THIS MORNING’S FRONT PAGES

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POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Australia

Stimulus package

Stimulus dollars going to batt insulation imports – The $3.9 billion home insulation subsidy scheme is leaking taxpayer-funded cash offshore in the latest controversy to plague Labor’s big spending recession-busting measures. Overseas-made batts are being imported because Australian manufacturers cannot keep up with the overwhelming demand for the scheme – Brisbane Courier Mail

Twice as many first-home buyers knocked back – The rate of first-home buyers being refused loans by their brokers and banks has almost doubled in the past year, according to the real estate industry, with a recent rise in mortgage insurance being the latest kick in the guts for those with property ownership aspirations – The Australian

Elections

No intention to call early election, says RuddMelbourne Age

Fund raising

Labor dines out on hospital bidders – The three consortiums bidding for the new $1.7 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital have hosted expensive intimate functions on behalf of Labor’s fundraising arm, SA Progressive Business – Adelaide Advertiser

NT Government

How Gerry rules the roost – A former hicken farmer has become the most powerful man in the Territory. Independent politician Gerry Wood now has input in every major policy and the Budget – Northern Territory News

Henderson holds on – Independent politician Gerry Wood will continue to support the Labor Government so long as Paul Henderson remains in the top job. In exchange for his support, Mr Wood was given a range of concessions, including a bi-partisan Council of Territory Co-operation, major parliamentary reforms and the inside running on Budget talks – Northern Territory News

Interest rates

090815dailytele1Prepare for two per cent interest rate riseSydney Daily Telegraph interprets remarks by Reserve Bank Governor

Be warned: Time’s running out on rock-bottom rates Melbourne Herald Sun

Reserve eager to start on rate risesThe Australian

Stevens cool on talk of hot housing market – The Reserve Bank would consider raising interest rates if it thought a speculative bubble was developing in the housing market, but does not believe house price rises this year are out of control – The Australian

Rate rises coming, home buyers warned – Home buyers should be prepared for interest rates to rise as much as 2 to 3 percentage points from current levels as economic conditions return to normal, Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens has warned – Melbourne Age

Reserve warns on price of houses – The Reserve Bank has signalled its concerns about Sydney land values, while cautioning that borrowers should be prepared for a 2 percentage point increase in mortgage repayments – Sydney Morning Herald

Real estate market

High demand, slow trickle in new listings buoy housing pricesSydney Morning Herald

The Hills still setting records at auctionSydney Morning Herald

Renovation hammers home boom in buildingSydney Morning Herald

Taxation

Family homes face a wealth tax – The Rudd government is considering slapping a wealth tax on the country’s most expensive family homes as part of a wide-ranging and radical review of the tax system chaired by Treasury secretary Ken Henry. The government has asked Treasury to model various capital gains tax scenarios on family homes valued at $2million or more, including making interest payments on mortgages a deductible expense – The Australian

Privacy

New privacy laws on the table – The NSW Law Reform Commission released draft laws to give victims of stalkers, hidden cameras, harassment and some publications the right to sue for damages – Sydney Morning Herald

Pesky press annoying you? Now you can just sue them – David Marr writes in the Sydney Morning Herald that the NSW Law Reform Commission reckons the trouble with freedom of speech is that it comes up trumps too often. But the commissioners yesterday released plans to do something about it: give those whose privacy has been violated by the press wider and less-constrained rights than any in the world to sue for damages.

Aboriginal affairs

After a life of loss, a housing legacy of shame – Just over 18 months ago, the federal government announced a $672 million allocation to the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program in a massive assault on the accumulated disadvantage. But as The Australian revealed last month, not one house has yet been built under the program – The Australian

Town camp residents ‘happy’ to live in filthThe Australian

Labor let down my people – Former NT indigenous affairs minister Alison Anderson sparked a survival crisis for the Northern Territory Labor government last week when she quit its ranks. The Australian runs her speech in the unsuccessful no confidence motion against the government.

Opinions

Packed with pressure: Rudd fronts media – Laurie Oakes in the Sydney Daily Telegraph on the role of press secretaries in politics

The little Aussie miracle – Paul Kelly in The Australian writes that beneath this week’s political clamour over climate change, another story keeps taking shape: the astonishing resilience of Australia’s economy as the foundation stone for the re-election of the Rudd government.

Hoist with their own Ironbar – Peter van Onselen in The Australian speculates on whether Wilson Tuckey is mad, bad or just plain sad?

Poll wipe-out will keep Coalition off the trigger – Lenore Taylor in The Australian says the main reason she doubts we will go to a double-dissolution poll is that “I don’t think Malcolm Turnbull’s Coalition, when it comes to it, will be silly enough to give Rudd a trigger.”

Bring it on, Labor, pull that trigger – Miranda Devine in the Sydney Morning Herald takes a different view to Ms Taylor. The Coalition should embrace a double dissolution on climate change. Bring it on. Call the Government’s bluff. It’ll be their best chance of winning back office for years.

Rudd and Turnbull’s standoff easier to fix than the planet’s ills – Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald concludes that if Rudd will not negotiate, he will make it harder for Turnbull to carry his party with him. But if the Opposition will not allow the scheme to pass, it will arm Rudd with a trigger for an early double dissolution election. This would be, on all present indications, so disastrous for the Coalition that Turnbull really would have no choice. He would be forced to yield to Rudd. The Government will prevail, as Penny Wong put it, “one way or another”.

When Turnbull was a teen terror – Annabel Crabb gets some assistance from a correspondent – Sydney Morning Herald

Elsewhere

China and the US

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BUSINESS

China’s tough stance fails as steel mills go it alone in pricing talksSydney Morning Herald

Former B&B chief faces probe over TricomSydney Morning Herald

Caught in shifting sands – Troubles for businessmen in Dubai –  Melbourne Age

ENVIRONMENT

Maccas eggs go free range after WoolworthsSydney Daily Telegraph

North Stradbroke Island eaten away by sand miningBrisbane Courier Mail

Tin Can Bay dolphin haven under threat – This time the peril is coming from private plans to build a $30 million marina which will extend into the dolphins’ favourite feeding bay next to Barnacles Cafe – Brisbane Courier Mail

MEDIA

A Hawke-eye view, warts and all on Channel 10 telemovieMelbourne Herald Sun

Lleyton and Bec Hewitt vs New Idea’s ‘grubby fabrications’ – Lawyers for the high-profile couple have asked the Supreme Court in Adelaide to force New Idea to reveal its sources for an article that incorrectly claimed Mrs Hewitt was having an affair with a “hunky male nanny” – Adelaide Advertiser

Google monster – The search giant has the power to make or break the media, Julian Lee writes, but the industry seems powerless to kill off the beast it helped create – Sydney Morning Herald

LIFE

And death

Patient wins right to end life – Perth spastic quadriplegic Christian Rossiter has won the right to starve to death after the Supreme Court of Western Australia declared his carers had a legal obligation to comply with his request to stop feeding him – The Australian

Domestic violence

New statement unlikely to stop Greg Inglis inquiry – assault charge laid against Greg Inglis is likely to go ahead, despite claims his girlfriend had revised the statement she gave to police – Melbourne Herald Sun

Police methods

Naked rage: Male SA Police officers strip female prisoners nakedAdelaide Advertiser

Swine flu

This little piggy won’t be going to the Show – Swine flu fears have forced the Royal Adelaide Show to cancel its pig exhibitions this year – Adelaide Advertiser

Woman, 34, latest swine flu death – Townsville Bulletin

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