sydney Morning Herald

It's simple: India doesn't want to see its citizens harmed – writes Sushi Das in the Sydney Morning Herald


Share funds make up for 2008 losses – A sharemarket surge in the past six months has helped Australian share funds deliver their best annual performance in almost two decades, clawing back almost all their losses from a horror 2008 – Melbourne Age


Tony Abbott stomps on state issues over Murray-Darling – Tony Abbott has warned he will call a referendum to strip state governments of their rights to manage the Murray-Darling in a bid to tackle "Australia's biggest environmental problem" – Brisbane Courier Mail

Libs focus on Murray-DarlingMelbourne Age

Abbott's $750m green pledge – Tony Abbott has proposed a 15,000-strong ''standing green army'' and pledged to take steps towards a federal takeover of the Murray-Darling Basin, as he seeks to position himself as a practical and pragmatic alternative to Kevin Rudd on the environment – Sydney Morning Herald

Demand for more funds to protect biodiversity – Programs to protect endangered species and threatened ecosystems are seriously underfunded by the Rudd Government, a broad mix of conservationists and farming organisations have warned – Sydney Morning Herald

Opposition leader Tony Abbott 'wants to reclaim environment for conservatives' – A green army of up to 15,000 would go to work across Australia under a back-to-basics environmental plan unveiled by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott – Melbourne Herald Sun

Cove gets 11m wind turbines – A developer has won the right to erect 11-metre wind turbines on a Hobart waterfront building – Hobart Mercury


Money lenders

Outback loan shark strikes gold in indigenous welfare payments – Prospector Sam Tomarchio has struck a new kind of gold in outback Western Australia by taking control of Aboriginal Centrelink payments and creating a lucrative, one-man bank – The Australian

The drink

Queensland police call for clamp on Australia Day louts – Boozed-up louts who commit offences while draped in the national flag on Australia Day should face increased penalties, the Queensland Police Union says – Brisbane Courier Mail

Louts may force cabs to relocate - A State Government and Brisbane City Council trading hours working party – headed by Premier's Department director-general Ken Smith – is preparing a report into ways to address alcohol abuse in the Valley, City and Caxton StBrisbane Courier Mail

Anzac Day

Anna Bligh defended over New Zealand anthem on Anzac DayNew Zealand's anthem has been sung on Queensland school Anzac parades since 2005, despite public outrage over the possibility of it happening again this year – Brisbane Courier Mail
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