Saturday, 17 April 2010

Media wrap - The pre-COAG meeting skirmishing goes on



Health and hospitals

The great hospital gamble - Kevin Rudd's decision to boost hospitals rather than promote primary care carries a significant risk of failure, writes Mark Metherell in the Sydney Morning Herald

Condition terminal: NSW doctors demand Keneally oppose Rudd's health plan - Senior doctors from NSW public hospitals have issued a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister's health reforms, accusing Kristina Keneally of acting in ''injudicious haste to meet a political timetable'' - Sydney Morning Herald

More sweeteners likely as PM battles to clinch hospital deal - Kevin Rudd has left open the possibility of giving the states even more money when he meets the premiers on Monday but not unless they give up their GST revenue - Sydney Morning Herald

Brumby keeps up the pressure - Victoria is threatening to derail the Rudd government's health reforms even though it would lose less of its GST revenue than almost any other state under the plan, new figures reveal - Sydney Morning Herald

NSW joins health plan resistance - Kevin Rudd's plan to fix Australia's hospitals is on life support after NSW yesterday joined WA and Victoria in demanding changes - and more cash - before they agree to the Prime Minister's health reforms - The West Australian

Kristina Keneally baulks at Kevin Rudd's health reform - The Australian

States revolt shakes Rudd's health strategy - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's health plan was at risk of collapse last night after a revolt by key premiers against his push for control of hospital funding around the nation - Melbourne Age

Economic matters

Wayne Swan's tough-love budget - Wayne Swan is drafting a tough-love budget that does not have any traditional election-year handouts and promotes long-term economic revival, with funding for health and public hospital reform as its key electoral appeal - The Australian


Private schools fear they will be penalised for fund-raising and parents' donations - Private schools fear the government will punish them for raising their own funds and donations when it reviews Commonwealth funding for all schools - Sydney Morning Herald

Complaints put brakes on ethics class trial - NSW Education Minister Verity Firth is refusing to guarantee a 10-week trial for secular ethics classes will start next week in state primary schools as expected, after a flurry of complaints from religious leaders - Sydney Morning Herald

Political life

Keneally chalks up $100,000 on travel - Premier, Kristina Keneally, spent almost $100,000 on travel in her first two months in office, as she toured the state in a blitzkrieg campaign to raise her profile - Sydney Morning Herald

South Australian parliamentarians to sit only for 32 days - Adelaide Advertiser

Wayne Swan: from the school of hard knocks - Dennis Shanahan profiles the Federal Treasurer - The Australian

From a shadow treasurer, gloomy prospects - Joe Hockey undoubtedly has many policy strengths. Tackling climate change is not yet one of them. The shadow treasurer, who is positioning himself as a future liberal leader with a series of broader speeches, is a mass of contradictions on the subject of climate change and what to do about it - Paddy Manning writing in the Sydney Morning Herald

PM escapes Canberra to become local hero - When Defence Minister John Faulkner was shaking hands with Barack Obama at the nuclear security summit in Washington on Tuesday, Kevin Rudd was at the bedside of cancer patient Joyce Mulley at Lismore Base Hospital in northern NSW.

Stimulus projects

Housing project anger boon to Libs - The Coalition is eyeing the grassroots campaigns springing up nationally against projects being built under the $5.2 billion social housing package as another possible attack front on the Rudd government's stimulus spending - Sydney Morning Herald


Minister asks censors to reassess approval of sadistic film - The federal government has asked censorship authorities to reconsider their approval of an Italian film - twice banned in Australia over its portrayal of sexual sadism - for release here on DVD - Sydney Morning Herald

Tightening the net - Opponents may consider him naive, power-hungry or technologically challenged, but none can question Conroy's commitment to the filter, which if introduced would be the only one of its kind in the democratic world - Melbourne Age

Dave booted from Facebook - A social networking site shut down a NT politician's "profile" after complaints that it carried an "offensive" attack on long-grassers. Dave Tollner's Facebook page is back online after a two-week suspension. Mr Tollner, who won the inner Darwin seat of Fong Lim for the CLP at the last election, said he did not expect such a strong reaction when he wrote that itinerants were "parasites terrorising innocent citizens" - Northern Territory News


Why the PM's backflip can't stop the asylum boats from coming - Two are needed to play the roles of good cop, bad cop, but the Rudd Government is trying to play both over asylum seekers - Adelaide Advertiser

Crush forces officials to hand out bridging visas - The sustained flow of asylum-seekers from Christmas Island's crowded compounds to the mainland has tipped three detention centres over capacity in the past month, prompting immigration officials to favour bridging visas over detention for illegals who arrive by plane - The Australian

Australia's population set to reach 42 million by 2050, study reveals - Modelling by Australia's Centre for Population and Urban Research warned of a doubling of the population in 40 years, which it also claimed would be unsustainable, and significantly outstrips Federal Government targets - Melbourne Herald Sun

Law and order

No bail - go directly to jail - NSW has eroded the right to bail and many in the criminal justice system are speaking out about the injustice it is causing, writes Joel Gibson - Sydney Morning Herald


Anti-abortionists to target 10 seats - Anti-abortion activists will target the marginal seats of several government MPs who voted in favour of removing abortion from the Crimes Act in a bid to have them deposed in the November state election - Melbourne Age


Greens win Cabinet invite - Late yesterday, Premier David Bartlett issued an invitation to Nick McKim to accept a ministry in the new Labor Government. He has not revealed what position was offered to Mr McKim and it is not yet clear whether the Greens leader will accept the invitation - Hobart Mercury

Greens get cabinet job in `deal' with Bartlett - Greens leader Nick McKim will be a cabinet minister in the state's new Labor government in a historic deal to support David Bartlett's minority administration - The Australian

Public service

Inquiry into Tax Office chaos - The federal government has ordered the Inspector-General of Taxation to inquire into the ''confusion, frustration and anger'' surrounding the new Tax Office computer system - Melbourne Age

Liberals Jeff Kennett and Ted Baillieu want 'blot on landscape' erased - Christine Nixon is a blot on the landscape and must go, say Liberal Party powerbrokers - Melbourne Herald Sun


Rudd's way or the highway - a healthy to-do - Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald says Monday is a pivot point for Kevin Rudd's prime ministership. If he can negotiate a deal with the premiers on health reform, he would be in an immensely stronger position. If the chief intransigent, Victoria's Premier, John Brumby, vetoes Rudd's plan, then it sets his prime ministership on an altogether different path.

Rudd reform has an achilles heal - Laurie Oakes in the Melbourne Herald Sun writes that despite his "I won't give an inch" public stance, the Prime Minister will go into Monday's Council of Australian Governments meeting prepared to deal - within reason. But he is also serious when he says that failure to reach agreement will mean a referendum to put beyond doubt Canberra's power to over-ride the states on health.

Odds are Rudd's funding model won't work - writes Michael Stutchbury in The Australian of the proposed new hospital funding system.

Rudd's hospitals sell a precision-guided missile - Rudd told a close colleague that he didn't go to Washington for US President Barack Obama's nuclear security summit during the week because, just as Obama had cancelled his Australian trip last month to stay in the US and sell his healthcare reforms, Rudd wanted to stay here and do the same writes Peter van Onselen in The Australian

Swan's hands tied by drunken sailor tag - Dennis Shanahan in The Australian writes that Wayne Swan is building his election budget strategy on his credibility for economic management and long-term reforms.

Once and future king of jargon - Michael Shmith revisits the Rudd speaking style in very humorous piece - Melbourne Age

A healthy state is priceless - Tony Wright in the Melbourne Age reports on talking with hospital staff providing excellent service to a seriously ill daughter

Showdown in emergency room - Paul Kelly writes in The Australian that Premier John Brumby has done serious damage to Kevin Rudd on two of the Prime Minister's cherished pledges: to fix the federation and to bring fundamental reform to Australia's public hospital system.

Bribery pays: court reveals iron ore corruption - A detailed look at the Chinese iron ore buying practices - Sydney Morning Herald

Revealed: details of extensive Rio bribes - Bribe-taking among Rio Tinto's Shanghai iron ore executives was more extensive than previously thought and may have undermined the company's revenue, court documents show - Sydney Morning Herald

Just what is a Chinese commercial secret remains a secret - Rio Tinto's chief executive, Tom Albanese, told Rio's London annual meeting this week that he didn't really know what is a commercial secret in China - Sydney Morning Herald

Barnett demands better gas deal - Premier Colin Barnett has put foreign-owned liquefied natural gas producers on notice that if they are going to come to the State to take part in "the biggest game in town" they will be expected to offer a cheaper price for WA consumers - The West Australian

Canberra gets tough on 'dodgy' executives - Executives who deliberately mislead shareholders on a company's financial position will have to repay bonuses under a federal government proposal - Melbourne Age


Pay-TV pie shrinks as ABC announces 24-hour news channel - The ABC's director of news, Kate Torney, has ruled out asking the government for more money to launch the national broadcaster's 24-hour news channel, saying she is confident it can be created from existing resources - Sydney Morning Herald



Proposed curriculum could stifle student creativity - The new national curriculum is at risk of inhibiting, rather than encouraging, student creativity, a member of the Board of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority has warned - Sydney Morning Herald

Real estate

Bayside, east top auctions - Melbourne's leafy eastern and bayside suburbs have led an unseasonably hot auction market this year that has defied a series of interest-rate rises - Melbourne Age

Selling time almost halves as house prices start to soar - Buyers fearful of missing out have started offering over the asking price - Brisbane Courier Mail

Law and order

Appeal for more judges and courts - Victoria's Chief Justice, Marilyn Warren, has called for the appointment of extra judges and magistrates and more modern court buildings to ease delays in the justice system - Melbourne Age

Daylight saving response stuns Anna Bligh - The fresh debate over whether to wind the clocks forward in the southeast is dividing the state and re-fuelling perennial myths about fading curtains and upset cows - Brisbane Courier Mail
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