Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Media wrap - Previewing an announcement on hospitals



Economic matters

Home loans up by an average of $50 a month after rise in interest rates – Home buyers will have to find another $50 a month, on average, after the Reserve Bank increased interest rates for the fourth time since October – Melbourne Herald Sun

Rates likely to go a lot higher yet – Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens has delivered the first interest rate rise of the year and indicated there is more to come – Melbourne Herald Sun

Credit rate rises is a 'threat to recovery' – Australian businesses have warned that a string of rapid interest rate rises could threaten the recovery and cost jobs, after the Reserve Bank raised the official cash rate to 4 per cent yesterday – The Australian

A double dose of rates pain – Unless Gail Kelly decides to put customers before shareholders today, the angriest Westpac borrowers still face a 45 basis point increase in their mortgage rate this month – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Rate rise to hit NT hardest - Repayments on a loan of $540,000 - the median Darwin house price in the December quarter - will increase by about $86 per month if banks pass on the full rate rise to customers – Northern Territory News

Banks holding RBA line - for now – Mortgage holders can breathe a guarded sigh of relief after the first official rate rise of the year. Each of the lenders that has responded has passed on no more than the Reserve Bank's 0.25 percentage point increase. But each has also complained about ''cost pressures'' and hinted it would not be able to continue to hold the line – Sydney Morning Herald

Good news prods RBA to up rates – Financial markets are confident the Reserve Bank will continue pushing up interest rates after yesterday's rise, but are busily debating how aggressively the board will tighten the screws – Sydney Morning Herald

Nation back on growth track – The Reserve Bank has ruled that the slowdown is over, both for Australia and the world economy, and flagged that yesterday's rate rise would be followed by further increases – The Australian

Health and hospitals

State seeks $1bn deal on hospitals – The Victorian government has demanded a $1 billion funding boost for hospitals as a condition of signing up for a radical overhaul of the health system, to be announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today – Melbourne Age

Brumby's hands-off warning to Rudd in health fightVictoria has warned Kevin Rudd to keep his hands off the state's hospitals ahead of the Prime Minister today unveiling his long-overdue, health-reform blueprint – Melbourne Herald Sun

Rudd set to fight states on health - The states will be asked to surrender a slice of their GST revenue so it can be given directly to a new national health network that will fund hospitals directly – Sydney Morning Herald

Federal cure not enough to save NSW health – NSW would have major problems adopting Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's long-awaited health reforms because it had one of the most inefficient hospital systems in the country – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Kevin Rudd's health revolution to be unveiled – Kevin Rudd will today outline a health revolution promoting electronic records for all Australians and laying out major changes to hospital funding. The once-in-a-generation reforms will promise patients better care, force states to be more accountable, and cut costs and duplication – Brisbane Courier Mail

Drought relief

Labor to axe drought relief – Agriculture Minister Tony Burke will scrap taxpayer-funded subsidies for drought-affected farmers to meet interest payments on their bank debts as part of a shake-up of drought policy – The Australian


Kevin Rudd's bad vibes halt election talk – The chance of Australia going to an early election has lessened, with internal Labor research exposing a negative shift in mood toward Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in key marginal seats in Sydney's west – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Police superclass an 'election stunt' - A huge class of police recruits is set to march on to our state's streets just as next year's election campaign begins - and some are labelling it a cynical exercise in electioneering by the Keneally government – Sydney Morning Herald


Conmen use phone book to fake insulation cash claims – Conmen are suspected of randomly choosing names from phone books and forging signatures to rip off cash from the Rudd Government's multimillion-dollar home insulation program – Brisbane Courier Mail


My School widened to rate universities – Students will be able to compare the performance of every Australian university online under the Rudd Government's plan to extend its My School initiative to higher education – Brisbane Courier Mail

After My School comes My University – The vaunted reputations of our sandstone universities will face greater scrutiny under Julia Gillard's plans to set up a My University website to mirror her My School site launched in January – The Australian

Public administration

Luxury retreat to host high-level primary industry forumTop State Government bureaucrats are heading bush to better acquaint themselves with Queensland farmers - at a 4.5-star luxury retreat – Brisbane Courier Mail

State's computers put a $40m byte on tax dollar – The Brumby government's poor management of the state's computers is wasting tens of millions of taxpayer dollars each year and causing greenhouse gases to be spewed out unnecessarily, according to its own technology experts – Melbourne Age

Political life

Kevin Rudd marks Centaur day of sorrow – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd led the country in a day of remembrance for the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur yesterday, labelling its World War II torpedoing off the Brisbane coast a "cold, brutal act" – Brisbane Courier Mail


Jackpot for Tatts Group as state sells lotteries for $1.1b - The state government has sold its ''licence to print money'' for $1.1 billion, offloading NSW Lotteries in a move which will wipe out its projected deficit for 2009-10 and give it additional fiscal firepower as it gears up for next year's election – Sydney Morning Herald

Evolution v Creationism

Christian schools angry over ban on teaching creationism - Australian Christian schools will campaign against what they see as the thin end of the wedge - a decision by the South Australian Non-Government Schools Registration Board to effectively ban the teaching of creationism – Sydney Morning Herald

Aboriginal affairs

Abbott, land owners see eye to eye - The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has flagged a major shake-up of the native title system which would give traditional indigenous family groups more control over Aboriginal land and water down the power of large land councils – Sydney Morning Herald


Aussie-Israelis face Dubai ban – Dual Israeli nationals will be banned from entering Dubai in a sanction that police say will be enforced by recognising "physical features and the way they speak" – The Australian


Safety fear: Indian cricketers cancel tourAustralia’s reputation in India is testing the unifying powers of cricket after a group of Indian players cancelled a recent tour to Australia due to lingering safety concerns. The organiser of a tour of up-and-comers from academies in Chhindwara and Rajasthan, Bruce Adams, said negative perceptions of Australia persisted even when attacks had subsided – Melbourne Age


RBA move shows economy on a roll – Terry McCrann says the Reserve Bank's decision to lift interest rates is actually good news - Melbourne Herald Sun

Rudd pays for avoiding recession – Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald writes that it would be churlish and disingenuous not to give Kevin Rudd great credit for the size and speed of his stimulus spending and, importantly, for the way he managed business and consumer confidence. But disaster has been averted, and many people are convinced there never was a recession, so we have the luxury of looking back on some decisions that were made in the heat of the crisis and questioning their wisdom.

Federal-run health another batty idea - writes Peter Costello in the Sydney Morning Herald. The insulation proposal - originally a climate change policy - was rebadged as a stimulus policy. The inexperienced government grasped it with open arms. It was a spending program that had been rejected when the budget was in surplus. It was given lavish financing once the budget was deep in deficit.

The economy is returning to normal, and so are rates – writes Tim Colebatch in the Melbourne Age. Let's cut the whingeing.

Rudd's deeds need to be as bold as his ambitions – says Paul Kelly in The Australian. The enduring point from Kevin Rudd's weekend mea culpa is that it only deepens the confusion that surrounds his government in public perceptions and policy belief.

Enough consultation, give us the prescription - Martin Laverty, the chief executive of Catholic Health Australia, writes in The Australian that health reform in Australia can be simple. It can be simple because Australia is recognised as having one of the best healthcare systems in the world, a strong foundation on which we can improve. There has been enough talk. It's time for action.

Combet becomes the PM's new stalking horse - What the Prime Minister needs is someone to run political interference, an alternative leadership prospect, no matter how slim or unlikely, to balance the overwhelming public view and the view of his parliamentary colleagues that "if Kevin goes under a bus, it's Julia". Greg Combet is it writes Dennis Shanahan in The Australian

At any rate, Labor has advantage of incumbency – Peter van Onselen in The Australian believes the nterest rate rise yesterday will shift the political debate to how the Rudd government can manage the economy without suffering at the hands of households under mortgage rate strain.

PM's mea culpa: fact or fiction? -  Shaun Carney writes in the Melbourne Age that Kevin Rudd’s apology could simply be a cynical, attention-seeking circuit-breaker. Or not. More likely, he simply wanted to remind swinging voters that his government was mortal and that a protest vote could result in an Abbott government. Either way, in our political culture, the safe course is to assume a politician isn't genuine.


Draft laws will turn network into a rival retailer: Telstra – Telstra turned up the heat yesterday on negotiations over the national broadband network, saying it would seek extra compensation if the Federal Government changes tack and allows the network owner, NBN Co, to compete for retail customers – Sydney Morning Herald

Telstra in turmoil as NBN project pushes ahead – Almost 3000 homes and businesses in Melbourne's inner north will have access to high-speed internet from early next year, in a pilot program that will go ahead despite growing uncertainty and wrangling over the $43 billion National Broadband Network – Melbourne Age\

Australian shareholders worried about Stokes plan – The Australian Shareholders' Association has concerns about a $3 billion plan to merge Seven Network with Kerry Stokes's WesTrac industrial and mining equipment group – The Australian


Peter Garrett under fresh attack over Coral Sea – Peter Garrett is under fresh pressure over using discredited science and dodgy data to declare a conservation zone over the Coral SeaBrisbane Courier Mail

Rees's plan to save redgums faces the axe - The decision of the former premier Nathan Rees to immediately end logging of the Riverina redgums has been reversed by the state government – Sydney Morning Herald


Victorians to pay $250,000 to film drama based on Snowtown murders – Victorians will pay almost $250,000 to bring one of the worst serial killings in our history to the big screen. Filming of the multi-million-dollar movie adaptation of the Snowtown murders, partly financed by the Victorian Government, is set to begin by August 1 – Melbourne Herald Sun

Julia Gillard wants Brendan Fevola to apologise to Lara Bingle over nude photo – And John Howard thinks she is a very nice young girl - Sydney Daily Telegraph

Australians are slaves to the internet – Australians are spending more time online, with the average user surfing the net for more than two working days a week – Brisbane Courier Mail

ABC boss tells media to 'stop attacking us' – Media companies have only got themselves to blame for their current woes and should stop attacking the ABC's expanded services, according to the public broadcaster's managing director, Mark Scott – Sydney Morning Herald



RSPCA calls for test for would-be dog owners – The RSPCA has urged the Victorian Government to consider introducing a "competency test" for would-be dog owners – Melbourne Herald Sun

Law and order

Bob Atkinson raises concerns over way police engage with public – Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson has voiced concerns police may be getting too heavy-handed in dealings with people in southeast Queensland hot spots – Brisbane Courier Mail

Di Fingleton damages case for trial – A damages claim launched by former Queensland chief magistrate Di Fingleton against distinguished legal figures over her conviction and jailing is heading for trial in the Supreme Court in a case so sensitive it is likely to be run by an interstate judge – The Australian

Games people play

Exposure to violent video games making players more aggressive - Researchers say they have proved this conclusively, after analysing 130 reports involving more than 130,000 gamers – Adelaide Advertiser
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