Counsel for the defence responds. The Melbourne Age has been playing the role of public prosecutor in the trial by newspaper of stood aside Victorian Cabinet Minister Theo Theophanous so it is appropriate that the Melbourne Herald Sun has now come forward as counsel for the defence. This morning, the Hun devoted its front page to a declaration of support by Rita Theophanous for her husband when she branded the woman who accused her husband of rape as a liar out for money.

The Melbourne press is certainly giving the criminal justice system a new dimension.

Reporting lounge room chatter is okay. Reporting private dinner table chatter might be a no-go for journalists with ethics but perhaps reporting lounge room chatter is okay. The Oz this morning picks up my grievous error of suggesting that its editor was being fingered as the source of a report based on what the PM said at the Kirribilli dinner table when he was among the guests. The paper’s Cut and Paste section this morning points out that the political writer who broke the story, Matthew Franklin, made it clear on October 25 that Kevin Rudd was entertaining guests in the lounge room at Kirribilli House with the PM still clad in the suit he had worn to a business dinner in the city. I am delighted to help clear up this vital detail and would be only too willing to print Chris Mitchell’s explanation of who he told what about what he heard from the comfort of his armchair.

Australia’s two nations. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures out this morning show clearly how Australia is like two different countries when it comes to economic growth. Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory are well in front of the rest for the last decade although there has been recent improvement in South Australia.

Gross State Product (GSP) for the last year was:

The average annual compound growth rate from 1997-98 to 2007-08 saw Queensland growing fastest at 5.0%, followed by WA with 4.4%, the NT 4.3%, the ACT 3.5%, Victoria 3.2%, NSW 2.8%, SA 2.6% and Tasmania 2.5%. Australia as a whole grew at a compound rate of 3.5% through the decade.

Adjusting for the impact of population growth on movements in GSP last year saw:

Peter Fray

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