The Australian
leads with this message from Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo to the Howard Government: don’t burden the company with unworkable competition laws ahead of its $30 billion privatisation. Dennis Shanahan reveals that Australia isn’t the only country Washington has failed to appoint a US ambassador to, with a string of other postings from Ulan Bator to London still waiting for Bush to find the right friend to fill the post. And The Oz also reports on comments by Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson that parents who consistently fail to send their children to school should have their family allowances cancelled, with statistics showing truancy remains endemic in some remote Cape York communities.

The Age goes big with the impending release of Peter Qasim, Australia’s longest serving immigration detainee, who will leave his Adelaide psychiatric hospital early this week after being granted a visa to live in Australia. Also on the front page is the closed-circuit television footage of the four London bombers arriving at Luton station, alongside the news that one of the bombers, Mohammed Sadique Khan, was under scrutiny by MI5 last year but judged not to be a threat. And Victorian first home buyers are taking advantage of the decline in housing prices with the number of first homes loads increasing by more than half so far this year according to lending data from the ABS.

The Sydney Morning Herald reveals that the proposed national identity card might cause fresh divisions in the Howard Government’s ranks. The SMH also reports that new ASIO chief Paul O’Sullivan has been publicly criticised by a former ASIO officer Warren Reed because O’Sullivan blew his cover when he was an intelligence officer in Cairo, resulting in a severe beating in the street. And a geographer from the University of Tasmania says wealthy Sydney professionals live in leafy suburbs because the trees on the streets make them feel comfortable with their power, while less affluent urban dwellers exert authority by removing the flora around their homes.

The Daily Telegraph splashes with the “SECRET BOOKS OF HATE” – books promoting jihad, hostility to Australia and “wiring up one’s body” for suicide attacks – which are for sale in bookshops in Sydney’s Muslim community. Serial killer Ivan Milat is in the news again after his lawyer John Marsden reiterated his claim that Milat had a female accomplice as police called on anyone with new evidence on the backpacker murders to come forward. And Aussie actress Toni Collette has changes her stance on the practice of mulesing after being presented with the facts, stating she now has “a clearer understanding of the complexity of the issues surrounding mulesing.”

The Herald Sun focuses on the 21-year-old nurse who died after taking the dance drug GHB in a drug dealer’s car, outside Melbourne’s Pure Hard Dance. The Hun also reveals that former hostage Douglas Wood will make Melbourne his home with his American wife Yvonne taking out a six-month lease on an inner-suburban apartment.

The Advertiser splashes with the news that the Woomera Detention Centre is costing taxpayers $260,000 a year to secure and maintain, despite being empty for more than two years. The Courier-Mail reports the Darling Downs city of Toowoomba might have to break the state government’s moratorium on new bores and sink a 700m-deep bore in a short-term bid to supply water to the city’s 90,000 residents. The West says that the WA Government’s lack of action in banning smoking in Burswood Casino’s high-rollers room suggests that rich people can buy their way out of occupational health and safety rules. And The Sunday Territorian reports that Janet Holmes a Court has bought a collection of Territory bark paintings worth $218,000 for the Holmes a Court Collection in Perth, which exhibits indigenous and Australian art.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey