It’s an oldie but a goodie. The perks of politicians as they try and disguise the real earn from being an MP are resurrected regularly in slow news times. Electoral allowances, travel allowances, superannuation, overseas junkets – all keep coming under periodic scrutiny as the mob seems to like a bit of pollie bashing. And so it is that Phillip Hudson, Canberra chief of the new Fairfax National Bureau – formed by amalgamating most of the staff from what used to be separate Age and Sydney Morning Herald bureaux – has this morning up-dated the cuttings file with a look at the travel costs of retired Federl members.

The gravy plane: 20,000 freebies – says the Sydney Morning Herald of the former federal MPs flying high on the gravy plane by claiming an astonishing 20,000 taxpayer-funded flights around Australia since 2001 worth more than $8.3 million.

Ex-MPs on the gravy plane – accompanied by photos of some big spenders in the Melbourne Age



Political perks

The gravy plane: 20,000 freebies – says the Sydney Morning Herald of the former federal MPs flying high on the gravy plane by claiming an astonishing 20,000 taxpayer-funded flights around Australia since 2001 worth more than $8.3 million.

Ex-MPs on the gravy plane – accompanied by photos of some big spenders in the Melbourne Age

Sky’s the limit for pollies with this handy perk – Phillip Hudson gives some details in the Melbourne Age about the scheme

Economic matters

6% surge in spending buoys faith in cash splashMelbourne Age. Sydney Morning Herald version – Swan’s cash handouts stimulate shoppers

Building slump threatens buyers, tenantsSydney Morning Herald


Retraining for all retrenched – in a government subsidised training place – Sydney Morning Herald

Job seekers won’t get lost in transition, vows ministerMelbourne Age

Industrial relations

Unions hail win for the lowly paid – as Labor’s new Fair Work scheme comes into operation – Melbourne Age


Unions defy PM Kevin Rudd’s restraint call as new IR era beginsThe Australian

Curtain up on a new era of workplace relationsThe Australian reports on the start of a new system

Hotel trio first to approach Work AustraliaThe Australian

Bosses fret over new IR laws – Sydney Morning Herald


Martin Hamilton-Smith refuses to quit Liberal leadership – The Adelaide Advertiser says early counting shows Martin Hamilton-Smith will retain the Liberal Party leadership in this weekend’s ballot

Liberals disclaim warning on fakes – the dodgy gate continues to make news in South Australia – The Australian


Julia Gillard attacks class of clowns on school performance data – The Daily Telegraph reports how a band of Upper House “vandals” has hijacked plans to let parents see league tables showing how their childrens’ schools are performing. Education Minister Julia Gillard last night accused the NSW Opposition of “political opportunism” after it joined a bizarre alliance of independents to force through laws banning the comparative tables from appearing in print.


$1.2b Gold Coast desalination plant a dudBrisbane Courier Mail

Consumer Affairs

New pricing may cut billsMelbourne Age. The SMH version is here.


$60bn defence hardware planThe Australian

Malcolm Turnbull’s salute in AfghanistanThe Australian reports on the Opposition Leader’s visit

Malcolm Turnbull swaps one war zone for Afghanistan Sydney Daily Telegraph

South Australia’s $60 billion defence bonanza – Adelaide Advertiser

Overseas students

More suicides uncovered among overseas studentsSydney Morning Herald

State governments

Former chief wants NT govt scrapped – The Territory’s first chief minister Paul Everingham – who fought for and won self-government 31 years ago – told the Northern Territory News he believed all the states and territories were a “waste of taxpayer money”.


Pay $3300 to meet a Queensland LNP politician – The Brisbane Courier Mail gives the price for access at the party conventiion


Where the ruddy hell were you, Malcolm? – Annabel Crabb in the Sydney Morning Herald goes searching for the Opposition Leader

Fatal flaw in Turnbull’s climate compromise – Marian Wilkinson in the Sydney Morning Herald

090702australianwhereaboutsLost lessons of the 100,000 ‘dead men’ – Jennifer Hewett in The Australian remembers the aftermath of the last big push by metal workers for industry-wide wage rises

Pay rise claim has echoes of disaster – David Uren in The Australian on how the claim by ACTU president Sharan Burrow that higher real wages will boost demand repeats an argument pressed by labour economists throughout the late 1970s until it was destroyed by the wages explosion of 1981 which ultimately cost 300,000 workers their jobs.

Religion offers MPs an easy way to justify their positions – Carmen Lawrence writes in the Sydney Morning Herald that perhaps it is partly out of a desire to avoid being labelled frauds when they stray from absolute fidelity that Australian politicians, unlike their American counterparts, have worn their religious beliefs lightly, eschewing ostentatious displays of faith or the use of religious precepts to justify or shape policy positions.

Economy hit in the eye – Alan Wood in The Australian says the data on housing prices, auction clearance rates and reports in this and other newspapers all point to a housing market that is beginning to run hot again, particularly, but not only, in the area where the Rudd government and state governments have been actively intervening: first-home buyers.

Denying recycling just won’t hold water – writes Kenneth Davidson in the Melbourne Age



Opposition leaders court arrest by defying ‘unlawful Iranian regime’London Times

Economic matters

Data give signs of global recovery –  The global downturn appeared close to a bottom on Wednesday after manufacturing figures from across the world suggested the worldwide recession was running out of steam in all big economies – Financial Times of London

China recovery hopes gather pacePicture mixed elsewhere in Asia-Pacific – Financial Times of London


West’s hypocrites betray Iranians – Greg Sheridan in The Australian seeks the western human rights lobby


Annual iron ore price-fixing cracks under pressure – The present bargaining process will eventually be abandoned writes Malcolm Maiden in the Melbourne Age

China steel association eases stance on iron ore price cutMelbourne Age

Beijing buckles in iron ore price battleThe Australian

New Suncorp chief Patrick Snowball tipped to sell banking wingThe Australian

Last drinks for pub king Hedley – Sydney Morning Herald

Net account rush crashes Commonwealth Bank site – The Australian


Cane toads face grim future – Volunteers are to be enlisted to help kill off the cane toad. But the carnage will not end at the toads. The Rudd Government will fork out millions to eradicate rodents on several Australian islands and feral animals across 178 million hectares – Brisbane Courier Mail

Lucky devils put on a brave face – the lucky ones, free from deadly facial tumours that have wiped out 70 per cent of the Tasmanian devil population in the wild – Sydney Morning Herald


Future of our newspapers is bright, says HartiganThe Australian reports on the boss at the National Press Club

Blogging a dead horse for print – The Melbourne Age reports News Limited chief executive John Hartigan has launched a broadside attack on bloggers and other online amateurs, arguing they are no substitute for professional journalists.

Reports of papers’ deaths exaggerated – full text of John Hartigan’s address to the National Press Club in Canberra – The Australian

Criticism of ute reports dismissed by John HartiganBrisbane Courier Mail

Dead wrong: slaughter of the celebrities – It’s been a busy week for celebrity deaths, with Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres, Miley Cyrus and P Diddy all shuffling off the mortal coil – if you believe their Twitter pages – Melbourne Age

Now sex climbs the greasy pole – Annabel Crabb in the Sydney Morning Herald considers sex in advertising


Law and order


3000 hoon cars seized Adelaide Advertiser

Westfield targets ‘mall brats’ – Adelaide Advertiser


Paracetamol use causes a headacheMelbourne Age. The SMH version is here.

Tainted ecstasy will cause overdosesBrisbane Courier Mail

Renewed push to ban cigarette branding on packsMelbourne Age


Michael Jackson will not be buried at Neverland Ranch Los Angeles Times

Sporting life

090702dailyteleNRL clubs line up for sacked Lote Tuqiri Sydney Daily Telegraph

Punt Rd enfolds its favourite son – Patrick Smith writes in The Australian that unmistakably, the 18-month break since Kevin Sheedy left Essendon in 2007 has re-invigorated the veteran of 635 matches as coach

Kevin Sheedy: I’m ready for Tigers jobThe Australian

Brett Seymour sacked by Cronulla Sharks Sydney Daily Telegraph reports on copious drinking, a smashed mirror, a sore fist and even sorer dignity. We take you inside the night that could end Cronulla star Brett Seymour’s career in the NRL.