The Howard government is much less concerned
with saving whales than it is with avoiding a diplomatic incident with
Australia’s biggest trade partner and closest Asian ally, reports The Oz. Which is why it did nothing when Japanese whalers started “staining the Southern Ocean with blood this summer.”

The AWB saga continues, reportsThe SMH, with
the Cole Inquiry hearing yesterday that Project Rose, a massive legal
investigation carried out in 2003 that examined hundreds of documents
and emails about the company’s dealings with Iraq, indicated many of
these documents spelt out just where the money was going. And Mark
Vaile will press Iraq to buy Australian wheat, even if AWB is excluded
from the deal, reportsThe Oz.

And
The SMH reports that apparently the best way to get tourists to visit Australia is to swear at them.

Pollution figures doubled in Sydney over the past summer, reports The Daily Telegraph, with motorists literally choking on their own fumes.

Peter Costello has lashed out at what he calls
mushy, misguided multiculturalism” in Australia. Australian values are not optional, he says, and
migrants who don’t share them should be stripped of their citizenship, reports The Age.
Meanwhile, Victorian opposition leader Robert Doyle has denied there is a challenge to his leadership, despite
more than a third of state Liberal MPs refusing to publicly endorse
him.

The first of the funerals for the victims of the Mildura road tragedy was held yesterday, reports The Hez.

The Queensland state government has indicated that urban dwellers and
industry will take precedence over drought stricken farmers when it
comes to allocating water from new dams, reports The Courier-Mail.

We can all stop wondering – the marriage of
Wayne and Sally Carey is officially over, reportsThe Advertiser.

The Mercury leads with the story that the Greens have
pledged to slash the number of poker machines in Tasmania
if they secure the balance of power in the March elections, to the anger of Federal
Hotels.

The West Australianreports that plans for a new sports stadium catering for
14,000 people in Perth have been criticised for not including any parking
spaces.

An international mining company has threatened
to close one of the Territory’s biggest mines unless they’re allowed to
undertake a $66 million redevelopment plan which will see 5.5 km of the McArthur River diverted, reports the NT News.