The study initiated by Treasurer Peter Costello
to determine whether or not Australians are too highly taxed will drive instant
relief in the May budget, reports The Oz. But the study is unnecessary, reports The Courier Mail – the Australian government already has all the information
that the study will find, and the Treasurer is just buying time.

And according to the PM, the refugees he falsely
accused of throwing their children overboard don’t deserve an apology because
they “sank the damn boat,” reports The Oz.

Joseph Thomas has become the first Australian to
be convicted under the new anti-terrorism laws, reports The SMH.
He was found guilty
of receiving funds from al-Qaeda and possessing a false passport, but
was cleared of the more serious charges of providing support or
resources to terrorists. But this acquittal doesn’t mean he should be
seen as an “angel” says federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock – he’s still committed serious offences and faces up to 25 years in jail.

Most Australians want John Howard to stay on as
PM, according to a survey conducted by the Daily Tele, and would prefer a Labor
government to the leadership of Peter Costello.


The Herald Sun
also leads with “Jihad Jack” before continuing with the story of “fertile Melbourne couples” having IVF treatment in the US in order to pick the sex of their baby.

Health Minister Tony Abbott has called for dialogue with hardline Muslims, saying it
would be a big mistake to dismiss them as ‘un-Australian” reportsThe Age. And Iraq will continue to buy wheat from Australia as long as AWB is shut out of the process.

The Canberra Times leads with the story that Labour will move today in
parliament for the abolition of a visa it says is designed to allow
unskilled migrants to be “imported” for jobs that should go to
Australians – a claim which Amanda Vanstone has rejected as untrue and
xenophobic.

The Advertiser reports that a year after her wrongful immigration detention,
Cornelia Rau is still waiting for compensation from the Australian government.

The small town of Smithton in the North West of Tasmania is struggling to come
to terms with the road accident that claimed five lives on Saturday, reports The Mercury.

Tax relief will be a key part of the State
Budget in May after the biggest half-year Budget surplus in WA history, reports The West.

And personal care assistants at the Royal Darwin Hospital often turn up for work either drunk or on drugs, and then fall asleep on the job, says the NT News.

Peter Fray

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