Thursday, 15 April 2010

Media wrap - Hospital policy gets down to the core issue of money



States fear GST raids by Kevin Rudd - State treasurers have warned that Kevin Rudd's health reform plan will provide a precedent for the federal government to raid their GST revenue for future policy reforms in areas of state responsibility - The Australian

PM foreshadowed revenue changes three years ago - Kevin Rudd said three years ago that the Commonwealth could take GST revenue from the states to fund its health plan, challenging claims by Victoria and Western Australia they have been ambushed by the Prime Minister - Sydney Morning Herald 

I won't be bullied, declares John Brumby - Victorian Premier John Brumby may hold out for six weeks of talks after Monday's health summit, predicting the states will be able to agree only to "principles" and will be unable to immediately sign up for Kevin Rudd's hospital reform plan - The Australian  

Treasuries warn of health reform risks - State treasuries have warned premiers that if they agree to Kevin Rudd's hospital reforms they may end up losing a lot more than 30 per cent of their GST revenue as they come under political pressure from Canberra - The West Australian 

Health and hospitals

Brumby's olive branch on health plan - with barbs  - Victorian Premier John Brumby is strongly urging federal and state governments to ''meet somewhere in the middle'', endorsing principles on Monday to allow further negotiations for a hospital reform deal - Melbourne Age

Extra money on offer as Rudd and State Premiers split on health reform - Even more money will be used to lure premiers to sign up to health reform as the rift between premiers and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd deepens - Adelaide Advertiser

John Brumby's hospital boast looking sick - John Brumby's hospital boast looking sick Brumby's mantra that Victoria is home to Australia's best hospitals appears to be a hollow claim, as health data suggest that the state underperforms in some key areas - The Australian  

Diagnosis: state of mediocrity - The Australian takes a detailed look at the Victorian hospital system.

Political life

Is Kevin Rudd too hard to work for? - Kevin Rudd and his ministers have emerged as Australia's most demanding bosses, with near-record staff burnout of almost 60 per cent in just over two years.Despite Mr Rudd pledging to tear up former prime minister John Howard's hated WorkChoices, 262 ministerial staff - from a total of 444 positions - have departed since Labor came to office - Sydney Daily Telegraph

Rudd is busy - and bossy -A series of television commercials aired by the ALP cleverly personalised Labor's opposition to the Howard government's workplace reforms. The "bad bosses" campaign was one of the more memorable in recent elections.Now we learn that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd could star as a bad boss himself - Sydney Daily Telegraph

We pay Gerry to limit speed - Taxpayers will pay up to $3500 for the Territory's Transport Minister to have a cruise control fitted to his Government-issued four-wheel-drive after he was booked for speeding.Gerry McCarthy is entitled to charge the Legislative Assembly for the work because he drives a fleet LandCruiser.


Labor MP breaks ranks -Labor backbencher Brenton Best has ruptured the facade of unity claimed by the Labor Government. Mr Best, a Labor member for Braddon since 1996 who has never been a minister, used his Facebook webpage this week to register his disgust at the idea of including Greens in a Labor Cabinet for the first time - Hobart Mercury

Public service

Paul Lucas denies being warned over Queensland Health payroll problems - Deputy Premier Paul Lucas was warned nine months ago that Queensland Health's payroll system would be a disaster, but has claimed he only saw the damning memo last week - Brisbane Courier Mail

Nixon's public humiliation - The credibility of former police chief Christine Nixon has been battered by admissions she had no contact with emergency services for almost three critical hours on Black Saturday, and that she misled the Bushfires Royal Commission - Melbourne Age

Xenophon calls for inquiry into ATO computer glitch -Independent senator Nick Xenophon has called for an inquiry into an Australian Taxation Office (ATO) computer glitch delaying the processing of refunds - Sydney Morning Herald

Economic matters

Rate rises tighten wallets - Australian shoppers are cautious and reluctant to loosen their purse strings, with around a third of consumers spending less on items ranging from couches to movie tickets and shoes, a shopping behaviour study has found - Melbourne Age


Madden changes planning protocol - Planning officials will have to report the ownership of all land up for rezoning after Planning Minister Justin Madden was left in the dark about an application involving his first cousin - Melbourne Age

Executive privilege

Brumby advisers may defy subpoenas - A new showdown between the government and Parliament looms for April 29, when senior advisers to Premier John Brumby are expected to defy subpoenas to give evidence on the Hotel Windsor scandal - Melbourne Age

Stimulus projects

No room for principals in Building the Education Revolution program - Victorian Education Minister Bronwyn Pike says principals have been given too much autonomy over construction work at state schools, and the lesson of the Building the Education Revolution program is that her department should take more responsibility for the work - The Australian

Insulation checks cause $70m backlog - The Rudd government is checking for fraud about $70 million in payments it has withheld under the failed $2.5 billion home insulation scheme - The Australian


Al-Qaeda at city mosque - An Al-Qaeda recruiter, described as the No. 1 terrorist threat to America, was engaged by a Sydney youth group to address hundreds of young people - a decision that has caused deep divisions at one of Australia's largest mosques - Sydney Morning Herald

Foreign affairs

Kevin Rudd to snub China Expo - Kevin Rudd will ignore China's international business showpiece Shanghai Expo 2010, sending Governor-General Quentin Bryce in his place - The Australian

Industrial relations

NSW teachers set to reject call on tests - Public school teachers are likely to reject the NSW Industrial Commission's recommendation that they withdraw a threatened ban on national literacy and numeracy tests next month - Sydney Morning Herald 

Aboriginal affairs

Great Australian dream time … a home to call their own - Aboriginal families who have been denied home ownership have begun buying homes on Aboriginal land in a remote Northern Territory community - Sydney Morning Herald


Brumby stands up to PM on health - Gary Johns in The Australian says thank goodness for John Brumby, the Labor Premier of Victoria. He alone seems to be standing up to a Prime Minister determined to impose on the nation a health plan that is as hollow as hollow men could make it.

Brumby wants a fistful of dollars, or Rudd has a full-on fight - writes Paul Austin in the Melbourne Age. The Premier won't budge on health unless there's a lot more federal money.

Aborigines less likely to die in prison than others - David Biles, a consultant criminologist who was head of research with the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, reminds us that it is still the case that non-Aboriginal prisoners are more likely to die than Aboriginal prisoners - The Australian

Chrome dome in red frock shock - Elizabeth Farrelly in the Sydney Morning Herald bludgeons Environment Minister Peter Garrett as a disappointment.


Consumer affairs

Laws to nab banks over $5 billion ATM fees - Australians could save up to $5 billion a year under proposed new laws banning ATM fees, as one bank supplies the proof that customers are being gouged purely for profit - Sydney Daily Telegraph

The fags

MPs shy on smoke slug - Health groups welcomed the possibility of a $6.50 tax rise to a packet of cigarettes, but neither the Government nor the Opposition was willing to openly support the plan - Melbourne Herald Sun


MySuper: new low-cost option - Paying for financial advice through super will become more like renewing your home contents cover if a proposal by the Cooper review into superannuation, to be released this week, comes into effect - Melbourne Age 

Cowdery quits to get super - The state's fiercely independent Director of Public Prosecutions is being forced to retire for financial reasons - despite having life tenure in his job - Sydney Morning Herald

Daylight saving

Daylight saving trial on the cards after Anna Bligh twitters on the issue - A daylight saving trial could be held as early as next summer in southeast Queensland after Premier Anna Bligh revealed she may be prepared to revisit the divisive issue - Brisbane Courier Mail

Road safety

Brakes on 50km/h limit push -Tasmanians have slammed a bid to implement a blanket 50km/h speed limit on all Hobart roads - Hobart Mercury

Dangerous young drivers revealed - Sixty per cent of young drivers crash their car in the first five years of driving, and more than half have exceeded the speed limit by up to 25km/h, one of the biggest long-term studies of young driver behaviour in Australia has found - Melbourne Age

Real estate

Keen's long march to lower house prices -Debt doom prophet Steve Keen will embark on his 225-kilometre trek to Mount Kosciuszko today, showing the debate over Australian house prices really does have legs - Melbourne Age
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