Ute gate – the stories


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Turnbull linked to ute ‘leaker’Melbourne Age

AFP hunt for mole in Treasury as leaking inquiry widensThe Australian

Focus on Turnbull’s links with bureaucratThe Australian says Malcolm Turnbull is under pressure to reveal just how much contact he has had with the Treasury official at the centre of the OzCar scandal, after it become clear yesterday that Godwin Grech was no ordinary public servant.

Malcolm Turnbull fears early pollThe Australian reports the Opposition Leader fears a Liberal loss at a double dissolution election. Hence the alco pops backdown.

Grech ‘chose’ to send faxes to Swan’s home – not because he was asked to – The Australian


AFP faces contempt test on ute probe – Liberal senator Bill Heffernan last night moved that the Senate Prvileges committee examine the circumstances surrounding Treasury official Godwin Grech’s evidence on Friday. The committee will be asked to examine if Mr Grech suffered any adverse effects as a result of his evidence and, if so, was that a contempt of the Senate – The Australian

Libs ready to defy TurnbullSydney Morning Herald reports how Malcolm Turnbull’s authority over his party is slipping with a group of backbenchers prepared to defy party policy and cross the floor today, making it the second such incident this week while Godwin Grech, the official at the centre of the OzCar affair, is now suspected of being a “Treasury mole” who has been involved in leaking material to the Opposition over the past 18 months that has been used to embarrass the Government.

Coalition refuses to give up on the email trail – when it began pursuing Kevin Rudd anew yesterday with the implication he misled Parliament over assistance given to another car dealer – Sydney Morning Herald

Explain links to Grech, demands Swan – Sydney Morning Herald

A steady rise, then sideways shifts – the Sydney Morning Herald on the career of Godwin Grech

A diligent servant who never stopped working – Godwin Grech’s public service career has been marked in more recent times by a series of sideways shifts, although the moves kept him close to the policy action under both the Howard and Rudd governments – Melbourne Age

Ute brotherhood calls on PM – Rudd invited to the annual Deniliquin Ute Muster – Melbourne Age

Grech drawn into hunt for Treasury mole – Adelaide Advertiser

Utegate official in police probe into Treasury tactics – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Exposing the private life of mysterious Godwin Grech – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Malcolm Turnbull quizzed over Godwin Grech link – Brisbane Courier Mail

More questions for Treasury official Gordon Grech – Melbourne Herald Sun

Ute gate – the commentary

Liberal leader’s overkill backfires – says Paul Kelly in The Australian. Understand what is happening here, he writes. This is a concerted and co-ordinated Labor campaign to turn the public against Turnbull on character grounds and ensure that he is unelectable as prime minister.

Liberals look a beaten bunch – Dennis Shanahan in The Australian sees Liberal MPs no longer just look like they are thinking of defeat at the next election, they are beginning to talk about it. Talking about defeat is only one step away from accepting it, and accepting defeat only guarantees the Coalition will not win. This is an extraordinary turnaround in just a few weeks.

Malcolm needed a hard hat more – Christian Kerr in The Australian on the return to business as usual by the PM while the merciless mockery of Malcolm Turn bull continued.

A story that just keeps on biting – Michelle Grattan in the Melbourne Age says what a nightmare! A trusted source, who has apparently helped Malcolm Turnbull with all sorts of useful information in the past, suddenly lands him with a fake.

A flimsy foundation brings Turnbull’s audacious case undone – Shaun Carney in the Melbourne Age believes the Opposition Leader’s credibility may never recover from this debacle.

E-Awareness week is a funny time in question time – Tony Wright in the Melbourne Age on the Case of the Amazing Disappearing Fake Email

Turnbull must now lead with his brain instead of his chin – says Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald

Black Knight cops it over search for holey Grail – Annabel Crabb in the Sydney Morning Herald

Resign yourself to bluster and no resignations – Tim Blair in the Sydney Daily Telegraph looks forward

Malcolm Turnbull in a muddle – Dennis Atkins in the Brisbane Courier Mail says Malcolm Turnbull now has his judgment shredded and his political nous looking close to that of a newt and he will be subject to the most destructive personal campaign we’ve seen in politics.

Utegate – the editorials

The AustralianMr Turnbull in political china shop – Yesterday the whole affair became a disaster for Mr Turnbull when he admitted having spoken to Mr Grech, inevitably putting the question of what they discussed on the agenda. And so within a week of calling on Mr Rudd and Treasury to either explain how they had not misled parliament or resign, it is Mr Turnbull who has some explaining to do.

Melbourne AgePolitics should be about more than scalp hunting – It may be that Mr Turnbull’s errors of judgment have fatally wounded his leadership in the eyes of the electorate and his Liberal parliamentary colleagues, in which case the latter will in time turn elsewhere. The Prime Minister does not need to expedite the process, and the nation would be better served if he brought down the curtain on the farce that the OzCar affair has become. There are, after all, other matters that deserve his attention and the Opposition Leader’s, too: the recession and the proposed emissions trading scheme (ETS), to name but two.

Adelaide AdvertiserTurnbull’s aim wide of the target – It s difficult to feel much sympathy for the predicament now facing the still relatively new Opposition Leader, Malcolm Turnbull. … For an accomplished barrister and solicitor, Mr Turnbull’s indecent haste is dumbfounding and suggests an abundance of ego and a poverty of common sense.

Sydney Daily TelegraphGrech unlikely low-show star – There is more to come in this troubling, yet compelling story. It has already taken more turns than a second-hand ute with a busted steering arm. Where it ends, only history will know.

That global crisis thing

Shares retreat on grim news as World Bank warns of 3pc contractionThe Australian

Political revenge

Shooters take aim at lottery bill – The NSW Government’s $500 million plan to privatise lotteries faces defeat after the Government rejected Shooters Party legislation for hunting in national parks – Sydney Morning Herald

Industrial relations

Coalition to block Labor replacement for new construction watchdogThe Australian

Elections and pre-selections

Hero of Aston’s resignation expected to spark a stampede of exits – Dennis Shanahan in The Australian expects a series of MPs’ to resign before the next election following the surprise decision of Victorian frontbencher Chris Pearce not to contest it.

Stop British voting, says MP – Labor MP Daryl Melham believes British subjects should be stripped of their vote in Australian elections unless they take out citizenship – Sydney Morning Herald

Opinion Polls

Sliding Rees reads riot act to MPsThe Australian

Rees lays the poll blame on leadership plotters – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Queensland voters want to axe state MPs – the Brisbane Courier Mail gives the findings of a special Galaxy poll

Political perks

New reforms will remove NSW state MPs’ secret perksSydney Daily Telegraph

Foreign policy

Israel to Gillard: thanks for standing by usMelbourne Age

Julia Gillard walks the world stage in IsraelThe Australian

Law and order

Alarm over new powers for prisons chief – the NSW Government introducing retrospective legislation to “close the loophole” so that prisoners may be managed in solitary confinement without a “segregated custody direction” – Sydney Morning Herald


Bligh’s transport plans ‘immature’ – the Queensland Auditor General condemns the state’s approach to transport planning, only two weeks after suggesting its decisions on health infrastructure had been politicised – The Australian


School closure fears as merger plan stepped upMelbourne Age

School building projects prove late developers – only a small number of public schools have started construction under the federal government’s $14.7 billion Building the Education Revolution program, with a week to go until next Tuesday’s deadline – The Australian

Victorian Education Minister Bronwyn Pike amazed by negative focus of coverage of the state’s implementation of the federal schools building program – The Australian

The opinions

Climate ball up in the air – Michael Asten in The Australian finds it is surprising to see the slow response of Climate Change Minister Penny Wong in fielding a team to counter the arguments assembled by Family First senator Steve Fielding’s team of experts.

MPs must ask what they can do for their country – the noble Peter Costello in the Sydney Morning Herald

Robbing private schools of public funding makes everyone poorer – says Sam Molloy in the Sydney Morning Herald

Home truths about panic buying – Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald on how the special offer from a government is a lot more dangerous than those two for the price of one lures by business




Britain expels Iran diplomats – London Evening Standard


Babcock crash may have cost $5.4bnMelbourne Age

Fitzpatrick’s grab lands Olympic venue – the main venue of the Sydney Olympics, Stadium Australia – now known as ANZ Stadium – is to be run by a company to be controlled by Carlton legend and AFL Commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick – Melbourne Age

Economic recovery will take time – writes John Durie in The Australian as a stock market correction comes

City ‘failing to learn lessons’ of crisis – Bankers and regulators are already showing signs of forgetting the lessons of the “biggest financial crisis in the history of market capitalism”, Adair Turner, the City’s top regulator warned on Tuesday – Financial Times of London



Sun editor Rebekah Wade to become chief executive – of Murdoch’s News International – London Evening Standard


Coalition delays crucial emission tradings scheme voteThe Australian

Emissions trading scheme to go up in smoke in Senate – Brisbane Courier Mail

Garrett: cut ‘scientific’ whale huntMelbourne Age

Full horror of Japanese whaling exposedSydney Daily Telegraph

Cod controversy goes to court – in case that will test the claim for the first time in NSW that seismic vibrations used in gas and mining exploration can seriously affect fish reproduction – Sydney Morning Herald

Time for debating GM over: scientist – Sydney Morning Herald

Move to protect Shrine integrity – Heritge Victoria will review guidelines for the Shrine of Remembrance to protect the memorial’s integrity from nearby developments after Planning Minister Justin Madden rejected a 31-storey tower on St Kilda Road – Melbourne Age


Swine flu

Second swine flu patient dies amid checks on townSydney Morning Herald

Testing delay for state’s first swine flu victimMelbourne Age

Family First’s Steve Fielding defies swine flu warning to attend Parliament – Melbourne Herald Sun

Swine flu goes from Mexico to middle of nowhereThe Australian tells how Aboriginal people swamped their local clinic in the remote community of Kiwirrkurra yesterday, desperate for answers about how swine flu was transmitted to the most remote indigenous community in Australia.

No bed for man sick with swine flu – mother of a Victorian man who died from swine flu on Saturday said last night there was no intensive care bed available in the state when he was diagnosed as suffering from pneumonia – The Australian

The punt


Talk of the turf – a marriage proposal – The oldest race club in Australia, the Australian Jockey Club, may be forced to merge with its Rosehill rival, the Sydney Turf Club, and Canterbury racecourse redeveloped for housing under a radical plan to rescue the NSW racing industry. The merger proposal – and the sale of Canterbury, the largest remaining greenfield site within 10 kilometres of the city – was urged yesterday by an independent study of the industry by Ernst & Young – Sydney Morning Herald

The drink

Police Minister Neil Roberts backs tougher drink-driving penalties for police – Brisbane Courier Mail

2am lockout ‘sent pubs into receivership’Sydney Morning Herald