Parliamentary wusses.

They really are parliamentary wusses in Canberra,  the way they go on with their bogus points of order and school boy and school girl heckling. I cannot remember the last time there was a fair dinkum punch up on the floor of the House of Representatives. Gough Whitlam tossing a glass of water over Paul Hasluck is the closest I have seen to real aggression.

Up there in South Korea they know how to put a bit of real biff into the debate. A couple of scenes from yesterday’s discussion of legislation that will allow the major newspaper groups to own television stations:






Economic matters

Inflation fall the biggest on recordSydney Morning Herald reports Australia’s inflation rate has collapsed from 5 per cent to just 1.5 per cent in less than a year – the most dramatic slide on record. But far from celebrating felling what he had dubbed the “inflation genie” the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, sees it as a sign of weakness, of an economy under siege.

Reserve’s best move is to keep 3pc cash rate on hold – says Michael Stutchbury in The Australian

Many thousands facing long wait for superannuation fate – Melbourne Herald Sun

Freedom of information

Premier passes on responsibility for FOI laws – Barely a month after introducing progressive freedom of information laws, the NSW Premier has downgraded their importance by handing responsibility for their implementation to the Attorney-General – Sydney Morning Herald

Health services

Deep concern over health plan – The plan for a federal takeover of public hospital outpatient services has drawn deep concerns from NSW that it could lose out financially on the deal – Sydney Morning Herald

Not in my school’s backyard

Minister in fight to halt land sale – A NSW minister has broken ranks to join opponents fighting the sale of land attached to a Sydney selective high school – Sydney Morning Herald

Aboriginal affairs

More work for indigenous jobs push – The mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s push to put 50,000 Aborigines in jobs has placed only 114 people in its first nine months – Sydney Morning Herald

Macklin approved housing scheme despite warning – Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin ignored a warning that a $700 million indigenous housing program was flawed and would inflate the cost of homes in remote black settlements – Melbourne Age

Law and order

20 years after historic Fitzgerald inquiry, dark forces return to Queensland – Queensland’s police service was rocked yesterday by revelations that 25 officers were involved in illegal and improper dealings with prisoners, including a convicted double murderer, provoking a warning from the state’s top corruption fighter that the lessons of the Fitzgerald inquiry had been forgotten – The Australian

Queensland police commissioner takes rap for scandal – The Australian

Wily informant played Queensland police for suckers – The Australian

Inquiry lessons easily forgotten in Queensland – Jamie Walker writes in The Australian that barely a week after the jailing of former state government minister Gordon Nuttall — a man who spent five years around the same cabinet table as Premier Anna Bligh before she ascended to the top job — Queenslanders have received another rude reminder that the bad old days did not necessarily end with the Fitzgerald inquiry and the blowtorch it put to the Moonlight State.

Corrupt cops and cunning criminals exposedBrisbane Courier Mail

Most damning corruption claims in a scathing report – Brisbane Courier Mail

‘Just allegations’ – Queensland Police Union disputes misconduct report – Brisbane Courier Mail

Nuclear power

Rio ignites nuke power debateAdelaide Advertiser

Malcolm Turnbull handed a nuclear bomb – As the Coalition tears itself apart over the Rudd Government’s emissions trading scheme, energy and resources spokesman Ian Macfarlane is predicting Australia will embrace nuclear power “in the not too distant future” – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Industrial relations

Labor unrest flows to compo reform – Traditioinal Labor Party members could bankroll an independent candidate for next year’s state election, as they are dissatisfied with their party’s handling of WorkCover – Adelaide Advertiser

Teachers await pay offer from State Government – Teachers “suspended” their planned strikes and some work bans last night pending a new State Government pay offer expected today – Brisbane Courier Mail


Lobbyists the price you pay: developer – A prominent South Australian identity with almost 30 years’ experience in property development has warned of the influence of lobbyists within the Rann government, saying it is “the price you pay for getting developments through”, while lamenting the national trend of “paid favours in politics” – The Australian


St Kevin has no mates to look after – Annabel Crabb in the Sydney Morning Herald discovers the embarrassing truth that “jobs for the boys” under the Rudd Government is increasingly meaning “jobs for their boys”.

Economic balancing act could still end with a fall – Alan Wood in The Australian sees the improving conditions as welcome but says they may prove tricky for Rudd and Swan to manage.

Don’t kowtow to Beijing bully – Greg Sheridan in The Australian says Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull have stood up for an innocent Australian, while the academics cravenly counsel appeasement.

Our writers and publishers don’t need handouts – Michael Heyward asks in the Melbourne Age: why tamper with the one creative industry that is standing on its own feet?

Reading through the lines – Professor Allan Fels argues in the Melbourne Age that book lovers have been overcharged for too long to protect the publishing industry, with no discernible cultural benefit.

Captain Brumby’s almost seamless trade season – Paul Austin says a preselection stability deal may have given Labor a winning team – Melbourne Age


Jakarta bombings


Al-Qaeda linked to terrorists behind Jakarta bombingsSydney Morning Herald reports that the terrorist network behind the Jakarta hotel bombings received help from al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan. Two of the country’s highest security officials have linked al-Qaeda to the blasts that killed at least nine people.

Abu Bakar Bashir’s warning: the terror will not endThe Australian

Marriott killer may have been only 16 – The Australian

Five years after capture, accused remains in Guantanamo – More than five years after he arrived in Guantanamo Bay after being snatched by US authorities and spirited away to a secret CIA prison, the alleged mastermind of the 2002 Bali attacks, Hambali, is no closer to trial – The Australian


Two dead after Papua mine attackMelbourne Age


Foreign policy fillip in UN move to stop genocide – Australia has scored a diplomatic success, with the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, pledging to implement a new framework for preventing genocide, war crimes and ethnic cleansing – Sydney Morning Herald


Relief for the OwlNew York Times editorial on a victory for the northern spotted owl as a decision to allow logging made by the Bush administration is reversed


Spot ore rates may determine steel lobby stance – The spot price of iron ore will climb in the second half of the year if the Japanese and South Korean economies recover, and this possibility may force China to accept the 33-percent discount in full-year ore rates now being offered by global miners, industry experts told the China Daily

Cashed-up NAB to cast its net – National Australia Bank is expected to use some of its $2.75 billion capital raising to fund further piecemeal acquisitions, but chief executive Cameron Clyne insists the lender is not building a war chest to fund its global expansion – Melbourne Age


New mine could crack dam floor – a new longwall coalmine directly beneath Woronora Reservoir has the potential to crack the dam floor and cause serious leaks from southern Sydney’s main drinking water supply, say documents produced by the Sydney Catchment Authority – Sydney Morning Herald

Melee becomes free-for-all after ‘crazy uncle’ tirade – Joe Hockey likened Wilson Tuckey to the crazy uncle at a family wedding yesterday as the Coalition started to tear itself apart over how to deal with Labor’s proposed emissions trading scheme. Backbenchers traded insults, the Nationals split from the Liberal leadership, and the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, declared his opponents a divided rabble as they sparred over when and if it should negotiate with Labor over the legislation – Sydney Morning Herald

The Coorong is dead but can be revived – Melbourne Age

Big electricity generators plead for $20bn ETS aid – The Australian

Dawson River dam has snails in search of new home – Brisbane Courier Mail


090723townsivlleswineSwine flu

Man, 70, dies from swine flu – Yesterday afternoon a 70-year-old indigenous man died in the Townsville Hospital after contracting the virus. Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said it appeared the man had underlying medical conditions that placed him in the vulnerable category – Townsville Bulletin

New vaccine tests too late for 42 on swine flu death list – Sydney Daily Telegraph

The drink

UK ‘is losing 52 pubs each week’ BBC News reports the number of pubs has dropped by 2,377 in the past year, to a total of 53,466.

Yarra Council bans public drinking at nightMelbourne Herald Sun

Inquiry examines cheap booze and curfewBrisbane Courier Mail


Judge questions if drunken sex was a ‘technical rape‘ – Adelaide Advertiser