Bishop gets high marks for curriculum plans. Education Minister Julie Bishop is scoring high marks for her plans for a national education curriculum, according to a Roy Morgan telephone survey. 69% of Australians want the Federal Government to implement a national education curriculum – despite widespread rubbishing of the idea by the states. Only 26% oppose the idea. Residents of New South Wales (75%) and Queensland (73%) are the most likely to be in favour of a national curriculum, compared to 56% of West Australians, 61% of South Australians/Northern Territorians, 64% of Tasmanians, and 66% of Victorians. Interestingly, Australians aged 18 to 24 are the strongest supporters of the plan. Morgan says this could in part be attributed to disillusionment with the current structure of the education secondary school system. Bishop, however, has been marked down for suggesting that schools that don’t adhere to the proposed national education curriculum should have their Federal Government funding withdrawn. Only 39% of respondents supported the idea, and 55% are opposed. And less than a third – 31% – of Australians say it should be compulsory for all Australian students to complete Year 12.

The ACT Assembly pioneers parliamentary podcasts. Will wonders never cease! The ACT Assembly is not just trialling web-based broadcasts of parliamentary proceedings, but is also making Question Time available for download to MP3 players. How are the citizenry reacting to these marvels? You can find out over at The RiotACT.

You should see how the other guy looks. There was much mirth in Question Time yesterday at the sight of Human Services Minister Joe Hockey on crutches. It was all down to an unfortunate collision with Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough at rugby training that morning. A knee went into someone’s kidneys, a foot went on someone’s hand – and when you’re Joe’s size, gravity ain’t exactly your friend.

Hard pressed? AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty did the National Press Club yesterday – amidst swirling rumours that ask how many AFP officers have been deported from missions as a result of misconduct allegations, how many officers serving overseas have been investigated for misconduct and how many AFP officers investigated for misconduct have been found in any way guilty?

The new class warfare. Crikey hasn’t really covered the new book by former SMH political blogger and Bob Carr biographer Andrew West, Now Australia: Inside the Lifestyles of the Rich and Tasteful. West writes about a new class conflict that secretly fashions Australian politics – what he calls the battle of the “materialists” versus the “culturists”. After ten years of John Howard’s government, the materialists seem to be politically ascendant, West says, while the culturists must console themselves with their private good taste. And he’ll be talking about it at a do at Gleebooks this Friday evening. The very culturist Gleebooks.

Beer wars II. The Seven bureau in Parliament House took down the sign advertising the alcoholic cornucopia awaiting tired media inside after we exposed the Press Gallery beer wars on Tuesday. But 10 remains defiant. “The Ten beer fridge is not chicken,” a new sign says. “Unlike other bureau (sic) we will continue to advertise our wares”.

Peter Fray

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