Thursday, 28 January 2010

Media wrap - It's back to school day, this year with rankings


Economic matters

Consumers bracing for a rate rise – A rate rise next week is now considered a near certainty after the latest inflation figures showed prices rising too fast for the RBA's liking – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Salad forces up your rates – Summer’s "salad days" have packed a double whammy this year because higher fruit and vegetable prices have not only stung the family purse but fuelled inflation, leading to a likely interest rate rise – Adelaide Advertiser

Inflation fears add to pressure for rate rise – Economists believe a rise in interest rates next week is a virtual certainty despite consumer price index figures showing the annual inflation rate clocked in at a modest 2.1 per cent last year – Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age

PM Kevin Rudd confirms interest rates rise – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says record low interest rates will obviously rise again – Sydney Daily Telegraph

43% of Australians will pay a bill on credit this quarter – A credit card binge among Australians late last year has led to a 25 per cent leap in work for debt collectors – Brisbane Courier Mail

Asia threatens to bubble out of control – writes Michael Stutchbury from Davos in The Australian


Back to basics of a good education - a landmark day for education, families finally have access to test scores enabling them to compare the performance of almost 10,000 schools across AustraliaSydney Daily Telegraph

My School data to prove Queensland students lag other states – The reputations of Queensland's elite and top-performing schools are set to take a battering with the release of the controversial My School website – Brisbane Courier Mail

School principals not keen on My School – Principals gave a luke-warm reception to their first look at the new My School website, which went live at 12.30am, with complaints that the preview information provided was inadequate – Adelaide Advertiser

'Voluntary' fees to pay for soap, toilet paper and first aid – State school parents face demands to pay for toilet paper and soap as Education Department penny-pinching reaches new lows. The Herald Sun can reveal parents are being slugged for "essential education items" before their children have started school – Melbourne Herald Sun

Industrial relations

Wage cuts for low paid – Thousands of low-paid NSW workers face losing wages and employee conditions as part of a sweeping overhaul of workplace awards – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Foreign affairs

PM working to save SA death-row soldier Robert Langdon – Desperate efforts are underway to raise money in a bid to save former Australian soldier and convicted murderer Robert William Langdon, 38, from the gallows in Afghanistan. The Federal Government is preparing to make high-level representations to save the former Australian Army trooper who has been sentenced to death for shooting an Afghan colleague last May while working in the war-torn country – Adelaide Advertiser


'Blokey' Australian Navy has to adapt - The Rudd Government has lost faith in the navy's ability to hire and promote women and has ordered it to adopt new measures to push women up the command chain – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Australian soldiers left our mother to die, says family – The family of a 65-year-old East Timorese mother of nine say Australian soldiers abandoned the woman after she was struck and seriously injured by an army vehicle – Sydney Morning Herald

Rescuers 'kicked boatpeople in head': Corporal Sharon Jager – An air force corporal has told how desperate Afghan boatpeople were abused and kicked by Australian defence personnel as they tried to climb aboard a rescue craft following a fatal Indian Ocean explosion that last year killed five and injured dozens more – The Australian


Authorities intercept eighth asylum boat this year - Authorities have intercepted another boatload of suspected asylum-seekers in Australian waters -- the eighth this year – The Australian

Migrants with HIV, cancer allowed to settle – Chronically ill foreign workers and their families, including those with HIV-AIDS, will be allowed to settle in Australia for the first time as the Immigration Department loosens its stringent health rules to alleviate the skills shortage. The department is widening a loophole that lets it waive the health requirement for some sick dependants of Australian citizens – The Australian

‘Health and hospitals

Rudd watchdog to monitor hospitals - Kevin Rudd and the States will set up a new national watchdog to scrutinise Australia's hospitals under a plan to fix the health system that stops short of a full Federal takeover – The West Australian

Bowel screening delays – Thousands of people who used faulty bowel-testing kits as part of the Federal Government's $103 million screening program could be facing a delayed cancer diagnosis after they received positive results from the replacement kits sent out in recent months – Melbourne Age


$105m on ticket to nowhere – The NSW Government has been attacked for taking more than two years to announce a replacement contractor for Sydney's elusive electronic transport ticketing system – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Political life

Langbroek accepts criticism as rookie MP blasts own party - Network Ten on Wednesday published a leaked email from Beaudesert MP Aidan McLindon sent to all Liberal National Party (LNP) MPs in which he was highly critical of the party. In it, he told his colleagues the LNP was ``not yet in the race'' for government – Brisbane Courier Mail

Hale's 'boozy nightclub altercation' – A Territory politician was allegedly involved in a drunken altercation with a high profile footballer in a Palmerston nightclub. Southern Districts NTFL captain Matt Cannard (left) confirmed he had an alcohol-fuelled dispute with Solomon MHR Damian Hale at Arch Rivals last week – Northern Territory News


Premier's favourite gets the nod for byelection – Premier John Brumby's preferred candidate for the safe Labor seat of Altona won preselection last night, despite losing a local ballot. Former ALP president Jill Hennessy, 37, will contest the seat at the February 13 byelection, which follows Lynne Kosky's resignation – Melbourne Age

Bill Shorten blasts shopping centre owners – Shopping centre operators who try to ban politicians are hypocrites who should lift their own standards, MP Bill Shorten said yesterday – Melbourne Herald Sun

Look over your shoulder, Rann – Outraged community groups have pledged to disrupt election campaigning by Government ministers and vent their anger over a string of controversial decisions – Adelaide Advertiser


Liberal George Brandis attacks childless Julia Gillard – Queensland Liberal frontbencher George Brandis has attacked Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, saying she doesn't understand what parents think about their children's virginity because she is childless. Senator Brandis made the comments while defending Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's right to give advice to his three daughters – Brisbane Courier Mail



Violated by hypocrisy- Tony Abbott's hairy-chested stance on female sexual behaviour is a boon for nostalgia buffs says Jill Singer in the Melbourne Herald Sun.

Climategate gives lord of the sceptics plenty of ammunition - The visit to Australia this week of Lord Christopher Monckton - the world's most effective global warming sceptic - couldn't have been better timed  writes Miranda Devine in the Sydney Morning Herald.

ABC pursues news at a cost to local content - Australia's national broadcaster appears hell-bent on becoming a news organisation at the cost of other obligations to its charter and the people writes Mark Hollands, chief executive of the Newspaper Publishers' Association, in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Grey skies bring spin - The improving economy, which is good for the Government, is partly because of its earlier big spending. But that spending is now limiting what it can do in its election-year budget – Michelle Grattan in the Melbourne Age

Memo Abbott: Virginity debate is no man's land – Gabriella Coslovich writes in the Melbourne Age that if she were one of Abbott's daughters she would be furious to have her value reduced to the state of her hymen.

My School site brings fair comparisons writes Barry McGaw in the Melbourne Age

League tables will improve the education system – is the view of Hutch Ranck in the Melbourne Age

The Monk might make sense – Katharine Murphy in the Melbourne Age looks at what Tony Abbott actually told the Women’s Weekly about his views on pre-marital sex.

PM needs an election-year reshuffle – Arthur Sinodinos in The Australian advises the Prime Minister on having a ministerial re-shuffle. Leaders do need to freshen things up from time to time and it doesn't hurt to put a bit of stick about. It punctures the complacency that a poll lead sometimes engenders among the troops.

Abbott should keep himself pure with a vow of silence – suggests Peter van Onselen in The Australian. Sometimes a less interesting interview with less prominence is better than a high-profile interview that lands you in trouble.


Woolies hit for $800m – Investors have ignored Woolworths' ''never mind the width, feel the quality'' argument for its reduced first-half sales, stripping more than $800 million from the value of its shares – Melbourne Age

Big losses to miners if national mining tax introduced – Mooted plans by the Henry tax review to scrap state-based mining royalties in favour of a national tax could cost BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto a combined $US5 billion in earnings a year, mostly from high-margin iron ore mines in Western AustraliaThe Australian


Two Liberals could cross Senate floor on ETS vote – Two Liberal senators are reserving their right to cross the floor and vote for the emissions trading scheme next month, leaving the fate of the scheme at the mercy of the Greens – Sydney Morning Herald

Minimal climate goal setAustralia has declared it will not go beyond a 5 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 without guaranteed action by major emitters including the US, China and IndiaMelbourne Age

Penny Wong presses on with 5pc carbon reduction target – The Rudd government has committed to introducing an emissions trading scheme with a floating carbon market in 2012 regardless of what the rest of the world does to cut greenhouse gas emissions – The Australian

Be truthful on climate: British science boss John Beddington – The impact of global warming has been exaggerated by some scientists and there is an urgent need for more honest disclosure of the uncertainty of predictions about the rate of climate change, according to the British government's chief scientific adviser – The Australian


Real estate

Brisbane houses are going up - in value – Homebuyers filled with pre-Christmas cheer have boosted median house prices to levels not seen since before the global financial crisis, according to the latest figures from Australian Property Monitors – Brisbane Courier Mail

Affluent suburbs lead new rise in house prices – House prices in Sydney have soared. The market has thrown off the lingering effects of the global financial crisis and recorded its biggest jump since 2003 – Sydney Morning Herald


Barking dogs top noise complaint list - Barking dogs, loud music and construction noise are overwhelmingly the biggest noise issue across the metropolitan area, with residents lodging thousands of complaints to councils – The West Australian


Action urged on Do Not Call list – Millions of households risk being flooded by telemarketing calls as their numbers drop off the Do Not Call Register, a consumer group has warned – Melbourne Age

Law and order

Paramedics seek ban on pool cues at pubs and clubsQueensland paramedics want pool cues and glass ashtrays banned at pubs and clubs to reduce the risk of being attacked by drunks. A survey of 142 ambulance officers showed 94 per cent had been assaulted in the past five years – Brisbane Courier Mail

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