The Age
‘s front page is dominated by the day in politics – John Anderson’s resignation, Michelle Grattan‘s comment on whether “this changing of the guard have consequences for the leadership issue in the Liberal Party?” and the news that Victorian MP Lindsay Tanner has been restored to the front bench and underperforming Laurie Ferguson has been dumped in the reshuffle of Kim Beazley’s team.

The Australian focuses on John Howard’s reaction to the resignation of John Anderson, noting that the prime minister is expected to keep changes to his ministry to a minimum “to limit leadership speculation and destabilisation.” The Oz also has a story on the new deputy prime minister Mark Vaile, who is known for his lack of artifice and the unusual political habit “of saying what he thinks and answering the questions he gets asked.”

The Sydney Morning Herald also goes big with the new blood on the front bench, contrasting the smooth transition in the National Party with the difficulties Kim Beazley is having in choosing his new front bench line-up. The federal government is cracking down on careless passport holders with a series of escalating fines in an attempt to minimise the chances that passports will end up on the black market. And Schapelle Corby’s Indonesian lawyer, Hotman Paris Hutapea, has threatened to quit after her Australian QC, Mark Trowell, said her Indonesian defence team had suggested bribing appeal judges.

The Daily Telegraph splashes with the latest developments from the coroner’s inquiry into the vanishing of baby Tegan under the headline, “MY GIRL’S NO KILLER.” And the Japanese have suffered another setback at the International Whaling Commission when they was defeated in their push to allow Japan’s northern coastal communities to resume hunting minke whales, says The Tele.

The Herald Sun leads with the “frustrated magistrates” who have called on the Victorian government to toughen penalties for repeat drink-drivers. And the Hun also reports that former jail bird Mick Gatto has flown to Hamilton Island to celebrate his freedom with his family in a resort dubbed “Chateau Gatto” by the paper.

The Courier-Mail reports that the High Court yesterday quashed former chief magistrate Di Fingleton’s conviction and said she should never have been charged as she was immune from prosecution while performing her duty under the Magistrates Act. The Advertiser reports the state government’s inquiry into the Randall Ashbourne affair – which will examine the processes which led to corruption charges being laid against former government adviser Randall Ashbourne – will be held behind closed doors, prompting accusations of a “cover-up.” The West says Schapelle Corby’s legal team has accused the Australian government of deliberately sabotaging her appeal in a desperate attempt to save face over its failure to help her. The NT News reveals that Palmerston Mayor Annette Burke, wife of former CLP leader Denis, would not rule out running for her husband’s old seat in the next Northern Territory election.

And in the UK, the publication of the Queen’s annual accounts has provoked the usual mild indignation in the papers. The Guardian reports the Queen’s accountant insists the royal family represents good value for taxpayers’ money, despite the family’s “extraordinary ability” to rack up costs – the royal train was used 19 times last year at a cost of $1.7 million. But The Independent reports that those who are among the 39,000 invited to the Queen’s garden parties can do their bit to reduce costs by eating less. Guests at the parties eat an average of 14 cakes, sandwiches and ice creams each, running up a catering bill of $1.2 million.

Peter Fray

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