“Bali Nine death warning,” reads the headline of The Australian‘s lead story today, reporting that Indonesia’s Foreign Minister
Hassan Wirajuda has defended
Singapore’s right to execute drug trafficker Nguyen Tuong Van and
warned Australians to avoid emotional reactions if the Bali Nine are
sentenced to death. During an interview with the paper, the Minister said he expected an emotional response from
Australians if any of the nine held on heroin-trafficking charges in
Bali were convicted and sentenced to death by firing squad.

And the Gerard story just refuses to leave the front pages, with The Oz reporting on the latest revelations: that Mr Gerard, a big
Liberal Party donor in South Australia, was considered for the post of
party treasurer but rejected the offer. Labor claimed that if the Adelaide businessman had cited his
$150 million battle with the Australian Taxation Office as the reason
for turning down the offer, it “beggared belief” that Mr Costello did
not know about the tax dispute when he nominated Mr Gerard for the
Reserve Bank board in 2003.

The Gerard affair is also plastered all over the SMH’s front page, with the paper including a statement from the beleaguered treasurer last night: “I have never heard the
suggestion that Mr Gerard was considered for federal treasurer of the
Liberal Party. I have never heard any suggestion that he rejected such
a job or was considered unsuitable for such a job. These allegations
are a complete surprise to me and I have no reason to believe they are
true.” And the Immigration Department is still squirming under the media spotlight, with the paper reporting that the Department has repeatedly failed to call in the
federal police to investigate confessions of atrocities by asylum
seekers, who in some cases are still living freely in Australia.

The Daily Telegraph leads with the headline “Labor crash over roads,” reporting that NSW Premier Morris Iemma is on
the road to Opposition, with voters dumping Labor over its bungling of
the Cross City Tunnel and neglect of regional highways. For the first time in a state poll, “voter fury has boiled over” –
with the state of roads and tollways now eclipsing health and
education as a focus for anger.

“Costello points finger back at Howard,” reports The Age,
with the paper asserting that tension between the PM and the Treasurer
has resurfaced in Parliament, with Costello shifting blame back to
Howard for the appointment of Robert Gerard to the Reserve Bank board.
And in local news, abortion would probably be legalised in Victoria under a Liberal
Government, after Opposition Leader Robert Doyle yesterday declared
his support for decriminalisation and said as premier he would
allow a free parliamentary vote on the divisive issue.

The Herald Sun
leads with Commonwealth Games news, reporting that Police Chief
Commissioner Christine Nixon yesterday revealed plans for
a 75km no-fly zone to safeguard the games from a September 11-style
terror attack. Fighter jets and Black Hawk helicopters will have the
power to shoot down suspect aircraft. And two Western Bulldogs
footballers have
been investigated over claims of s*xual assault. Western Bulldogs chief
executive Campbell Rose confirmed police have spoken to the players.

Up north, The Courier-Mail is reporting that the Beattie Government tried to muzzle the
health inquiry in a behind-the-scenes strategy to stop embarrassing
findings being made against Cabinet over its culture of secrecy.
The bid was launched only weeks after Premier Peter Beattie publicly
pledged that he had given inquiry commissioner Geoff Davies QC a wide
brief to investigate and make findings “against any person.”

The Canberra Times
is focusing on town planning issues this morning, with a report that a
proposal for Canberra’s first big homemaker site in Fyshwick could
create another town centre the size of Woden Plaza, unplanned and
without the supporting infrastructure, because of the lease and
development conditions.

The Advertiser leads
with the Immigration Department’s blunder, reporting that the former
personal bodyguard to deposed Iraqi
leader Saddam Hussein, who has been living in Adelaide, says he is
“deeply personally opposed” to the despot’s regime. Oday Adnan Al
Tekriti, 38, says he obtained his job as a manager of the former
dictator’s household finances by being a member of the same Tekriti
clan as Saddam.

And a Hobart family has been left devastated and
facing huge legal bills after a mother dying of cancer lost her claim
for compensation yesterday, reports The Mercury. A jury rejected Deborah Carney’s claim that her former doctor Robert
Newton, of Sandy Bay, had been negligent in relation to her breast
cancer. “We are ruined,” Dr Carney wailed in the foyer of Hobart’s Supreme
Court building after learning she and her family would have to pay the
legal costs of the entire case.

The NT News leads with the report that Bradley John Murdoch’s lawyer has urged the
jury to remember the Chamberlain case when considering forensic
evidence against his client. In his closing submissions to the Supreme Court yesterday, Grant Algie
said the jury should not be “overwhelmed by experts,” given the
errors made in the case against Lindy Chamberlain.

Bikies dominate The West Australians front page, with the bike
gang Gypsy Jokers’ fight against tough anti-fortification laws
turning into a constitutional battle after a Supreme Court judge
yesterday expressed his concerns about the legislation’s wide-ranging
powers. Judge Peter Blaxell cancelled the planned three-day hearing
shortly
after lunch after earlier telling lawyers for the bikie gang that he
had access to confidential information that they had not seen.
As a result, the gang’s lawyers would be forced to argue without
knowing the case against their clients – a situation that offended the
principles of the justice system, he said.