Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has admitted, after
numerous claims to the contrary, that he was in fact warned six years ago that AWB
might be paying kickbacks to Iraq, reports The Oz. Labor’s foreign affairs
spokesman Kevin Rudd points out that had Downer done his job with “due
diligence” then, the whole scandal would not have unfolded, reports The Age. And
the AWB affair is the “worst scandal” that Kim Beazley has seen in his lifetime
at parliament, reports The SMH.

In other news, Labor front bencher Martin Ferguson has openly
declared war on the ALP leadership, criticising it for the “factional
bloodletting” that is marginalising the party, reportsThe Oz.

The SMH reports on the traffic congestion that is angering
motorists, and increasing pressure on the State government to reverse the
narrowing of William St and
the closure of other roads around the Cross
City tunnel in Sydney.

The Daily Tele leads with a report that more than half of
the fathers currently paying child support will end up paying less under an
$850 million overhaul of the system. Single mothers fear that this will mean
less money for their children, while the changes can’t be implemented soon
enough for the fathers, reportsThe Age.

Roadside drug testing will now be a permanent fixture in Victoria,
with ecstasy being added to the test laws introduced in Parliament yesterday,
reports The Hez.

It took Sizzler 37 days to discover that the green pellets
found in a tub of spaghetti sauce at one of its stores were rat poison, reportsThe Courier-Mail.

The Canberra Times reports on the Assembly committee recommending
that the ACT’s controversial ant-terrorism laws be strengthened.

The Democrats are on the campaign trail in SA, handing out
pamphlets that show former Labor Premier voting Democrat, reports The
Advertiser
.

Tasmania’s Fox
Taskforce is to be slashed to just four full-time employees, despite evidence of a breeding fox population, reports The Mercury.

The West Australian reports that workers on the troubled
city rail project in Perth are so sick
of having to go on strike that they’re looking for jobs elsewhere.

Military Police are investigating a group of Darwin soldiers who took off their clothes and went for a
run through the grape vines while on a winery tour, reports the NT News. It’s
still being determined if they were fully nude.

Peter Fray

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