The Sydney Morning Herald

goes big with Morris Iemma’s changes under the headline “Slash, burn
and cast off Carr,” after Iemma announced he will ditch the unpopular
vendor tax, cut waste and fix public transport. The removal of
the vendor tax, which was to raise $358 million this financial year,
was met with delight by the property industry and investors. And Iemma’s High Court challenge
to the federal government’s plan to take over states’ industrial
relations systems is doomed to failure and could cause more than a year
of uncertainty for employers, according to the head of workplace lawyer
Clayton Utz.

The Daily Telegraph
also splashes with Iemma’s attempts to stamp his authority on
the government under the headline: “IEMMA SWINGS THE AXE.” And
Australian federal police commissioner Mick Keelty says about 60 suspected Islamic extremists are operating in Australia in terrorist cells, adding that an attack on home soil is inevitable.

The Age
leads with the news that three groups of hard-line Muslim
fundamentalists are targeting mosques, universities and high schools
across Melbourne promoting radical forms of Islam to local Muslim
youth. Meanwhile despite the advice of David Hicks’s US military lawyer
Major Michael Mori,
Australia can’t rely on US claims that he will get a fair trial. John
Howard, however, is still standing by the hearing’s structure. And Victoria’s
Young Liberals have moved to end one of Sir Robert Menzies’ founding
principles – mandatory gender equality in the party – when a motion to oppose affirmative action was moved by the Toorak Young Liberals on Monday night – sources say many of those in favour were women.

The Australian
leads with the navy’s decision to will replace hoses on its six
Collins-class submarines as “insurance” against a major flood of the
type that almost sank a submarine and its 55 crew off the coast of
Perth. Meanwhile Telstra’s new chief executive Sol Trujillo
has endorsed the Nationals’ push for a multi-billion-dollar trust fund
for the bush, but he backed the concept as “the kind of idea that can
and should stimulate a debate about the real issues.” The Oz also reports that Westpac contributed to Steve Vizard’s downfall
by failing to do an elementary check on a document as his personal banker
was reluctant to bother a busy, famous customer over some trivial
paperwork.

The Herald Sun‘s
headline reads: “KORP SET ME UP,” after Korp’s mistress Tania Herman told
the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court yesterday that she believes she was
seduced for the sole purpose of killing his wife Maria. And the Hun also has a story on the businessman who gave 16 refugees
from seven east African countries a new start at his Caravans
manufacturing business, by taking the migrants on as mature age
apprentices.

Meanwhile The Courier-Mail
reports that senior Queensland Health administrators knew a man with
fake medical qualifications was treating hundreds of patients as a
psychiatrist at Townsville Base Hospital, but hid it from the public. The Mercury
says pressure put on international paper makers to stop buying
Tasmanian wood chips from native forests was working, said Forestry
Tasmania, which has lost up to 400,000 tonnes of wood chip contracts. The West Australian
says the latest data on Australians’ gambling habits show WA punters
blew a record $730 million in 2003-04 and that West Australians are now
losing a record $500 a year each on gambling. And the Northern Territory News
reports that Aboriginal film star and Territory Australian of the Year
David Gulpilil avoided a jail sentence after he was caught driving with
a blood-alcohol level of .093, while removing children from drunken
neighbours.

Peter Fray

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