Friday, 8 January 2010

Media wrap - The whale stories go legal


Political lurks and perks

NSW Labor MPs accused of double-dipping on salaries – State MPS are pocketing more than $9000 for a single meeting as they double-dip into the public purse. All but seven of the 70 Labor MPs have been handed lucrative second government posts on top of their already handsome pay packets – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Our pollies told to justify their junkets – Territory politicians will have to make public extensive details about all interstate and overseas trips under new rules introduced as part of a crackdown on excessive travel expenses – Northern Territory News


Candidate denies favouritism – Liberal candidate Jacquie Petrusma has hit back at claims she is a favoured candidate of powerbroker Senator Eric Abetz. The Franklin candidate denies receiving any special treatment or financial assistance from Liberal Party head office. Ms Petrusma has also called on the other three Liberal candidates in Franklin to stop complaining and sniping about each other and to get on with the job of getting elected – Hobart Mercury

Zucco quits Liberal Party – The Tasmanian Liberal Party has been rocked with one-time aspiring candidate Marti Zucco resigning from its ranks. Mr Zucco blamed the "lack of backbone" of Liberal leader Will Hodgman for his decision to quit – Hobart Mercury

Bartlett won't budge on bypass – A controversial  section of the Brighton bypass will not be moved or changed, Premier David Bartlett has warned. Instead, Mr Bartlett has told the Aboriginal community there must be another way to preserve culturally significant artefacts that are believed to be located on the Jordan River section of the project site – Hobart Mercury


WSROC backs NSW Government's plan to scrap M4 toll as Sydney Business Chamber, Property Council disagree - The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils - representing 1.6 million voters across more than 10 councils including Penrith, Bankstown, Parramatta and the Hills district - supports the plan to remove the M4 toll after the road reverts to public ownership on February 15 – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Public service

Trade chiefs' email war – One of Queensland's highest-paid public servants fell out with the Bligh Government over his relocation to the UK to allow former premier Peter Beattie to be posted to Los AngelesBrisbane Courier Mail

Economic matters

Christmas retail recovery may force up interest rates – The Australian consumer's love of a bargain may mean another interest rate hike is just around the corner following a Christmas spending spree. Retail trade figures for November, released yesterday, showed a 7 per cent rise over the year, and that big discounting by the major retailers drew consumers into an early Christmas spree, but significantly affected smaller outlets, where sales fell for the month – Brisbane Courier Mail

Threat to rent relief scheme – The Henry Tax Review will recommend closer targeting of the $2.3 billion rent assistance program to help lower-income earners cope with the country's affordable housing crisis – Sydney Morning Herald

Foreign affairs

Hillary Clinton on Oz mission – Hillary Clinton will visit Melbourne this month in her first trip to Australia as Secretary of State – Melbourne Herald Sun


Gay couples can't adopt kids – Hopes of same sex couples being sanctioned to adopt children have been dashed by the government. After a lengthy committee inquiry which recommended adoption be legal for gay couples, NSW Community Services Minister Linda Burney said the law would not be changed – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Political blackmail

Family financial dispute helped send hunger striker Peter Spencer up the pole – Serious doubts have emerged about the case of Peter Spencer, with the NSW farmer's family saying his 47-day hunger strike concerns more than land-clearing – The Australian

Health and hospitals

Inquiry call for swine flu vaccine rollout – The opposition has called for a review of the federal government's handling of the swine flu vaccination program after it emerged taxpayers may have to foot the bill for the vaccine, despite only a quarter of it so far being shipped to doctors – The Australian


Ram raid on high seas - When, oh when, will this open-water madness stop? Writes Jill Singer in the Melbourne Herald Sun. Australia's policy of kowtowing to Japan on the issue of illegal whaling in Australian waters off Antarctica has been an absolute disgrace. Successive governments talked tough about stopping the large-scale slaughter but continued to let it happen.

Rudd saddled with own high expectations – Matthew Franklin in The Australian writes that Kevin Rudd's great expectations are coming back to haunt his government and gives the examples of whaling and the Murray River.

Home buyers hit brick wall, again – Jessica Irvine in the Sydney Morning Herald writes that with interest rates tipped to rise and house prices scaling record highs, the affordability issue is set to make a comeback this year.

Big tobacco and its posse still in the saddle after eight long years – Richard Ackland in the Sydney Morning Herald

A recall system to protect stability - With bipartisan support in NSW for a debate about recall elections, what lessons can be learnt from North American jurisdictions that provide for them? – Andrew Tink continues the boring Sydney Morning Herald campaign

High seas clash inevitable - There are ways to stop whaling other than dangerous direct action writes Donald Rothwell in the Melbourne Age


Hydro blasted as 'monopoly' – Power prices will rise if Hydro Tasmania retains its monopoly, an independent report has warned. The report also warns industry will leave the state and renewable energy research will stall – Hobart Mercury

Griffin debts could top $2bThe West Australian

$500m gas-fired power plant planned for state - Documents submitted to the Federal Government by AGL Energy, seen by The Melbourne Age, outline the company's plans to develop an 850-megawatt gas-fired peak power station at Tarrone, about 300 kilometres south-west of Melbourne.


Australia urged to protect Japanese whalersJapan is expected to demand Australian government co-operation in preventing further "acts of sabotage" by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society following Wednesday's Antarctic collision – The Australian

Whale warriors need legal eagles - This Whale War may also provide the nudge that has been needed to end the stalemate over the legality of Japan's scientific whaling program in AntarcticaThe Australian

Anti-whaling activists `imperil crew' – Anti-whaling activists on the Sea Shepherd are renowned for operating on the outer edge of the law, endangering the lives of their crew, and could be expected to ramp up activity following their dramatic clash with Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean – The Australian

Whaling collision prompts please explain to captains – Australian authorities will ask Japanese whalers and anti-whaling protesters to explain their dramatic high-seas clash in the Southern Ocean, but are likely to be powerless to prosecute any wrongdoing – Brisbane Courier Mail

I looked death right in the eye: crew member Laurens de Groot – An anti-whaling protester who jumped for his life when his boat and a Japanese ship collided in freezing Antarctic waters has told of his terror – Melbourne Herald Sun

Australian government refuses to send watch ship – The Federal Government has launched an investigation into the collision of a Japanese whaler and a Sea Shepherd protest boat but is refusing to send an Australian ship to calm the Southern Ocean whale wars – Melbourne Herald Sun

Battle to save whale warrior – Stricken anti-whaling vessel Ady Gil was still afloat last night despite the damage it suffered in a collision with a whaling ship. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society members were planning to tow the Ady Gil to the nearby French base at Dumont d'Urville before making a salvage attempt in calm conditions off the Antarctic coast – Hobart Mercury

Water blame game erupts between states – Kevin Rudd is under pressure to rewrite agreements on how Murray-Darling Basin states share water less than two years after declaring he had ended a century of interstate division over water management – The Australian

Safety watch along 150km of the Murray – The release of floodwaters from New South Wales provides the only hope of stalling riverbank collapses along South Australian stretches of the River Murray – Adelaide Advertiser

Farmer Bill McClumpha needs to win lottery to keep going - He has been caught up in Australia's increasingly complex water trading system and fallen foul of a Victorian law that limits the amount of water that can be sold out of each irrigation district to 4 per cent a year – The Australian

Loggers hit pulp mill foes – The forest industry has accused the pulp mill opponents of "moving the goal posts". They made the attack after opponents failed to back the mill despite Gunns saying it would use 100 per cent plantation wood – Hobart Mercury


3D TV coming to a home near you in LED, LCD and plasma screens - Full high-definition LED, LCD and plasma screens which will be released in the second half of this year will be 3D capable and also offer seamless connectivity to the internet.



State urges workers to take stairs instead of lifts – More than 15,000 workers Government employees are being encouraged to battle the bulge by snubbing the lifts and climbing the stairs. They will have the choice of taking the stairs in 13 Brisbane government buildings in a bid to improve their health. Free access to stairwells was stopped as part of increased security measures enforced after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the USBrisbane Courier Mail


Autistic pupils unfairly treated – Growing numbers of students suspended for violence, aggressive behaviour or repeated disobedience have a serious mental disability such as autism. Families with severely disabled children said they had become the victims of an under-funded school system incapable of adequately providing for special needs – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Law and order

900 barred from SA pubs - Consumer Affairs Minister Gail Gago said the 928 barrings under the Liquor Licensing Act included those of 13 members of crime gangs – Adelaide Advertiser


Cyclists win $1m bike path funding boostAdelaide’s cyclists have been given a boost ahead of the Tour Down Under, with the announcement of nearly $1 million in additional cycling infrastructure. Federal Sports Minister and Member for Adelaide Kate Ellis yesterday announced $967,000 in funding towards the next stage of the Adelaide Parklands Trail – Adelaide Advertiser
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