POLITICS AND ECONOMICS
Health and hospitals
States grumble, but Rudd's dream near fruition - Kevin Rudd's goal of having the states agree to his health and hospitals reform plan inched closer to reality yesterday with the West Australian Liberal Premier, Colin Barnett, confident a deal would be reached at the April 19 leaders' meeting - Sydney Morning Herald
$55m cancer centre for Ballarat - Ballaratis to get a $55 million cancer centre that will treat 800 patients a year after it opens in 2013. Cancer services in Gippsland, Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo and Traralgon have also been given new funds as part of the federal government's $560 million plan to create a network of regional cancer centres and better accommodation for patients and their families - Melbourne Age
Population can't be capped: minister - Australia's first Minister for Population, Tony Burke, says it is impossible to cap the nation's population growth - Melbourne Age
Making sense of population push - Demographer Bernard Salt writes in The Australian that this nation's peak population growth was actually recorded over the 12 months to March last year. The current growth rate is now on the leeward side of the population mountain. This means that subsequent ABS data releases in June and September (closer to the election) will confirm that "the worst is over".
Tasmanian Labor defies Rudd on Senate ticket - The Tasmanian branch of the ALP is defying Kevin Rudd by insisting on the preselection of controversial unionist Kevin Harkins for a safe position on the party's Senate ticket - The Australian
New Labor website dishes up dirt on Tony Abbott - The Labor Party has registered a website in the name of Tony Abbott, ridiculing the Liberal leader in what party operatives claim is the unofficial start of a brutal federal election campaign. The abbottfacts.com.au website went live at midnight last night - Sydney Daily Telegraph
Greens back Labor minority - Greens leader Nick McKim said his party had decided yesterday afternoon to back the incumbent government over the alternate Liberal opposition led by Will Hodgman - Hobart Mercury
Indonesia moves to end Sri Lankan refugee stand-off - The six-month impasse between Indonesian authorities and a group of about 240 asylum seekers refusing to disembark from their vessel at the port of Merak appears to be coming to an end, after the Sri Lankans were told yesterday they would have to leave the boat for accommodation ''near Singapore'' - Melbourne Age
Tony Burke to explore rules to dictate where migrants settle - Australia's first population minister will explore whether immigration rules can be used to dictate where new migrants live and work - Brisbane Courier Mail
Musos take fight to Parliament -Performers including Ross Wilson, Mike Rudd, Kram, Clare Bowditch, Angie Hart and 83-year-old Nick Polites presented a petition, signed by 22,000 people, which urges the government to remove the link in liquor licences between live music and high-risk conditions - Melbourne Age
Tony Abbott doing hard yards on cycling tour - One man's cycling trip became another's "listening tour" yesterday as Tony Abbott defended not taking annual leave for his nine-day ride from Melbourne - Melbourne Herald Sun
South Australian Parliament appoints first female Speaker and deputy - Whyalla MP Lyn Breuer will create history later this month when she becomes the state's first female Speaker in the House of Assembly. She will be joined by Bright marginal-seat winner Chloe Fox, who will be Deputy Speaker, in a historic double - Adelaide Advertiser
Nixon was wrong to go: Brumby -Victorian Premier John Brumby says the state's former police chief commissioner Christine Nixon made an ''error of judgment'' by leaving Victoria's emergency control centre at the height of the Black Saturday bushfire crisis to have a pub meal with friends. But Mr Brumby and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd are backing Ms Nixon to keep her job as bushfire reconstruction chief, in the face of an avalanche of criticism of her performance on Black Saturday - Melbourne Age
Christine Nixon apologises for dining out on evening of Black Saturday - Christine Nixon has finally apologised for eating out at a restaurant while Victoria burned on Black Saturday - Melbourne Herald Sun
NSW was aware of schools gouging in BER program - The NSW government was aware last year that major contractors were exploiting the $16.2 billion schools stimulus program by substantially overquoting on projects - The Australian
A worthy assignment for Turnbull - saviour of NSW - Miranda Devine in the Sydney Morning Herald suggests a Premier's job for Malcolm Turnbull.
Rudd is needed at nuclear summit -Barack Obama's America is making a genuine bid to reduce nuclear dangers. It is time for friends like Australia to get on board, in deed and word - Rory Medcalf in the Sydney Morning Herald
Booming Melbourne a blessing and a curse for proud Premier- Brumby has to manage growth while maintaining the city's quality of life, writes Paul Austin in the Melbourne Age.
An appetite for revenge- Karen Kissane writes in the Melbourne Age that people want someone to blame for Black Saturday, and Nixon is in the hot seat.
Two-speed economy could limit further rate rises -Business has reacted with alarm this week to the RBA's fifth interest rate hike in seven months. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry claimed the central bank's move to lift its cash rate by 25 basis points to 4.25 per cent was "genuinely controversial" and would have a "harsh" impact on business - Michael Stutchbury in The Australian
Health strategy at risk from political tactics - Arthur Sinodinos in The Australian gives examples where political tactics are in danger of overwhelming the broader strategy.
Surely this is a dream become a nightmare - Tony Koch writes in The Australian of a death on Palm Island.
Lycra louts a law unto themselves - Choosing your bike over your car has obvious benefits for both cyclists and the environment, but the unregulated growth in cycling is causing havoc on our roads and footpaths says Jill Singer in the Melbourne Herald Sun
Barnett won't budge on mine royalties hike - West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has met BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto executives for the first time in five months, but has refused to back down on his threat to slug the mining giants with $300 million in additional royalties from July 1 - The Australian
For the city's sea turtles, survival still hangs in the balance - That endangered green turtles regularly visit to graze on seagrass meadows in the middle of a big city, and some have even made the harbour their home, attests to the improving health of Sydney's main waterway - Sydney Morning Herald
Gap widens for mega rich - A 30-year trend of rising inequality has continued with the rich boosting their share of Australian income significantly over the last five years, according to new research - Sydney Morning Herald
March sales show luxury cars back in favour - Sydney Morning Herald
Vehicle sales break March record - Rising interest rates haven't braked car sales, which raced to an all-time March record, with no sign that Australia's love affair with SUVs is abating - Melbourne Age
Wool growers miss mulesing deadline - A coalition of American clothing retailers has asked Australia's Agriculture and Trade ministers to intervene in the wool industry's controversial practice of mulesing, saying it is concerned that the slowness to dump it could threaten its brands' credibility - Sydney Morning Herald
Men dominate boards in Gillard's department - Despite having the nation's most powerful woman as its minister, men outnumber women on boards connected with Julia Gillard's department by a ratio of almost 2 to 1.
650 school rankings adjusted - The social disadvantage rankings of more than 650 schools were changed before the launch of the My School website after an internal review revealed they had been wrongly categorised - Melbourne Age
Do we really want Kevin Rudd's high-speed broadband? - Kevin Rudd's $43 billion plan to plug all Australians into high-speed broadband for internet, phone and TV services is yet to win over residents in the first Victorian streets scheduled for connection - Melbourne Herald Sun
Adelaide homes crack the $400,000 mark - Adelaide Advertiser