The Australian

leads with the news that Australia’s oil companies have been cleared of
price gouging in the face of high world oil prices, with ACCC Chairman
Graeme Samuel saying oil companies and petrol stations profits had
effectively halved in the past few weeks. And after last week’s Latham
coverage, the focus is back on the Liberals, with state education
ministers describing federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson as “increasingly feral” over his claims that they’re actually the ones undermining the education system.

This morning The Sydney Morning Heraldruns
with the story that accused Australian terrorist David Hicks will apply
for a British passport in the hope that British citizenship will free
him from Guantanamo Bay, where he’s been held since 2002. Back on domestic politics, and up to 200 Australian troops
could be heading to Afghanistan to help re-build roads and other
infrastructure after defence Minister Robert Hill met with the new
Afghan government. And the baby boomers aren’t listening
to their doctors, with a study finding that only one in eight Aussie
baby boomers take their doctor’s advice about how to stay healthy and
what drugs to take.

For the second day in a row, it’s Sydney’s big grand final win that takes up most of the front page of The Age as the Swans wake-up bleary eyed to greet their adoring fans. But in serious domestic news it’s Howard’s anti-terror laws
that dominate, with the states all but signing on to proposals that may
allow terror suspects to be electronically tagged for up to a year. And
a plan by Melbourne’s City Library to take sponsorship money from Crown Casino in exchange for placing Crown’s logo inside their books has been met with strong criticism from anti-gambling protesters.

AFL dominates the whole front page of the Daily Telegraph. But deeper inside, the paper asks if Delta Goodrem’s
rude tongue-poking antics while onstage during Saturday’s AFL grand
final was because she was bumped from singing the national anthem in
favour of singer Silvie Paladino. The paper also reports
that NSW’s attempt to curb gambling
in the state has failed, after a decision to close pokies venues
between 4am and 10pm saw an 11% rise in pokies profits since the
measure was introduced in 2003.

“New Bloods” screams the Herald Sun’s front page, as the whole paper
goes football mad. Beyond the sea of red and white, the paper reports that,
thanks to a skills shortage, Aussie interest rates are tipped to rise
and could go up to 6.5% by next year, according to a new BIS Shrapnel
report.

The Advertiser
runs with a big ‘exclusive’, reporting that our Aussie special forces
are joining the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and also running with the
story of how a 26-year-old surfer fought off a 5m white pointer
off Kangaroo Island yesterday by punching the shark and sticking his
hand in his mouth. Up in Queensland it’s NRL on the front page, with
the North Queensland Cowboys set to play their first NRL grand final
next weekend after beating the Parramatta Eels 29-0 yesterday. And in the NT News
a 4m “rogue crocodile” has killed a snorkeller off a popular
recreational beach, and authorities will attempt to re-locate the croc. The Mercury
is upset after Hobart is placed alongside places like Kosovo and Tehran
as one of the world’s most “miserable, ugly, boring and inbred” places
to visit.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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