Economic Matters

House price rises spark boom on Sydney’s north shoreSydney Morning Herald

Median house price in Melbourne rises $36,000 – Melbourne Herald Sun

PM Kevin Rudd admits 50,000 green jobs not newThe Australian

Kevin Rudd

Barack’s new BFF: a match made in Kevin – Peter Hartcher writes in the Sydney Morning Herald that Barack Obama has a new best friend among world leaders. His name is Kevin Rudd. A senior official in the Obama Administration said the President had bonded more closely with Mr Rudd than with any other leader.

090801smhturnbullRudd in fantasy world of debt, Turnbull warnsThe Australian

PM ‘has no regard for the truth’ – Malcolm Turnbull has condemned Kevin Rudd as a ‘‘political fashionista” with an Orwellian disregard for the truth, who will leave Australia with ‘‘debt for as far as the eye can see” – Melbourne Age

Economic stimulus

School wins battle with bunglers – A dissident primary school principal who blew the whistle on bungling within the government’s $14.7 billion Building the Education Revolution program has won his way – The Australian

Political dealings

Bernie Ripoll’s wife in China link – The wife of federal Labor MP Bernie Ripoll, who purchased development sites in Bowen shortly before the north Queensland town was announced as the likely site for a $2.2 billion alumina refinery, previously set up a mining services company with a businesswoman who has strong links to Chinese government and business figures – The Australian

By Joh, she hasn’t got it: Bligh faces poor state image – The corruption crisis that engulfed Queensland this week could prove the catalyst for an overhaul of the way political parties are funded, Labor insiders have predicted – Sydney Morning Herald

Stirling Hinchliffe, Desley Boyle fail to declare dealings – Bligh Government has suffered a serious credibility blow after two ministers failed to declare dealings over a controversial $1.5 billion resort development – Brisbane Courier Mail


Laurie Brereton was paid to help port corp – Former state and federal Labor minister Laurie Brereton has been paid thousands of dollars for representing the world’s biggest ports operator, which was awarded a $530million Queensland government contract – The Australian

Fired Enhance lobbyist Ross Daley faces sack as paid consultant to Careflight QueenslandThe Australian



Woolies and Coles face lease challenge – The federal government is pushing for changes to zoning laws and to shopping centre leasing arrangements that benefit Coles and Woolworths in an effort to increase competition in the grocery sector. The Minister for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Small Business, Craig Emerson, said he was determined to pull down the barriers to entry in grocery retailing – The Australian

Power of big four banks is harmful, says Fels – Former competition watchdog Allan Fels has expressed fears that genuine banking industry competition will be lost for decades, after figures released yesterday showed the complete ascendancy of the big four – The Australian

Industrial relations

Labour movement gets guaranteed board seats – Unions will be appointed to federal government boards, committees and advisory bodies in a move that will increase their influence over critical national policies – The Australian

Union cry: one law for all workers – Union leaders have protested at the Government’s retention of coercive powers of interrogation in the building industry and called for unionists to be given representation on government inquiries – Melbourne Age


Rudd promises to publicly honour Iraq troopsMelbourne Age


A debt to the future – Malcolm Turnbull takes aim for The Autralian at Kevin Rudd’s image – Rudd likes to style himself as a philosopher-king issuing edicts from on high about how the world should be better governed. The fact is the Prime Minister is as poll-driven as any politician in living memory. He is forever adapting his message to suit the mood of the day. He changes with the seasons.

Second fiddle won’t satisfy Julia for long – David Penberthy writes in The Australian that much of Kevin Rudd’s shine at the ALP conference has come via his deputy.

A time of your own choosing – Peter Costello writes in The Australian on his impending departure and the country’s future.

Fellowship of the ring of new mates – Peter van Onselen believes Labor is again coming under the sway of a ruling clique, but queries whether this one is up to the calibre of its renowned predecessors – The Australian

Rudd’s big ideas fail productivity test – George Megalogenis in The Australian on why Kevin Rudd engages in the rhetorical contortion of attacking “neo-liberalism” and defending “conservative economic management”.

Resources boom is still resounding – Ross Gittins in the SMelb ounre Age reminds us that while resources and energy prices may have fallen but the boom hasn’t really gone away.

Partners in power – Shaun Carney writes in the Melbourne Age that it has been smooth sailing between the Labor leaders, but the party should guard against Costello’s fate befalling the talented Julia Gillard.

Truly, madly, deeply in love, but surely it can’t last forever – Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald suggests that the near-perfect alignment of the leadership of the two countries for two successive administrations, stretching over at least 10 years, is such an unlikely coincidence that we must assume that it will end when Rudd or Obama loses office, or when geopolitical circumstances change.

Rudd gets A for effort and B for execution – Mark Davis of the Sydney Morning Herald gives an external performance review on the performance of the Labor Government so far.

Dazed Malcolm Turnbull still bleeding – Labor’s 45th national conference has been a gathering of victors, united by victory. Turnbull finds it impossible to keep a few dozen Liberal MPs in line. Laurie Oakes in the Melbourne Herald Sun



Burma ‘building secret N-plant’ – The secret complex, much of it in caves tunnelled into a mountain at Naung Laing in northern Burma, runs parallel to a civilian reactor being built at another site by Russia that both the Russians and Burmese say will be put under international safeguards – Melbourne Age

Burma and the bomb – Daniel Fitton in the Melbourne Age has a lengthy look at a fresh question that has emerged regarding the goals of Burma’s rulers. Could this junta, daft enough to lift up an entire capital city and dump it in the middle of the country, be so skewed in its priorities as to be trying to build a nuclear weapon? And might it have reached out to another paranoid regime, North Korea, for help?

Revealed: Burma’s nuclear bombshell – Sydney Morning Herald


Australia dealt blow in Pacific trade talks – Australia’s push for a fresh agreement to drop trade barriers with Pacific island nations has suffered a setback after the Solomon Islands backed an attempt by regional pariah Fiji to scuttle negotiations – Melbourne Age


Obama gets serious on Middle East – Greg Sheridan ponders whether Barack Obama can really bring peace to the Middle East – The Australian


ANZ close to Asian asset deal – Melbourne Age


Radical new ETS offers savings, claims opposition – Bigger greenhouse emissions reductions could be achieved much more cheaply with a radically different emissions trading scheme design, research to be delivered to the Coalition and independent senator Nick Xenophon next week shows – The Australian

Nick Minchin calling for delay in carbon bill The Australian

A glimpse of the future for Victoria’s hilltops – Some will tilt at them, but it would seem a pointless exercise: a surge in windmill construction is set to recast the Victorian landscape – Melbourne Age

Go-ahead to clear land – Residents in fire-prone areas across Victoria will be free to remove trees and native vegetation near their homes under a State Government strategy designed to avoid a repeat of February’s deadly Black Saturday bushfires. Under new rules, property owners will not need a council permit to remove trees and vegetation within 10 metres of their homes – Melbourne Age


090801agejudgeidleStunt could leave judge idle – Kyle Sandilands’ future as a judge on Australian Idol is in doubt amid continuing furore over his role in questioning a 14-year-old about her sex life on his FM radio show – Melbourne Age

Global plan for diplomatic TV service – In a direct challenge to the ABC, Sky News has approached the federal government with plans to expand Australia’s international diplomatic television broadcasting service into a global network – The Australian

Hezbollah TV comes to Australia – Hezbollah’s TV station, twice banned in Australia for supporting terrorism, has been given permission to broadcast into this country after an investigation found it did not breach the anti-terrorism standard – Melbourne Age



Labor rift over same-sex marriage – The issue comes up for debate on Saturday and is shaping as one of the more passionate discussions at the Labor conference, which has to date been unusually restrained – Melbourne Age


Pills, thrills and the Heath Ledger effect – Young Australians are mixing dangerous chemical cocktails by using tranquillisers and sleeping pills recreationally and combining them with other legal and illicit drugs – Sydney Morning Herald

Swine flu

Farm quarantine as 2000 pigs catch swine flu – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Law and order

Codes of dishonour – At least two Calabrian clans operate in Australia  – Melbourne Age