The Australian‘s front page features a happy snap of John Howard, arm in arm with “the other Peter Costello” – a 91-year-old
member of the Hopevale Aboriginal community, which the PM visited yesterday.
Howard got everything he wanted out of his visit to the community about 300 km
northwest of Cairns, says the paper: plea to end “sit-down money” welfare, support for indigenous home
ownership, no demand for an apology and, to top it off, a Peter Costello who
reckons he should stay in The Lodge.”

The paper’s lead story – “IR, terror turns votes to Labor” – suggests the bigger picture isn’t
looking so rosy for the PM. Labor would have been returned to power in a
landslide if an election was held last weekend, says the paper, with
voters turning on the Coalition and John Howard, denting his campaign to sell
the government’s industrial relations revolution and tougher anti-terror laws.

Meanwhile, The Sydney Morning
Herald
seems to have collected slightly different data than The Australian, with the paper’s lead
story
“Voters say yes to terror Australis” reporting Australians overwhelmingly
endorse Howard’s anti-terrorism plan, opposing only one key point – the push to give police
new shoot-to-kill powers over suspects. On the other hand, former political leaders, including Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser,
are calling for more debate on the issue. In an update in the Cross
City Tunnel saga, a Productivity Commission report has suggested
motorists should pay higher
tolls during peak-hour traffic, says the paper.

And in international news, the paper reports that three massive vehicle bombs have exploded near Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel,
home to many foreign journalists, killing at least 20 people. The story
includes a photographic still taken from dramatic television footage showing one of the
bombers driving a cement truck through the concrete blast walls guarding the
hotel, then detonating his vehicle.

“Parking hitlist,” says the Daily Tele‘s front page headline, the paper revealing NSW’s greediest streets for
parking fines. The investigation, a follow up to the yesterday’s sensational Tele report on the 60% increase in parking
fines in the past two years, has revealed Sydney’s
Pitt St is the state’s
most-fined street, generating about $2.3 million from 26,088 tickets a year.
The paper also has a photo of the Bondi family missing in hurricane-ravaged Cancun.
The paper reports that the Trevethan family has not been heard from since just before Hurricane Wilma ripped through the Mexican resort city.

The Age leads with news that a contentious plan to impose a 48-hour
“cooling-off” period for women seeking late-term abortions in
Victoria will be scrapped after a backlash from State Government MPs and other
Labor Party figures. And the paper reports that new studies by the World Bank suggest Australia’s
immigration policy of luring professionals and skilled workers from poorer
countries is damaging the countries they leave behind. Overseas, the Federal
Government will make a last-minute appeal to Singapore, says The Age, to save the life of 25-year-old Melbourne man Nguyen Tuong Van, on death row
for heroin trafficking, arguing that his co-operation with police should be
taken into account.

“Bird flu army,” says the Herald Sun‘s front page, with the reassuring report that an army of retired doctors and
nurses could be drafted to work if the bird flu takes hold in Australia.
The paper also has a photo of champion jockey Damien Oliver, riding a hobby
horse, with the news he will be riding real horse, Doriemus, in a parade of
greats at Flemington next Tuesday, leading up to the Melbourne Cup race. The ride will
be Oliver’s first since fracturing two vertebrae in a fall at Moonee
Valley in March.

The Advertiser leads with the news that a 22-year-old man has been charged following a siege
involving a six-month-old girl at Largs
Bay yesterday. The man, armed with
a knife, allegedly threatened two women – his sister and a female friend –
and police. And the paper reports that an anonymous businessman has paid $4.55 million for historic farming land
on Kangaroo Island, with the proceeds to go into a trust fund to support a
range of Adelaide charities.

Meanwhile, a battle is looming over Brisbane’s
roads, reports The Courier-Mail. Premier Peter
Beattie and Lord Mayor Campbell Newman are at odds over whether motorists will
be funnelled into planned tollway tunnels under Brisbane – with Beattie saying
“we will not be engineering a road network to force people to use the tunnels,”
while Newman is planning to reduce the number of surface lanes with the
introduction of the tunnel. And in other news, staff at the Gold Coast’s
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary are devastated over the disappearance of Diesel,
the resident Tasmanian devil. Diesel was let
loose by “rampaging teens” over the weekend, and will die if not found in 48
hours.

The Canberra Times continues to report
on the coronial inquiry into the ACT’s January 2003 bushfires – and according
to latest findings, residents of Canberra’s
suburbs should have been warned as early as three days before the 2003
firestorm. But the inquiry also heard that the Emergency Services Bureau’s
previous success in controlling other bushfires gave its officers a reasonable
expectation they could stop the fires coming into the suburbs.

The West Australian leads with the news that Indonesian fishermen have been caught wandering freely
and fishing illegally around a reef north of Broome – amid revelations that
Indonesian boat yards are flying in professional shipbuilders who can build a
deep-water vessel in just a month. The 21 fishermen apparently evaded detection by the
recently strengthened Customs and navy patrols, only being caught after a
chance encounter with a group of local aboriginals.

“NT set for big cyclone season,” warns the front page of the
Northern Territory News. According to weather bureau reports, the Territory will suffer up to three
cyclones this wet season with at least one of them will expected to be at least
a category three. All the cyclones are likely to be in the Gulf of
Carpentaria, with the first expected in January.

And in Tasmania,
The Mercury reports that the state’s “tomahawk killers” have received 42-year
sentences, one of the most severe ever handed down in Tasmania.
The two men, Darryn Stokes of Ulverstone and Bradley Rex Lambert of Smithton,
were imprisoned for 42 years after they were found guilty of bludgeoning to
death an 84-year-old man and his son. They will each have to serve 28 years
behind bars before being eligible for parole – only Martin Bryant, who killed
35 people at Port Arthur, and psychopathic killer Jamie John Curtis have been
set longer non-parole periods.

And from the Old Dart, The
Times
‘s David Aaronovitch speculates on how modern British papers would react if Hitler were tried today
– a la Saddam Hussein. Surveying a host of British journals, Aaronovitch muses
on the BBC News Website reaction: “Human
rights groups have expressed concerns. A Human Rights Watch report says the Berlin
trial ‘runs the risk of violating international standards for fair trials.’
Amnesty International has sent three delegates to Berlin
to ensure that Adolf Hitler receives a fair trial, and to oppose the death
penalty if he is found guilty.”

Peter Fray

Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey.

This extraordinary year is almost at an end. But we know that time waits for no one, and we won’t either. This is the time to get on board with Crikey.

For a limited time only, choose what you pay for a year of Crikey.

Save up to 50% or dig deeper so we can dig deeper.

See you in 2021.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

SAVE 50%