The findings of a new CSIRO report, due
to be released tomorrow, are the lead story in The Australian – that billions of dollars of government support for poor and
drought-stricken farmers is doing more harm than good, prolonging their agony by stopping good farmers from
expanding and causing land degradation. In international news, the paper reports that Iraqi officials counted votes last night from a historic referendum on the
nation’s new constitution, following a remarkably strong voter turnout. Back home, The Oz
also reports that the government’s tough new anti-terror laws will be watered down following
a community backlash and backbench concerns that some elements are too extreme.

After Our Mary gave birth to the new Prince of Denmark on
the weekend, The Sydney Morning Herald
leads with a huge photo of the happy Royal couple, along with the word
Prince Frederik on how they intend to raise their as yet unnamed
first-born in as normal and hands-on a way as possible. And in State
news, the paper reports that a push is underway to overhaul the NSW HSC
exam system with a national certificate focusing more on “employability

The Daily Telegraphalso focuses on the birth of the new Danish Prince, with an “exclusive” update
from Mary’s best friend that new mum Mary sounds “amazing,” “radiant … and
very, very happy.” And the paper’s front page has two more exclusives: a report
that speed cameras across the state are being vandalised as angry motorists increasingly resort to
violence, and a “wealth map,” revealing just how great the wealth divide between east and west Sydney has
become, with pockets of affluence springing up in north-western suburbs like
Rouse Hill, where more than a third of families earn more than $2,000 a week.

The Age leads with an exclusive obtained from confidential diplomatic cables, that
China has asked the federal government if it can conduct its own uranium
exploration and mining operations in Australia. And in an update this morning, Prime Minister John Howard insists that any Chinese companies
wanting to explore for Australian uranium will have to clear the same hurdles
as other firms. The paper also reports that Treasurer Peter Costello wants next year’s G-20 conference in Melbourne to lead to
radical change in the world economic order. And The Age‘s take on Denmark’s new edition: “Yes, Prince Frederik did shed a tear.”

“Cup of cheer and tears,” says the Herald Sun,
with the news that the death of racing legend Mummify, who was shot
after breaking his leg in Melbourne’s Caulfield Cup race, put a dampener
on Saturday’s
event, which was won by new star Railings. According to racing
tradition, the five-times
Group 1 winner was buried standing up, and commemorated by his
devastated trainer Lee Friedman in an Irish-style wake. And under the
huge front page header, “No Mercy,” a report that Victorian schools are prepared to lay criminal charges to stop Year 12
students from running amok in “muck-up” revelry this week.

Adelaide’s Advertiser is also excited about Denmark’s
newest little prince, or Australia’s
new “true-blue link” to the Danish throne. In local news, the paper reports that more than 50,000 students in South Australia
are being taught by underqualified teachers. The size of Australia’s
premier spy agency, ASIO, will be doubled to combat home-grown terrorism,
reports the Canberra Times, with many of the new agents to be based at the national headquarters in Canberra.

It’s all about water in the Courier-Mail,
with reports that local councils will have five years to accept State
government funding to introduce water fluoridation or have it forced on them, while “rain, glorious rain” in south-east Queensland over the weekend has given the region an estimated
four-week reprieve from tougher water restrictions. In Princess Mary’s hometown, The Mercury also splashes the fairytale birth. And there’s a report that a cable car for Hobart’s Mt
Wellington is back on the political agenda, with Liberal deputy leader Will
Hodgman suggesting it’s possible to build an “aesthetically
unobtrusive” model.

TheNorthern Territory News reports that firefighters were battling yesterday to contain a blaze that
threatened several homes in Darwin’s
rural area and that is suspected of being deliberately lit. And The West runs with the latest instalment of the insider trading scandal surrounding former
State Sport and Recreation Minister Bob Kucera, with the news he was receiving
monthly reports on his share portfolio when he claimed he didn’t know what was
in it.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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