How much treasure does Treasury need? John Howard and Peter Costello have finally been outed by the OECD as the high taxers they really are, according to The Australian. The OECD says that “Australia stands almost alone in raising taxes over the past eight years – a period in which most other developed countries have been cutting,” says the paper.

The Age splashed the front page with a photo of former ASIC chairman Geoff Clark with Nicky Winmar’s famous ALF jumper, while in contrast, the sports oriented Herald Sun, chose to focus on the shooting murder of security guard Erwin Kastenberger, relegating Clark to page seven. And in another sports story with all the glitter and glamour of Hollywood, The Daily Telegraph reports that Russell Crowe has brokered a $250,000 sponsorship deal with South Sydney Rabbitohs to advertise Crowe’s new movie Cinderella Man on the front of their famous red and green jerseys.

In the opinion pages of The Australian, Bret Stephens questions the shortcomings of journalists and the media, observing that journalists have a difficult time distinguishing “significant facts” and don’t think very hard about “which stories are most worth telling”.

Meanwhile, over at The Sydney Morning HeraldMiranda Devine examines the reasons behind Australian women’s interest in Princess Mary. Is it romance over republics? Fairytales over feminists? According to Devine, Mary represents the “unfashionable but age-old feminine dream of being rescued by a handsome prince”. In Tasmania itself, Mary Mania continues with The Mercury splashing the front page with a large head shot of the Princess, who’s due to arrive home shortly after 4.30pm for the first time since marrying the heir to the Danish throne, Crown Prince Frederik, last May.

The West Australian writes that pre-election claims that WA needed a desalination plant or canal to meet its water demands are in doubt after Water Corporation revealed “the South-West Yarragadee aquifer was a more than adequate source”.

And in today’s BRW, columnist Adele Ferguson predicts the much-hyped media ownership frenzy will be a fizzer. She says there’s speculation that Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch no longer want changes to the media rules, and have been “quietly trying to persuade” John Howard to maintain the status quo. “Most of Australia’s rich media proprietors are unwilling sellers,” writes Ferguson, because they own the media “for the fun of it, as well as for the power it gives them.”

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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