Sunday, 7 March 2010

Media wrap - Kevin Rudd goes to the gym


POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Elections

Liberals' $1bn hospitals plan – Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond will unveil a massive program to rebuild city and regional hospitals as the centrepiece of the Liberal Party's campaign launch at Norwood Town Hall today – Adelaide Sunday Mail

Koutsantonis campaign blunder – Radio news reports quoting Correctional Services Minister Tom Koutsantonis attacking the Liberal prisons policy derailed Labor's road-safety policy launch planned for the same day – Adelaide Sunday Mail

Past to haunt criminals under Rann plan – Juries will be told the criminal history of defendants on trial for violent crimes and sex offences, under sweeping changes promised by a Rann Government if re-elected – Adelaide Sunday Mail

Belinda Neal's kissed her career goodbye – Belinda Neal's turbulent political career appears to be over after the Labor Party dumped her as its candidate for the Central Coast seat of Robertson yesterday. Ms Neal, the sitting member, suffered a humiliating defeat in a preselection ballot against academic Deborah O'Neill. She received 67 votes to Ms O'Neill's 98 with four counted as informal – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Scandals take toll as Neal gets sent packing – She began the day expecting to win. As night fell she had lost - badly. Controversial member for Robertson Belinda Neal was dumped by Labor preselectors yesterday, unable to withstand the taint of a string of scandals – Sydney Sun Herald

Rudd gets fighting fit for election year - Recently, the PM has been quietly getting into shape, shedding at least 5kg for what will be a gruelling election year. While Tony Abbott is ostentatiously cycling, running and swimming - sometimes taking the press pack along for the ride - Mr Rudd's exercise routine is strictly a private affair. At night and accompanied by his security guards, Mr Rudd often frequents the AFP gym in Barton, lifting weights and jogging on the treadmill – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Spin

Madden media plan shows the inner workings of spin – On Friday afternoon, the ABC did Victorians a favour and posted the now infamous Justin Madden media plan on its website. Reading it is like pulling back a curtain and peering into the heart of the Brumby government spin machine – Melbourne Sunday Age

Economic Stimulus

Merrylands East Public School fights to save $2.8m garden - school wants to return $2.8 million in education revolution funding because building work will destroy its award-winning garden and vege patch. Merrylands East Public School in Sydney's west was given the money to build a new school hall and toilet block – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

You can't fool the children of the school building revolution – Four schools have joined forces to protest their dissatisfaction at work undertaken on their grounds as part of the federal schools stimulus building program. The schools claim some of the costs for parts of the buildings were more than 10 times the standard market rates and some of the workmanship is unsatisfactory – Sydney Sun Herald

Police may lay charges over Queensland insulation deaths – The Federal Government's home insulation debacle took another twist yesterday with police confirming criminal charges could be laid over the three Queensland deaths – Brisbane Sunday Mail

Economic matters

16,000 less jobs this year as Queensland vacancies drop – Queensland has recorded the biggest fall in job vacancies of any state in the past 12 months, with warnings that businesses are months away from being confident enough to ramp up employment – Brisbane Sunday Mail

Health and hospitals

Health reform package blueprint fails the elderlyQueensland’s aged-care industry fears it has been shoved to the bottom of the list in the Rudd Government's $50 billion health reform package – Brisbane Sunday Mail

PM delivers ultimatum to the states – The Prime Minister has rubbished the states' complaints about lack of health funding as ''absolute nonsense'', saying they should accept his reform package and concentrate on fixing their underfunded transport and infrastructure – Sydney Sun Herald

Political life

Four Queensland LNP members fail to ask question in Parliament – Four Opposition MPs have failed to ask a single question of State Government ministers in the year after being elected to Queensland Parliament – Brisbane Sunday Mail

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has spent more time overseas than in Victoria – Kevin Rudd is under fire for spending more time overseas than in Victoria since becoming Prime Minister. Answers to Opposition questions in Parliament reveal the PM spent almost three times as many nights overseas as he did in Victoria during his first two years – Melbourne Herald Sun

Too few female MPs in Australia, not to mention NSW - NSW lags behind almost every parliament in Australia when it comes to the representation of women, new research shows. There are 254 women in state and federal parliaments, or 30.8 per cent of MPs, in the country, according to research to be released tomorrow to mark International Women's Day – Sydney Sun Herald

Security

ASIO feels the strain as raw recruits take key jobs - ASIO is putting young, inexperienced officers in senior jobs, as the domestic spy agency struggles to absorb an influx of recruits hired in an unprecedented expansion of the organisation – Melbourne Sunday Age

Opinions

Easy to promise, harder to deliver – Most sensible people will be forgiven for not rushing to immediately embrace Kevin Rudd's latest big idea in health, writes David Gazard in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Ruddy spell required to sell Labor's healthy approach - The PM will need all his powers of persuasion to convince the states of the need for change -Michelle Grattan in the Sydney Sun Herald

Christopher, some of us pine to know – Claire Harvey in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph writes of bloodthirsty, violent, sexy true-crime stories. Australian history is full of them, but the notion that Australian children should know those stories is deeply shocking and revolutionary. That's the only conclusion to draw from the ludicrous, undignified "black armband" allegations that have been made by people like Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne, in his attempt to destroy the proposed new national school curriculum.

Kevin Rudd does not cut it on bullying – Robyn Riley in the Melbourne Herald Sun writes that of course, parents should offer their support, but it's simplistic of Mr Rudd to think parents can control situations in the schoolyard. Prime Minister, stick to what you know and leave the experts to sort this mess.

Abbott's not such a turn-off for women – Stephanie Peatline in the Sydney Sun Herald writes that it was widely predicted that the Coalition leader would repel female voters but poll results suggest this is not the case.

Swots have a good old Aussie go at St Kevin's – Paul Daley in the Sydney Sun Herald takes a humorous look at the key people in the Labor Cabinet.

PM won't beat about the bush - Tony Abbott got lost in the outback and soon Kevin Rudd will be stressing to voters that his opponent is in the policy wilderness as well – Paul Daley in the Sydney Sun Herald

BUSINESS

It's all on the line: Telstra sweats it out - Government may have lit the Telstra fuse but both sides are sweating on talks that will recast Australia's telco industry, writes Colin Kruger in the Sydney Sun Herald

ENVIRONMENT

Hot air and the rising tide of doubt buoys climate cynics – The number of climate change sceptics is rising in the wake of failed international negotiations, political posturing and damaging publicity about scientific research. A Sun-Herald/Taverner poll of 609 NSW voters shows 8 per cent of people do not believe climate change is real and another 29 per cent think it is real but not caused by humans and 60 per cent of people believed in man-made climate change – Sydney Sun Herald

MEDIA

3AW relishes new challenge from Melbourne Talk Radio 1377 – Talkback radio heavyweight 3AW is ready to defend its turf as the war for Melbourne's airwaves intensifies – Melbourne Herald Sun

192 words launch a war worth millions – It’s the 192-word snippet that has sparked a feud between National Rugby League boss David Gallop and Nine Network chief executive David Gyngell and could hijack delicate negotiations for rugby league's television rights – Sydney Sun Herald

LIFE

Real estate

Couples work twice as long for a house - have to work almost three times harder to pay off the average family home than they did 50 years ago – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Follow property cycle, not the seasons, house sellers told – The message to sell your house in spring is a myth, and sellers should follow the property cycle, a commentator has said as Queensland house prices roar back – Brisbane Sunday Mail

Road safety

Parent anger at new Queensland car seat laws – The launch of new baby and child seat laws in Queensland has left parents confused, angry, out of pocket and facing $300 fines – Brisbane Sunday Mail

Removing chalk from tyres the same as running red light - Motorists who endanger road users in WA are being fined less - or the same - as those caught for minor parking offences. Driving through a red light attracts the same $150 penalty as parking on a footpath in the Town of VincentPerth Sunday Times

Sport

It is anticipated that the Australian Formula One Grand Prix will create a deficit close to $50 million - While Premier John Brumby reaffirmed the race would not move from Albert Park in the short term, he admitted a decision on its future would be made after the state election in November. Momentum to move the race to a permanent home near Avalon Airport is building – Melbourne Herald Sun

Gender

Cross-dressers banned from bar – A group of Adelaide cross-dressers says it is no longer welcome at its favourite hotel, after having been refused entry. Despite drinking and dining regularly at the carnival-themed Boho Bar, on Unley Rd, for at least six months, members of Adelaide's transgender community say management's attitude has changed – Adelaide Sunday Mail

Courts to have final say on sex changes – Transsexualism cannot be called a normal factor of human development, the Family Court has determined, and parents who want their children treated for it will have to continue to seek legal permission – Sydney Herald Sun

Education

MySchool code cracked – A leading education consultant has developed a mathematical equation for parents to cut through the confusion of the MySchool website to see how schools are performing against national averages – Adelaide Sunday Mail

Law and order

Bikie gang crime claims point to turf war – More than half of WA's fully-fledged outlaw bikie gang members have been charged with crimes in the past two years, smashing claims by club leaders there are only a few rogue elements tarnishing their image – Perth Sunday Times

Cyber-crime cases ignored by untrained police – Parents of children targeted by paedophiles and bullies online or via mobile phones are being fobbed off at their local police stations by officers untrained to deal with cyber-crimes, according to two former high-profile members of Victoria Police – Melbourne Sunday Age

Separation

Secret web of sorrow when parents move on – An explosion in online romances is making the toughest Family Court issue even tougher, with more divorcees than ever wanting to move their children interstate or overseas to be with a new partner. A world-first study of 80 parents involved in relocation disputes shows online dating is having a devastating impact on already-broken homes, putting an average distance of 1646 kilometres between children and the parent left behind – Sydney Sun Herald

Drugs

Miaow: ecstasy-like drug hits streets – A powerful party drug imported as plant feeder product is on the rise in Australia. ''Miaow'' is available online for as little $20 a gram. It is marketed as being able to make your garden grow, but experts say it is a few ''molecular tweaks'' away from MDMA, or ecstasy – Sydney Sun Herald
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