Monday, 1 February 2010

Media wrap - Budget blowout forecast


Economic matters

Rate rise to leave NSW trailing – Rising interest rates are threatening to curb the economic recoveries under way in NSW and Victoria, raising fears of a return to the ''two-speed economy'' dogged by uneven growth across the states – Sydney Morning Herald

No end in sight for interest rate rises – Homeowners will have to find an extra $341 a month for mortgage repayments by the end of the year, if interest rates rise in line with economists' forecasts – Adelaide Advertiser

Rates certainty slips after stocks beating – Financial markets have backed off confident expectations of a rise in interest rates tomorrow following a bad stretch for stockmarkets last week. On Friday, the chance of a rate hike had fallen to 50 per cent, according to pricing in the futures market – The Australian

Blow out in Budget a headache for Rudd - A new report on the cost of Australia's ageing population out today will reveal a $100 billion budget blow out due to the Opposition blocking a change to private health insurance – The West Australian

Nationals deny use of royalties loophole - The Nationals have failed to enact key parts of legislation that requires it to spend 25 per cent of the State's mining royalties on the regions, but denied it was an attempt to give it "wriggle room" on the pledge that swept it to power – The West Australian

$700bn shortfall in super looming – Australia’s superannuation savings are woefully inadequate and will leave the nation nearly $700 billion short of what its retirees need to live decently, according to new research – Melbourne Age

Superannuation gap blows out by hundreds of billions - The gap between Australians' retirement savings and how much they will need in old age has blown out by $243 billion in just a few years – The Australian

Wayne Swan's carrot for older workers - The Treasurer has pledged to put the "right incentives" in place to encourage choice for older workers as he prepares today to launch the new Intergenerational Report, titled Australia to 2050: Future Challenges – The Australian

Kevin Rudd slams Tony Abbott's carbon 'mega-tax' – Kevin Rudd says Tony Abbott will have to slug Australians with "one big mega-tax" if he is to address climate change without a carbon emissions trading scheme – The Australian


Rudd begins poll pledges as election year bargaining begins – Kevin Rudd has promised to expand the controversial My School website to measure parents' satisfaction with schools, and named climate change, health and hospital reform and WorkChoices as key election battlegrounds – Melbourne Age

Political life

Tony Abbott breaks Speedos ban promise – Tony Abbott has broken his first big promise, once more parading his admirable physique - but again in his not-so-classy budgie smugglers – Sydney Daily Telegraph

John Howard interviewed for ICC position – Former Australian prime minister John Howard has officially been interviewed for the role of ICC vice-president – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Political lurks and perks

MPs caught in travel perk fiasco – Thirty-eight ormer MPs have been forced to repay almost $36,000 to taxpayers after they were investigated for wrongly claiming a range of travel perks under the Gold Pass scheme – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Pollies forced to pay back cash - The full list of former MPs who were forced to pay back travel expenses – Melbourne Herald Sun


Parent power wins top spot on My School – The federal government has confronted concerns that information on its My School website is too limited by promising to expand the site's content to include details such as the level of bullying and parents' satisfaction with teachers – Sydney Morning Herald

Teacher scorecards – Parents will be able to lodge their own "scorecard" on teachers and the culture of schools under the next wave of the Rudd Government's education revolution – Melbourne Herald Sun

Hungry students in Queensland relying on staff food handouts – A Federal Government stalemate has forced university staff to buy food for cash-strapped students left waiting for changes to the youth allowance – Brisbane Courier Mail

School is back - as is the flakBerwick Lodge Primary School principal Henry Grossek insists he did not set out to become a thorn in the side of the Victorian Education Department. But almost a year to the day since the Federal Government announced its $14.7 billion schools stimulus package, Mr Grossek remains at an impasse with the department over his school's $3 million project – Melbourne Age


South Australia chases extra billions from sub contractSouth Australia has launched a bid to design the nation's new class of submarine "from the drawing board up", to earn billions of dollars in extra business from the contract – Adelaide Advertiser


Body scanners no match for latest terror ploy: surgically implanted bombs – Full body scanners at airports are useless against the latest technique reportedly being considered by terrorists - surgically inserting explosives inside suicide bombers' bodies - says one of Australia's leading counter-terrorism experts – Melbourne Age

Passengers face full-body scanMelbourne Herald Sun

Health and hospitals

Training fails to prepare new doctors – Medical students are emerging from the nation's universities feeling inadequately prepared to deal with crucial tasks such as calculating safe drug doses and writing prescriptions. In a challenge to Kevin Rudd's twin promise to improve university education and doctor shortages, a government study has also revealed that medical supervisors feel the abilities of hospital interns fall short of their expectations – The Australian

Cash fails to lure aged-care nurses – Kevin Rudd has failed to deliver on an election promise to entice 200 former nurses into the nation's staff-starved aged-care homes each year using cash incentives of up to $6000 – The Australian

Doctors to find savings for patientsAustralia’s doctors and health insurers have proposed a formal "mechanism" which would compel them, hospitals and the Federal Government to find savings for consumers – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Public relations

Brumby official queries model employee - Government department raised questions about the suitability of a Channel Nine personality fronting a program spruiking regional Victoria because she had posed for a men's magazine – Melbourne Age


Moores told 'on your bike' - The green-tinged lord mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, is involved in a nasty tiff with some of her constituents over plans to build a bicycle path along Bourke Street in Surry Hills – Sydney Morning Herald


Indian journal focuses on 'hate' – It’s a magazine cover that will make the hearts of Australian university bosses and diplomats sink. "Why the Aussies hate us" screams the front cover of this week's influential Indian news magazine, Outlook – Melbourne Age


Local residents say 'no' to beach helipad – Voices were raised and residents were fuming when they had their say at yesterday's protest meeting against a helicopter joyride launch pad at Fannie Bay's Vesteys BeachNorthern Territory News


Abbott has two hurdles to jump as game resumes – Michelle Grattan in the Melbourne Age says the Government is ensuring Abbott is under double pressure as Parliament returns - to produce a credible climate alternative to the emissions trading scheme and to defend the revenue gap caused by rejecting the rebate means test and explain how it would be filled – Melbourne Age

High or low, the road looks rough – Glenn Milne in The Australian looks at the things he thinks will dominate the political debate in this election year

Farmers friend must beware of the risks – Phillip Coorey in the Sydney Morning Herald writes that ultimately, for his own electoral credibility, Abbott must be careful what he commits to, or is perceived to commit to, unless he is prepared to follow through.

Babies add new strain to the spending formula – George Megalogenis in The Australian says the baby boom that has caught all levels of governments by surprise will push up the cost of education as a share of the economy, even as the population ages. Today's release of the Intergenerational Report will confirm that education will require more taxpayer dollars between now and 2050 than previously thought – The Australian

A year thick with strategy – The resumption of parliament this week will provide the government with an opportunity to seriously test the mettle of the new Opposition Leader. But it will also test the government as it tries to pull together a large legislative program ahead of an expected election later in the year – Peter van Onselen states the obvious in The Australian

Global body can't improve climate – Caroline Boin writes in The Australian that the failure of Copenhagen shows that rich countries need to respect poor nations' need for growth if they want co-operation for a greener planet. The rich must replace their posturing and restrictions with positive policies for growth and adaptation to climate change.

Poor teachers, poor results – The suggestion that poor children will not do well at school is both offensive and misguided. Anyone who knows much about education and teaching understands this simple fact: quality educational outcomes are directly related to quality teaching. It is the sleeper in the My School website – Christopher Bantinck in The Australian


Backlash `will hurt Australian banks' – Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly is taken aback by the political "anger and outrage" now being directed at these same banks and is fearful that Australia's well-performing banks could be caught up in the global regulatory backlash.

Harrah's seeks Crown's Macau casinos stake – The James Packer-controlled Crown could get an offer for its $US600 million ($A675 million) stake in its Macau joint venture – Melbourne Age


More flaws emerge in climate alarms – A startling report by the UN climate watchdog that global warming might wipe out 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest was based on an unsubstantiated claim by green campaigners who had no scientific expertise – The Australian

Facts conveniently brushed over by the global warming fanatics – Paul Sheehan gives his 10 anti-environmental commandments in the Sydney Morning Herald


The Oz to lead News push into digital world – If 2010 is to be the year of the big media shake-up as everyone is expecting, The Australian got in early with an announcement last month that its operating structure was being overhauled – The Australian


Law and order

AFP will reorganise in push to fight crime – The Australian Federal Police will undergo a major restructure to meet the growing threat from organised crime, creating a division to take on established criminal syndicates such as bikie gangs and drug rings – The Australian

Criminals escape max sentence – Only a handful of serious criminals have been hit with maximum sentences in our superior courts over the past decade as judgments fail to reflect the Government's tough talk on crime – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Speeding commercial drivers dodge demerits in Queensland - Queensland Transport statistics show at least 6939 tickets issued to businesses last financial year failed to nominate the drivers involved. Those organisations were left to pay the commercial rate, which is five times higher than for a normal offence – Brisbane Courier Mail
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