Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Media wrap - Signs of a Liberal concession on hospitals


Public service

No, minister: what the mandarins really think - The government's most senior bureaucrats have complained they often have to ''manage'' illegal and inappropriate directions from their ministers. The top public servants told the Remuneration Tribunal they had to deliver government initiatives which had more to do with politics than the national interest and that they were invariably made scapegoats when their ministers made mistakes - Sydney Morning Herald


Strong lure of a soft landing in Australia for asylum seekers - Global refugee groups have warned that the tide of asylum seekers is showing no signs of slowing, placing further pressure on Australia to receive boat people - Sydney Daily Telegraph 

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to do 'whatever it takes' to stop boat people - Another 70 boats carrying asylum-seekers are tipped to arrive before the federal election, expected later this year - Melbourne Herald Sun

Compassionate system a failure, says Coalition - The transfer of asylum seekers to the mainland is not driven by overflowing detention facilities on Christmas Island, the government has said. But the Opposition labelled the situation a revolving door, with people moved off the island in time for the next boat to arrive - Sydney Morning Herald

Health and hospitals

It boils down to money - Money will top the agenda at the second round of talks between Kevin Rudd and John Brumby on reforming the nation's health system - Melbourne Herald Sun

Abbott bends on health - Tony Abbott has made a surprise announcement that he may not oppose the Federal Government's controversial hospital funding plan - Melbourne Herald Sun

Abbott backs off for good of his health - Tony Abbott has moved to defuse health as an election issue by suggesting the Coalition will now support Kevin Rudd's healthcare reform plan - Sydney Morning Herald

Economic matters

Tony Abbott flays Kevin Rudd over lust for spending - Tony Abbott has accused Kevin Rudd of overstating the risk to Australia from last year's global financial crisis to conceal his instinctive lust for reckless spending - The Australian

Gillard advises jobless to look to the west - Go west, advised Julia Gillard, in a safety vest and steel-capped boots, at the construction site of Australia's largest resources project, about 20 minutes flying-time off the coast of the Pilbara - Sydney Morning Herald


15-minute neighbourhood hubs may solve Queensland's growth problems - Premier Anna Bligh floated the idea of 15-minute suburbs, using New York City as an example where people embrace high-density living and sustainability by giving up their cars in exchange for public transport - Brisbane Courier Mail

Vice-capital Townsville: Radical plan to shift population growth from Queensland's south to north - Premier Anna Bligh has floated the idea at the growth management summit being held in Brisbane today and tomorrow at the State Library in Brisbane - Brisbane Courier Mail

Foreign affairs

Tension rise between Australia and China over Hu jailing - Brisbane Courier Mail


SA Liberals elect Martin Hamilton-Smith as deputy leader - Just over a week after the Liberals almost snatched victory in the state election, a shock result in the party's deputy leadership ballot has set it up for four years of factional warfare - Adelaide Advertiser


Libs set to form government - Tasmania is set to get a Liberal minority government after the Hobart seat of Denison was won by about 300 votes - Hobart Mercury

All eyes on the last undecided seat as Tasmanian Liberals draw level with Labor - Labor Premier David Bartlett has promised to advise the Governor to ask Mr Hodgman to form a government if the two major parties are tied on 10 seats each.This is on the basis of the Liberals receiving more of the statewide vote than Labor.However, it is understood Mr Bartlett and state Labor are under pressure to rethink this stance - not only from some in the Tasmanian branch of the party but also from the Rudd government - The Australian

History wars return as election battleground - Call it the Recent Economic History Wars. In duelling speeches over the past two days Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott have tried to define the 2008-09 global economic crisis to suit their election campaigns - Sydney Morning Herald


Leader unbowed by slide in popularity with voters - Two polls in two days have shown Tony Abbott's approval rating starting to fall. The Essential poll, published on Monday, found the Opposition Leader's rating fell from 45 per cent to 33 per cent in a month. Newspoll, published in yesterday's The Australian showed a fall of three percentage points over a fortnight while his disapproval rose by 5 points - Sydney Morning Herald

Law and order

Tough bail laws to stay despite jail population - NSW Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, has admitted that the state needs to act to reduce its soaring jail population, which topped 10,000 last year and continues to rise - Sydney Morning Herald

Political life

Butler gets drive back - Ross Butler described getting back behind the wheel of a taxi yesterday as like re-entering the "real world".  But the former MP dismisses the charge that in just a week, in common political parlance, he has gone from being a "rooster" to a "feather duster". - Hobart Mercury

Aboriginal affairs

Greenies 'damaging' Aborigines over Kimberley development - The Kimberley's peak indigenous body has attacked the "disgusting" tactics of green groups and out-of-town celebrities opposed to industrial development near Broome, accusing them of fundamental dishonesty and abusive, dirty politics - The Australian

Stimulus projects

Builders' fees identical in BER projects - The pricing structure of the federal government's education stimulus package allows NSW builders and project managers to charge identical fees and allowances, regardless of whether they are constructing a classroom, a library or a school hall - The Australian

The drink

Kristina Keneally won't back the emergency service 'wowsers'- Police officers said the State Government will have blood on its hands for alcohol-fuelled late-night attacks on emergency services workers after Premier Kristina Keneally described them as "wowsers" - Sydney Daily Telegraph


Election's economic narrative reveals real Rudd - Kevin Rudd has unveiled an election-year story on the economy that casts him both as a true conservative pursuing economic stability and a reformer chasing a productivity revival. It will make Tony Abbott choke - Paul Kelly in The Australian

Hey tabloid voyeurs! You are a threat to justice - The media frenzy sparked by the allegations made by Sarah Monahan, the former Hey Dad! child actress, against her screen father Hughes a few weeks ago is the worst kind of Australian journalism. This is a textbook case of irresponsible media conduct that diminishes, rather than enhances, our democratic institutions - Janet Albrechtsen in The Australian 

Amateur hour in non-Labor parties - Scott Prasser writes in The Australian that the non-Labor parties are facing a crisis of talent, of attracting, keeping and training it both to fight Labor more effectively and to show the electorate they have the capacity to lead the very governments they covet. At present, they are not in the game.

None so blind as bloggers - Dennis Shanahan has a shot in The Australian at the way pro-Labor bloggers treat opinion poll results.

The greatest moral conundrum of our time … until the next one - Peter Costello in the Sydney Morning Herald on how emissions trading legislation has become less important than getting 30 per cent of the GST from the states so the government can rearrange financing in the hospital system. Can a momentous moral challenge fizzle out like this? Or are you beginning to suspect all the crisis was politically driven?

Rudd's new challenge: fix schools - says Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Hard yakka on China - Katharine Murphy writes in the Melbourne Age that the Hu case highlights the difficult path Kevin Rudd has to tread with Beijing

Leaders's spin eliminates the negative - Abbott has acknowledged the reality - negativity on hospitals is a no-no. Voters care about the issue too much for that. He still, however, has to put out a policy of his own - Michelle Grattan in the Melbourne Age


Call to back US ruling on gene patenting - A US ruling overturning a company's patents on gene mutations linked to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer could have far-reaching implications in Australia - Sydney Morning Herald


Fire ants 'a threat to southeast Queensland lifestyle' - Despite $215 million being poured into eradication programs nationally, fire ants have claimed territory in an arc from Logan City, between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, to near Grandchester, about 80km west of where the first outbreak was found at the Port of Brisbane in 2001 - Brisbane Courier Mail



Student doctors skipping anatomy lessons - Medical students at some universities are receiving minimal training in anatomy, undergoing as little as 56 hours in a five-year course - 10 times less than their counterparts at other institutions - The Australian


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