Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Media wrap - The millions for health just keep on coming

POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Health and hospitals

Kevin Rudd makes final health offer to premiers - Kevin Rudd has stepped up pressure on the states to accept his hospitals reform plan with a "take it or leave it" offer of $650 million to cut elective surgery waiting lists, his final offer to premiers before next week's crucial health summit - The Australian

PM's $3bn bid to woo the states on hospitals - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has put a total of $3 billion over four years in funding on the table, including a final sweetener of $650 million to cut waiting times for elective surgery, as he desperately tries to get the states behind his hospital reform plan - Melbourne Age

Elective surgery when you need it: Rudd's bold pledge -The Prime Minister has set his government the ambitious goal of ensuring that virtually all Australians needing elective surgery will get their operations in clinically recommended times - Sydney Morning Herald

Rudd's lure for premiers hits $3b - A $650 million cash injection to fund 90,000 elective surgery procedures has been presented to the states as the final inducement for them to sign up to the Prime Minister's health and hospital reform plan - Sydney Morning Herald

Stimulus projects

Gillard caves in, will probe school building rorts - Education Minister Julia Gillard has capitulated to criticisms that the $16 billion school building program is being rorted, establishing a taskforce to investigate allegations - Melbourne Age

Julia Gillard acts to fix BER mess with taskforce - Up  to $6 billion in school building funds will be subjected to increased scrutiny after Julia Gillard bowed to pressure and appointed an inquiry into waste and alleged rorting under the government's Building the Education Revolution program - The Australian

States stand by rollout of BER projects - The states yesterday stood by their administration of the Building the Education Revolution, despite the establishment by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard of an inquiry to investigate rorts - The Australian

The $900,000 library - bookshelves an optional extra - It's 7am and the high country to the east of the Snowy Mountains is chilled to near freezing, but Fiona Suthern is hot under the collar as she stands in front of the Berridale Public School's new library - Melbourne Age


Former investment banker to check BER money being spent wisely - The Australian  

Executive privilege

Labor advisers may face jail - Victorian Parliament officials are preparing for the possibility they will be required to execute warrants for the arrest of key state government staff over the Hotel Windsor affair - Melbourne Age

Law and order

Assault on truth in crime statistics - Police had failed to investigate many potential crimes across NSW, particularly assaults, documents have revealed.It comes as experts have questioned whether crime statistics are being kept artificially low - Sydney Daily Telegraph

Population

Huge Australian population growth could have grave health consequences - Super-sizing Australia's population may have grave consequences on our health, boosting rates of obesity, asthma and depression, a new study warns - Melbourne Herald Sun

Immigration

Malaysian people smugglers go unhindered with little action by authorities - Malaysia is the key South-East Asian headquarters for people smuggling to Australia, with four main syndicates controlling the operation from Kuala Lumpur all the way to Christmas Island. But it doesn't stop there. The syndicates are deeply connected in Australia - Brisbane Courier Mail

The trade in human lives - Paul Toohey in the Adelaide Advertiser examines some of the mechanics of the people smuggling trade.

Ministers contradicted on asylum applications freeze - Rudd government ministers have wrongly claimed "a number of countries" have suspended visa applications from Sri Lankan refugees to justify Australia's unilateral decision to halt processing of Tamil and Afghan asylum-seekers - The Australian


Pakistani officials ridicule Rudd's visa rethink - The Rudd government's claim that Afghanistan's Hazara population is no longer at risk has been rejected in Pakistan - The Australian

Darwin prepares for asylum seekers - The Immigration Department could start using detention facilities at Darwin to house asylum seekers as soon as this week, as it seeks to take pressure off hard-pressed facilities and staff on Christmas Island - Sydney Morning Herald 

Education

States push ahead despite teacher opposition - The national teacher ban on literacy and numeracy tests is expected to hit NSW and Queensland harder than other states, but education ministers are determined the tests will go ahead - Sydney Morning Herald

Julia Gillard calls for teacher defiance - Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday called on public school teachers to act as strikebreakers and defy their union's ban on them supervising next month's national skills tests - The Australian

Test boycott 'will hit needy schools'  - Victorian teachers who boycott national tests will deprive the most disadvantaged schools of the extra assistance they need, the state government has warned - Melbourne Age

Opinions

When Indian students suffer, Australia risks being scarred for life - writes Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald. Australia's handling of the assaults on Indian students has been a debacle. And it's still a mess. The country has suffered real reputational damage, real economic cost, and real diplomatic disadvantage.

Climate change is no friend of Rudd's second time around - Too many words, too few deeds have marked the PM's first term - writes Nick Rowley in the Melbourne Age

Population pact flirts with danger  - Gerard Henderson in the Sydney Morning Herald believes there is no future in senior Liberals, such as immigration spokesman Scott Morrison, embracing the Greens on any policy issue. In fact, the Liberal Party would be well advised to think about giving its preferences to social democratic Labor candidates ahead of the Greens in the inner-city seats which the Greens have a chance of winning.

Refugee obligations violated - The Rudd government has turned its back on our responsibility to treat asylum seekers impartially writes Michelle Foster in the Melbourne Age

Policy on Sri Lankans ignores the dangers people face - Anyone perceived to be critical of the Colombo government is in peril writes Matt Wade in the Melbourne Age
 
Richo's election home truths - Andrew Darby explains how Tasmania's Labor Premier turned from criticising Graham Richardson to embracing his views - Sydney Morning Herald

Martyr Julia douses a political spot fire - Dennis Shanahan in The Australian thinks that Julie Gillard has gone from political villain to political heroine overnight

Blueprint devil in lack of details - Adam Cresswell in The Australian says that many experts remain broadly in favour of the health proposals, but the government has sown confusion with its blizzard of releases. It has also missed an opportunity to sell its reforms as a coherent solution.

Judgment day looms for Libs - The good news for the Liberal Party is that there is a fresh crop of young Turks itching to have a go at leadership positions. The bad news for some senior Liberals is that people who have been in parliament for five minutes think they can handle the toughest jobs in politics and do them better - Nikki Savva in The Australian
BUSINESS

Crackdown on small businesses - Banks are set to wind up a growing number of small businesses that have fallen behind on their repayments, with lenders removing allowances made to customers during tough times - Sydney Morning Herald 

Real estate

House prices to plateau as buyers flee in droves - Buyers are deserting the Sydney property market at the rate of 1000 a month, causing real estate professionals to predict an ''exhausted market'' with prices plateauing for the rest of the year - Sydney Morning Herald  
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