Sunday, 4 April 2010

Media wrap - Government doubts about advocating a big Australia



Rudd flips on 'big Australia' - The federal government will consider slashing Australia's annual migration intake to help tackle concerns about traffic congestion, housing, hospitals, water and the environment. Just months after declaring himself in favour of a ''big Australia'', Prime Minister Kevin Rudd yesterday warned of ''legitimate concerns'' with population growth and appointed Agriculture Minister Tony Burke as Australia's first Population Minister - Melbourne Sunday Age

Rudd's 'big Australia' getting too big - The federal government has been forced to draw up a national population strategy, amid growing concerns the number of Australians will rise to unsustainable levels - Sydney Sun Herald

Health and hospitals

Brumby's health plan would cost $40bn: Swan - Premier John Brumby's funding demands for public hospitals would cost the federal budget $40 billion over four years, federal Treasurer Wayne Swan says - Mlebourne Sunday Age

Economic matters

Interest rates: how high and why - Brace yourself, home owners. Barring some overseas economic or financial calamity, it's almost a certainty now that interest rates are going to get significantly higher - Melbourne Sunday Age

Political life

Meet the Minister for body image - In killer heels and a tight leather dress, federal minister Kate Ellis is taking a bold new approach to her campaign to improve young women's body image. The last federal politician to model eight-inch stilettos was Alexander Downer, but Ms Ellis, 32, wears her strappy shoes with two skin-tight outfits in this week's edition of Grazia magazine - Sydney Sunday Telegraph


State's fate awaits Governor - All eyes are on the Governor for the next move in the high-stakes chess game that will decide Tasmania's next Government - Hobart Mercury

Union members turn on Labor - Blue-collar Labor voters have deserted the Keneally Government with a shock new poll showing more union members plan to vote for the Coalition than the ALP at next year's State election. Secret internal polling, commissioned by Unions NSW, shows Ms Keneally has failed to repair the rift between union members and the Government that opened up over energy privatisation two years ago Sydney Sunday Telegraph


We pay $57m for climate change phantoms - The Rudd government has transferred its emissions trading scheme team into the strife-prone household insulation program, relegating plans for carbon trading this year to the back burner. The team of 154 bureaucrats, who cost taxpayers an average of $370,000 each to plan for the non-existent emissions trading scheme, will instead be put to work sorting out problems with the $2.45 billion home insulation program that left four people dead and has been implicated in 120 house fires up to March 24 - Sydney Sunday Telegraph


Rudd ups the ante in self-promotion - Piers Akerman in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph writes that with Canberra all but closed for Easter, the Rudd administration stealthily changed the rules on government campaign advertising, making it easier for public funds to be diverted to political ends.

Tony, we don't recognise you with clothes - Paul Howes in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph has been starting to wonder what is behind this obviously deliberate strategy of Abbott's to make himself the "ironman PM".

All over the place - Melissa Fyfe in the Melbourne Sunday Age writes that John Brumby blaming others for drinking law stuff-ups won't fix the shambles.

Fat lot of good campaign against junk food is doing - There's a big anti-business component to the push for a nanny state. Many public health activists believe the blame for obesity lies with corporations - not with the choices of the people who buy unhealthy food, writes Chris Berg in the Sunday Melbourne Age

Rudd's lucky break as the guv'nor reserves his rights - Michelle Grattan in the Sydney Sun Herald writes that Glenn Stevens has very publicly asserted his independence and the PM must be very pleased with the performance. 

It only took a few Joyce words - The Nationals senator put his hoof in it again and now interest has turned to the serious Coalition players included on the razor gang - Paul Daley in the Sydney Sun Herald

It may pay to boost the workers' wages - writes Stephanie Peatling in the Sydney Sun Herald. If Fair Work Australia gave low earners a raise it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing as the money is poured back into the economy.


Consumer affairs

Review aims to sort the healthy wheat from misleading chaff - The hopes of public health experts are pinned on a review of Australian and New Zealand food-labelling laws. Among measures being considered are a crackdown on descriptions such as ''lite'' and ''natural'', and a ban on deceptive health claims, or burying negative information in fine print - Melbourne Sunday Age

New ratings make food shops clean up their act - Restaurants, cafes and takeaway shops across NSW will come under pressure to display a hygiene rating on their door in the most significant improvement to food safety in years - Sydney Sun Herald

Energy drink on tap a recipe for disaster: experts - Doctors and health campaigners have questioned moves by Coca-Cola to put a high-caffeine energy drink on tap in pubs. They said alcohol and energy drinks were a dangerous cocktail that caused increased rates of violence, drink driving and sexual assault - Sydney Sun Herald

Law and order

Women's prison strains at seams - Victoria's high-security women's prison is overflowing with a record number of offenders, forcing the state government to bring in portable accommodation to house them - Melbourne Sunday Age


Bullies to feel the heat of MySchool principle - Primary and high schools should post on the MySchool website how they cope with classroom, playground and cyberspace bullying. That's the recommendation of a leading Australian researcher into the subject, and the federal government can see merit in the proposal - Sydney Sun Herald

This is the future of sport in schools - Wii instead of PE - Video games are replacing sport in NSW schools under new government policy allowing children to play virtual tennis, baseball and boxing on Wii consoles during physical education. Despite growing levels of child obesity, the NSW Department of Education and the Australian Sports Commission have put Nintendo's Wii Fit on the PE curriculum - Sydney Sunday Telegraph


Push to have cyclists licenced and pay registration in Australia - A major business lobby group wants cyclists to be licensed and have their bikes registered before riding on the road. The Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry is calling for a debate on the issue and is running an online poll on its blog site.

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