More stories on Australia’s alleged home-grown terrorists in The Australian with court documents revealing that the order from radical Islamic cleric Abdul
Nacer Benbrika was to inflict “maximum damage” as the Sydney terror
cell planned a violent jihad in Australia. The Melbourne preacher met members of the alleged Sydney bomb-making
cell in February and then again in July to offer guidance on how to
wage a holy war.

Meanwhile, the suspected terrorists still had to get permission from their mums to train for jihad. Police claim that

Mazen Touma and Omar Baladjam talked about running to ensure they were fit when the time came “to shoot some motherf..kers”.

But extracts from transcripts of secretly recorded conversations,
produced in evidence yesterday before Sydney’s Central Local Court,
show that the terror suspects were allegedly ordered by their spiritual
leader, Abdul Nacer Benbrika, to consult their parents before waging

Breaking news in the SMH that Telstra will “slash 10,000 jobs.”

New Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo is today outlining
plans for a massive overhaul of Telstra’s operations, saying the
telco needs to cut costs and grow revenue. Telstra plans to reduce the number of its 52,000 full time
equivalent (FTE) positions by between 6,000 and 8,000 positions
over three years and by 10,000 over five years.

This was revealed as the union-based IR protest “chokes Sydney CBD,” says the paper. Protesters are gathering in central Sydney and around NSW ahead
of a national day of action against the federal government’s
workplace relations changes. Unions NSW secretary John Robertson says at least 100,000 people
will take part in 227 separate stop work meetings throughout the
state, linked by a nationwide Sky Channel hookup.

Now for the great Telstra “slash and burn,” says Garry Barker in The Age. Getting all poetic he writes that “the barrels of midnight oil delivered to Telstra by its new
bosses are almost empty. Matchsticks prop open the eyes of
executives who, for the past four months, have been toiling on the
huge review Sol Trujillo will set before the critical and probably
cynical eyes of industry analysts and the media this morning. This is Sol’s big day; setting a new course, shaking Telstra to
its foundations, slashing here, connecting there, starting to
reshape it into a company totally focused on its customers.”

Back on terror, former defence force chief General Peter Cosgrove has endorsed
easier callout of troops for national security, reports The Age, but only in the event
of extreme emergency. General Cosgrove, who handed over the top defence to Air Chief
Marshal Angus Houston in July, said he was most worried about the
terror threat inside Australia. “This is where the vast majority of our population innocently
goes about their lives. An attack here is by definition aimed
solely and wholly at Australians.”

In the Daily Tele
comes the news that the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor (Australia’s only
nuclear reactor) was a potential target of Sydney’s alleged terror
cell, according to a
police dossier. The main allegations against Sydney’s eight terror
suspects were
released for the first time yesterday in a 20-page police file
tendered to Central Local Court as part of a bail hearing.

as terror fears play out,
pressure is building on the Howard Government to soften the proposed
sedition provisions of its tough anti-terrorism laws, reports the Herald Sun.

Premier Steve Bracks and his Queensland and NSW
counterparts Peter Beattie and Morris Iemma, Opposition Leader Kim
Beazley, prominent Liberal MP Petro Georgiou and leading lawyers, have
all raised serious concerns about the “free speech” aspects of the law.

In The Canberra Times, it’s the ACT’s problems by numbers:
Car thefts cost the ACT $820,000 a month;
More than 200 public servants have been potentially exposed to asbestos; the waiting times for the ACT Government’s dental services have blown out to ten months.

Terror caused PT hassles in Queensland yesterday, says The Courier-Mail, reporting that an unprecedented shutdown of southeast Queensland’s
public transport network was yesterday sparked by threats that a small
package would explode on a bus or train. Queensland Rail and Brisbane City Council buses ground to a halt at
midday and again during peak hour yesterday afternoon after emergency
services received three separate threats.

In Adelaide, “frustrated” Police Commissioner Mal Hyde wants
new laws with harsh penalties – including mandatory prison sentences
for repeat offenders – to combat drivers who deliberately engage
patrols in high-speed road chases, reports The Advertiser. Another bomb scare in Hobart, where the delivery of a suspicious package to Premier Paul Lennon at about
2.15pm resulted in the lower level of Parliament House being evacuated
and the bomb squad being called to investigate.

Tennis star Lleyton Hewitt could face another hurdle in his bid to
release a DVD of his Top End holiday, reports the NT News. The DVD
includes footage from Kakadu and Cobourg Peninsula National Parks –
Parks Australia managers of Kakadu National Park (on behalf of
traditional owners) have confirmed no permits were issued to film in the world heritage listed area.

The unions still hold some sway, according to The West, which notes that some of WA’s biggest builders have succumbed to fears of union
reprisals by allowing workers to take part in today’s protest rally
over the Howard Government’s industrial relations changes, declining
the chance to sue them for striking illegally. The Masters Builders Association said construction companies did not
want to be involved in court cases aimed at testing the new laws
because they feared union paybacks.