Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Media wrap - Pollster says Labor and Rudd back with a healthy lead


The polls

Kevin Rudd leaves Tony Abbott in wake in Newspoll - Kevin Rudd has leapt back into favour and Labor's vote has recovered the losses since last December on the back of a public vote of confidence in the Rudd government's economic management and a slump for Tony Abbott and the Liberals - The Australian

Voters see Labor in healthy light since Rudd announced hospitals plan - Labor has regained its dominance in the area of health policy after producing a plan to drastically alter funding for public hospitals and Kevin Rudd was seen to beat Tony Abbott in the leaders' debate last week on health.- The Australian


Richo urges Greens deal - Former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson says David Bartlett would be "pretty silly" not to negotiate with the Greens - Hobart Mercury

Crowe chips in for Green mate - The annual return filed by the NSW Greens records Russell Crowe as having donated the impressive sum of $10,000 to its central coast branch in November - Sydney Morning Herald

Unionist with `Buckley's' pushes for Senate spot - Kevin Rudd's influence over ALP preselections is being challenged by a Left faction-backed unionist who is defying the Prime Minister's stance he has "Buckley's" chance of entering the Senate. Tasmanian Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union boss Kevin Harkins, accompanied by ALP state secretary John Dowling, yesterday announced his intention to persist with Senate preselection - The Australian


100th asylum boat intercepts navy patrol - The 100th asylum boat to arrive since Kevin Rudd took office sailed directly to Christmas Island yesterday, arriving quietly at Flying Fish Cove before those aboard phoned authorities, requesting to be picked up - The Australian

Australia's refugee policy sunk by 100th boatload - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has reached an unwelcome milestone after the 100th boat carrying asylum seekers arrived under his watch - Sydney Daily Telegraph

Government to pour millions into border protection as Rudd's 100th boat arrives - The Rudd Government will pour hundreds of millions of dollars more into border protection to deal with the flood of asylum seekers into Australia - Melbourne Herald Sun

Police hunt Chinese detainees who scaled the wall - The federal government yesterday threatened to impose stiff fines on Serco, the service provider that runs Villawood detention centre in Sydney's west, as NSW police and immigration officers launched a manhunt for three Chinese men who climbed over a fence at the centre at dawn yesterday - The Australian

WA needs more migrants: Gillard - Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard says WA needs more migrants amid claims hundreds of thousands of extra workers are necessary over the next decade to thwart a labour crisis - The West Australian

Economic matters

Abbott to hit ground running with speech on economic plans - Tony Abbott will put his ironman feats behind him and return to work today with a speech outlining the fundamentals that will drive Coalition economic policy - Sydney Morning Herald

Reserve Bank governor's wake-up call - He joked that he was ''Sydney's most boring person'' but the Reserve Bank governor, Glenn Stevens, took to breakfast TV like a pro yesterday to deliver two highly targeted messages: real estate investment is dangerous, and interest rates are going up - Sydney Morning Herald

Odds-on for rate hike as RBA governor airs fears over property bubble - Brisbane Courier Mail

Political lurks and perks 

Country MPs 'rorting' allowances - Kalgoorlie MP John Bowler has reignited the politicians' expenses debate, claiming that country MPs are paid to stay away from their electorates. Mr Bowler claimed he knew of MPs who deliberately spent more time in Perth than was required for parliamentary duties to collect the $245 a night allowance - The West Australian

Aboriginal affairs

Former top judge slams NT action - A former chief justice of the Family Court, Alastair Nicholson, QC, says Kevin Rudd is failing indigenous Australians by continuing the Northern Territory intervention and paying lip service to equality - Melbourne Age


Evaluation of My School pushed aside, say critic - Confidential minutes reveal that state and federal education ministers agreed in 2008 to identify any adverse effects of reporting national school comparisons, but the decision was never implemented - Sydney Morning Herald

Public service

Top bureaucrats to get generous pay rises after salaries deemed inadequate - The public sector pay umpire said 19 Commonwealth departmental secretaries had the toughest jobs in the public service and their job security was low. The Remuneration Tribunal recommended a "reasonable" upfront rise and a longer-term rise "substantially above the current levels" - Melbourne Herald Sun

Stimulus programs

Rudd's home insulation scheme caves in - The Federal Government's suspended home insulation program is set to be scrapped amid new concerns the number of homes requiring remedial work could reach 250,000, soaking up all the money left in the scheme. The decision to end the suspended program would leave potentially thousands of homeowners who had ordered the insulation but were waiting to have it fitted, in the cold - Adelaide Advertiser

Health and hospitals

Health insurance restrictions hit patients with expensive bills - Hospital patients are facing shock bills of thousands of dollars because of restrictions and exclusions in health insurance policies - Melbourne Herald Sun


Turnaround as Rudd steadies, Abbott falters -  writes Dennis Shanahan in The Australian

Tony Abbott is in this for the long run, but politics is a vicious cycle - Phillip Hudson in the Melbourne Herald Sun says winning an election will take even more stamina than a 14-hour ironman challenge or a nine-day bike ride. It's the ultimate endurance test.

Tony Abbott: separating myths from facts about the Liberal leader - Gerard Henderson has a go at it in the Sydney Morning Herald . He concludes that Abbott may, or may not, be a good prime minister - if he ever achieves his goal. But neither his physical exercise regime nor his religious beliefs should be held against him.

Caught in the cogs of the tax regime - Tim Colebatch in the Melbourne Age reminds that housing exists to provide shelter for families, not shelter from tax, and the law should be changed to reflect this.

We aim to save the Windsor, not to bomb it - writes developer Adi Halim in the Melbourne Age

Farce flags Canberra's limited influence in Beijing - Deniel Flitton writes in the Sydney Morning Herald that true guilt in this case lies with China's farcical legal system - secret hearings, prejudged allegations, suspicious confessions and a muddled verdict that leaves the world still wondering exactly what crime Stern Hu and his associates actually committed.

Abbott's plan shouldn't rot in closet - Nikki Savva writes in The Australian that it's going cheap. One slightly used comprehensive health policy. Well, maybe not so cheap, but still very good and still begging to be implemented. It's the one John Howard should have released in the 2007 election campaign, but didn't because Kevin Rudd spooked him, and it's the one Tony Abbott could have and should have used last week but didn't because he didn't want it to look as if Rudd had spooked him.


Foreign Minister slams Chinese as Stern Hu gets 10-year jail sentence - A Shanghai court has revived allegations four Rio Tinto staff caused huge losses from China's steel industry, as it sentenced Stern Hu to 10 years' jail - Sydney Morning Herald

Bribes 'forced China to overpay for iron ore' - China claims its steel sector paid 1 billion yuan ($160.5 million) too much for iron ore last year because of bribery and industrial espionage by the four Rio Tinto executives handed "harsh" prison sentences last night - The Australian

Rio reviews its systems after Stern Hu sentenced - Rio Tinto has ordered a fresh independent review of its processes and controls following the hefty sentences handed out to executive Stern Hu and three of his colleagues yesterday. Rio last night insisted the illegal activities of the employees were conducted "wholly outside its systems" while admitting the evidence in court had showed beyond doubt the four employees had accepted bribes - The Australian

Clinic details claims of CSL 'secret conspiracy' - America's prestigious Mayo Clinic claims to have lost millions of dollars at the hands of an alleged blood-plasma cartel run by Australia's biggest healthcare company, CSL - Melbourne Age


The fags

Bizarre claim that smoking is healthy - A director of the Victor Chang Foundation's board has written a long and detailed opinion piece promoting ''healthy smoking'' for The Jakarta Post, as the Indonesian government considers its first crackdown on cigarette advertising - Sydney Morning Herald

The drink

Closing time called on booze violence - Every NSW hotel would face a 1am lockout as part of a wave of alcohol crackdowns demanded by police, doctors and ambulance officers.  The frontline coalition is also calling for a ban on shots, cocktails and pre-mixed drinks with more than 5 per cent alcohol in all NSW licensed venues after 10pm.

Advice to G-G: get rid of insular wine collection - Quentin Bryce should sell Government House's vast stock of ''image'' wines and replace them with cheaper, food-friendly examples, a wine expert says. Alan Young, who assessed the Government House cellars for previous governor-general Major-General Michael Jeffery said he was unhappy that the collection of more than 3000 bottles was exclusively Australian and top-heavy with bottles designed to impress drinkers obsessed with labels - Melbourne Age

The law

Challenge in courts over DNA evidence - Hundreds of criminal convictions could be at risk because of a High Court challenge that seeks to prevent juries from convicting people based only on DNA evidence - The Australian

Consumer affairs

South Australia's power prices set to surge by $120 a year - Adelaide Advertiser




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