Thursday, 1 April 2010

Media wrap - Tony Abbott to get an acting coach?



Bartlett faces Labor split - The future Labor leader David Bartlett hangs in the balance, as powerful forces within Labor ranks seek to hang on to power. All Labor members in the Tasmanian Parliament -- including its four new politicians elected on March 20 -- will today have to decide if they agree with Mr Bartlett's pledge to cede the reins of government to the Liberal Opposition - Hobart Mercury

Libs tell Premier to resign - The Liberal would-be premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman, is pressing the Labor incumbent, David Bartlett, to resign quickly with the result of the state election now clear - Sydney Morning Herald

Coalition needs to target marginal seats - Tony Abbott needs to draw political lessons from a couple of recent painful experiences - his outing as a triathlete in northern New South Wales and the Liberal Party’s misfired electoral strategy in the South Australian state election - Mark Davis in the Sydney Morning Herald

Political life

'Aggressive' Tony Abbott heads to acting school - The Liberal Party has approached a leading acting and performance coach to the stars to help reshape Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's public image after concerns that voters might find him too aggressive - Sydney Daily Telegraph

Barnaby Joyce: I won't change my style - Barnaby Joyce has vowed not to change his personal style despite the latest controversy over the Queensland senator's sometimes provocative language - Brisbane Courier Mail

Barnaby Joyce attacks 'lingua Canberra' - Barnaby Joyce has lambasted the Canberra press gallery for attacks on his use of language, accusing journalists of unfairness and exhibiting double standards - The Australian

Minister for everything Greg Combet has a break - Junior Defence Minister Greg Combet will today lose part of his extensive portfolio as he continues to grapple with the bungled home insulation scheme - Melbourne Herald Sun

Economic matters

After big spend comes a let-down - We are weaning ourselves off billions of stimulus payments and feeling flat, as the Treasury said we would. The latest retail sales figures trend growth slowing to almost nothing nationwide and to just 0.2 per cent in Victoria. Other figures released yesterday show both the nationwide and Victorian trend growth in private building approvals slipping to their lowest points in a year - Melbourne Age

Hockey contradicts Abbott on property - Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey says foreign buyers are adding to the housing squeeze that is pricing many Australians out of the market, and has accused the Rudd government of covering up the extent of the problem. In comments that appeared at odds with his own leader's views, Mr Hockey told The Age the issue threatened to dog the government after it changed property ownership rules a year ago to allow temporary residents greater investment scope - Melbourne Age

Fund raising

Labor Party scraps fund-raising event - Victorian Labor has scrapped or revamped some of its most lucrative fund-raising events in a bid to spruce up its image and avert controversy ahead of this year's state and federal elections. But the party's fund-raising arm, Progressive Business, is still aiming for a revenue record this year with an extensive schedule of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and drinks sessions featuring state and federal MPs including Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Premier John Brumby - Melbourne Age


Premier's bid to grab planning powers - Construction of high-rise apartments and commercial developments could soon be expedited under the laws that allowed the rapid approval of federal stimulus projects. The Premier, Kristina Keneally, has ordered a review that will consider retaining the special approval authority set up under the Nation Building program, which denied local government a say in development approvals - Sydney Morning Herald

Local government

Councillors demand 70 per cent pay rises - Councillors are demanding pay rises of up to 70 per cent in parity with the salaries of Members of Parliament because they claim they need to attend political branch meetings, among other commitments - Sydney Daily Telegraph

Stimulus projects 

Country school cans $600,000 canteen - A country school community is refusing to sign off on its $600,000 education revolution canteen, claiming it is smaller than a single-car garage and unusable. Parents are incensed that the canteen, built with Federal Government funding, is so under-sized that two people working inside it will not be able to pass each other safely - Sydney Daily Telegraph

States admit secret BER fee hit - The federal government's $16.2 billion education building stimulus package could have delivered thousands more school buildings had it not been for inflated costs including a series of secret fees paid to major construction companies - The Australian


Tatts access to unclaimed prizes makes sale 'illegal' - The government's deal to sell NSW Lotteries to Tatts Group for $850 million appears to be illegal, according to the state opposition and legal advice provided to a rival bidder to Tatts - Sydney Morning Herald

Foreign affairs

Rudd answers China's rebuke with continued pressure - Kevin Rudd yesterday responded to a rebuke from Beijing by saying that the way China's political system was evolving was under international scrutiny and calling for greater openness in its legal system - Sydney Morning Herald


Anna Bligh's plan to manage Queensland population growth - Tax incentives to encourage residents to move to regional areas, "all you can eat" public transport passes and uniform infrastructure charges have been proposed to manage Queensland's burgeoning population growth - Brisbane Courier Mail


Snarl, you're on nanny camera: a cynical lurk to drive us crazy - Miranda Devine says it's no wonder the homegrown driver Mark Webber came to Hamilton's defence this week, blasting Australia as a "nanny state" - Sydney Morning Herald


Real Estate

Melbourne's property market leaps ahead - Melbourne's house prices have outperformed every city in Australia, new benchmark real estate figures show. According to Rismark International's Australian housing report, released yesterday, in the three months to the end of February, Melbourne's property prices grew 5.4 per cent - Melbourne Herald Sun

The drink

See-through drunk tank proposal to shame louts in Melbourne's CBD - An April Fool's day exclusive in the Melbourne Herald Sun


Kevin Rudd hits back at Robin Williams' redneck jibe - Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has hit back at a jibe by US actor/comedian Robin Williams that Australians are just "English rednecks" - Adelaide Advertiser

Child abuse

Mediation to decide a child's best interests - Decisions on where children at risk of abuse or neglect live will be made through mediation instead of the adversarial court system, under radical changes planned by the state government - Melbourne Age





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