The Australian‘s
higher education section reports on how a 25-year-old University of
Canberra student had lain dead in her apartment “unmissed and
unnoticed” for seven months. Police are treating her death as murder
and questions remain over the duty of care provided by the university.

At the tabloids, the Herald Sun
reports that “lead-footed MPs” have been ignoring their own road safety
campaigns with police catching more than 40 speeding Victorian MPs last
year, while The Daily Telegraph
reveals that Sydney paparazzo Jamie Fawcett is getting a taste of his
own medicine after being persued by police for a DNA sample as part of
their investigation into the bugging of Nicole Kidman’s house.

Getting down to business, Ross Gittins in the SMH
writes on what he sees as the media’s “misreporting” of the OECD’s
annual report on Taxing Wages, published last Thursday, singling out The Australian in particular for running a tax “reform” campaign. And The Age
reports that mining heavyweight, Rio Tinto, is open to the possibility
of an “opportunistic” acquisition, while also warning that the world
economy is slowing down.

Alan Ramsey
has written an eye-opening account of the life of an outback GP to
illustrate the claims of the Australian College of Rural and Remote
Medicine which has been campaigning for the Government to turn around
the rural medical crisis.

And in The Bulletin
today, former breakfast radio queen, Wendy Harmer tells Jennifer Byrne
how her wildly successful career at 2DayFM really came to an end. Was
it really her decision to retire, as the station suggested? Not at all,
say Harmer, it was her age and that of her loyal listeners which
prompted the station to axe her, paying out a year of her approximately
$2 million contract. She’s kept quiet until now, under the terms of the
settlement, but Harmer knows how angry and puzzled many of her
listeners were. In the latest ratings, 2DayFM was ranked equal sixth at

Meanwhile “PJ Keating” of Potts Point provides today’s economic tutorial in a letter to The Fin on Superannuation 101. He writes:

Superannuation is not a ‘9% surcharge whacked on
top’ of the small business salary bill. If business was not paying the
9% as superannuation, it would be paying it as cash in wages and

And your correspondent fails to understand the tax
point, too. Superannuation was never meant to be untaxed, simply
preferentially taxed..

In the end, governments have to strike
the right balance between encouragement through the tax system and the
ultimate long term cost to the budget.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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