A third senior minister has been dragged kicking and screaming into the wheat scandal, reports The Oz, following revelations that a
commonwealth agency examined the illegal kickbacks to Iraq in 2004. Warren Truss’s spokeswoman confirmed last night he
received a report from the Wheat Export Authority when he was Agriculture Minister during 2004 that
contained details of AWB payments of “transport fees” to a Jordanian
trucking company. And as the RU486 debate really hots up, John Howard has revealed he supports Abbott’s powers of pill veto.

The Great Carr Crash leads this morning’s Sydney Morning Herald,
as the paper sympathises with poor Morris Iemma and lambastes retired
premier Bob Carr over the shelved desalination plant that was planned
for Sydney under Carr’s old regime. Iemma has inherited a dog of a debt
and his government will be forced to pay out at least $10 million in
compensation to two consortiums bidding to build the plant – all part
of the $120 million the NSW government will have spent on the defunct
project.

And the Daily Tele
has the story of the stalker surfer, who has been banned from setting
foot on any Sydney beaches after he was charged with 29 counts of
assault, stalking and malicious damage for allegedly smashing
surfboards and intimidating surfers who dared ride the waves of
Sydney’s Northern beaches. John Vincent Dunne’s bail conditions state
he can’t go onto any Sydney beach, and his behaviour has ostracised him
from the rest of the Sydney surf community.

Abortion gets personal for politicians, reports The Age. But the men seem to keep dominating the debate. Finance
Minister Nick Minchin, who strongly opposes abortion, grabs the headline ‘Minchin tells of abortion
experience’ with his revelation that his views on the drug are framed
by his experience of his ex-girlfriend having an abortion, never mind the fact that Australian Democrats
leader Lyn Allison, a co-sponsor of the
bill, revealed she herself has had an
abortion. That’s buried down the bottom of the story.


Sports hogs the Herald Sun‘s
front page, with the headline ‘We’ll Aim for Cup’ and the report that
soccer World Cup finals would be played at the MCG under a goal set by
new major events boss Sir Rod Eddington. Sir Rod has put the world’s
biggest sporting event at the top of his wishlist for the state’s event
calendar.

A win for greenies in Tassie, with The Mercury reporting that a $2.5million deal to preserve historic
Recherche Bay has been clinched. Landowners David and Rob Vernon agreed yesterday to sell their
142-hectare family property on the bay’s north-east peninsula to the
non-profit Tasmanian Land Conservancy group for $2.21 million. The
land now will never be logged and is likely to eventually become part
of a State park. Unsurprisingly, forest groups aren’t happy.

Just one step away, says the Advertiser, Adelaide
Airport’s $260 million new terminal is one step from opening for
domestic flights. Jostling for front page space alongside is a large
picture of an alarming character sans shirt wearing a cork bottle hat,
who according to the paper, chased and caught a suspected thief he found breaking into his home and was then charged with assault.

Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Campbell Newman has
launched an inquiry into the city’s water problems over summer, after a
number of breaks in the water mains have caused water leakages and
caused the city to lose millions of litres of water a day, reports The Courier-Mail.

And more water news, this time for The Canberra Times.
A burst water main in a Canberra street forced the evacuation of 20
properties in three streets and lifted up a large segment of road.

The WA Government is now facing almost $300 million in extra bills on
the beleaguered $1.56 billion Perth to Mandurah rail project as another group of
contractors prepares to lodge fresh claims, reports The West.

And up north, according to the NT News, ‘Crocs feast on ‘DUMB’ southern cows.’ Darwin angler Annette Lear captured this amazing
photograph of a 5m-plus saltie “dining out on a beef burger” at Hardies
Lagoon off the Arnhem Highway.

Meanwhile, in Papua New Guinea, Wewak-based lawyer Thomas Mane is furious with
police and local newspapers for wrongfully reporting that he was charged last
week for rape and carnal knowledge of his daughter, when the charges actually
laid were incest and abduction, reportsThe Nation. Mane said that, as a result of the publication, his image and reputation had
been deeply tarnished. Indeed.