Turnbull readies for last stand – Malcolm Turnbull has revived plans for a frontbench reshuffle and is expected to make changes after the next fortnightly sitting of Parliament – Sydney Morning Herald

Amid all the chaos, Nathan Rees goes on holidays – Premier Nathan Rees has taken a snap holiday in the middle of the leadership crisis, leaving the running of the state to the woman tipped to take his job in a spill – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Anna Bligh to tour state projects in defence of asset salesBrisbane Courier Mail

Party uprising puts heat on Brumby – Premier John Brumby is under pressure to enforce a shake-up of the Victorian ALP before next year’s state election, with Labor insiders warning that the party is riddled with branch-stacking and corruption – Melbourne Age

Economic matters

Stimulus boost to economy starts to fade – There are signs that the effects of the federal government’s first phase of stimulus initiatives is fading, but a leading economist says some measures have yet to be felt – Adelaide Advertiser

Employers back in the hiring business – Health professionals, nurses and non-building electrical tradespeople remain the state’s most sought-after professionals, new research shows – Adelaide Advertiser

Home repossessions show sharp declineSydney Morning Herald

Public opini0n

Malcolm Turnbull stems the bleeding with Newspoll lift for Coalition despite ETS split – two party preferred 55% Labor to 45% Coalition

Industrial relations

Gillard seeks ‘cultural change’ in the workplace – Julia Gillard today will concede that Australia’s industrial relations culture is holding back the productivity boost promised by her new workplace system –  The Australian


Personal bankruptcies at record levels – Personal bankruptcy laws will be overhauled by the Rudd Government amid new figures revealing a record level of personal insolvencies – Brisbane Courier Mail

Boat people

More housing needed for boat arrivals on Christmas Island Melbourne Herald Sun


Unfair fares – how we get taken for a ride – Sydney commuters are paying the second-highest public transport fares in the world – Sydney Morning Herald

Federal police

Budget control for federal police could cost them – By untying the AFP’s funding from specific tasks and giving the organisation greater control over how it is spent, the Federal Government will potentially free itself of a political dilemma. That is, how to wind back the AFP’s increased counter-terrorism funding under the Howard government – and re-allocate it to tasks where the organisation believes it needs it more, such as organised crime – without exposing the Government to political attack – Melbourne Age

Youth allowances

Gillard may give ground on student youth allowance – the Government is expected to delay a part of its announced changes for 12 months so that students who took decisions last year based on the existing rules are not disadvantaged – Melbourne Age


The Taliban cannot be destroyed – Ian McPhedran in the Sydney Daily Telegraph writes that what is clear after last week’s poll in Afghanistan is the Taliban is not going away. A military solution is simply not possible across the entire country. The Taliban cannot be destroyed and will simply keep on coming, secure in the knowledge the West will lose the will to fight .

Make 2am closing time for Melbourne nightclubs – Susie O’Brien in the Melbourne Herald Sun reckons it’s time to get tough and take action about drunken violence. So let’s take back control of our city with 2am closing a starting point.

Friendly banter in the back channels that nurture an alliance – Peter Hartcher of the Sydney Morning Herald hears some jokes at a meeting of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue.

No need to be concerned about hurting China’s feelings – says Gerard Henderson in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Time to break the silence on a last taboo – Jo Robinson and Patrick McGorry argue in the Melbourne Age that refusing to talk about suicide can do more harm to those at risk.

Libs in plot without a protagonist – Dennis Sshanahan writes in The Australian that everyone wants a piece of Malcolm Turnbull, and nobody wants his job.

Enter the wilderness – Malcolm Colless in The Australian believes it is the prospect of losing seats and going backwards that is keeping the leadership issue on the Liberal Party agenda, as it steels itself for the next election, whether it comes early or on schedule at the end of next year.

Back to bad old days – Michael Stutchbury writes in The Australian that Julia Gillard’s new industrial relations umpire has begun to ban businesses from directly talking to their own employees while being forced into “good faith” bargaining with unions.

Goodwill offers a rich yield – The Prime Minister’s brother Greg Rudd wearing his new as a China consultant offers some rather homespun advice on how China and Australia should treat each other.


UK Politics


Labour’s summer fightback hopes dashed by new Guardian/ICM poll: Tories extend lead to 16 points as Labour drops to 25% – The Guardian


ASIC takes over from ASX to regulate marketBrisbane Courier Mail

ASIC to get big teeth – Australia’s securities and investment watchdog will gain sweeping powers from late next year, and the stock exchange will be stripped of its regulatory role as it faces the possible loss of its trading monopoly – The Australian


Africa seeks global warming compensation – African eaders will ask rich nations for $67 billion per year to address global warming, according to a draft report being considered by the African Union – Melbourne Herald Sun

Honda looks to release electric cars on U.S. market – Automotive giant Honda is looking to start putting electric vehicles (EVs) on the U.S. market early next decade, with Nissan and Toyota putting their own EV offerings on sale in 2010 and 2012 respectively – Mainichi Daily News

Rudd’s hostility forces nuclear group to bale out – A month ago, three businessmen – Ron Walker, the chairman of Fairfax Media; Robert Champion de Crespigny and Hugh Morgan – applied to deregister their company, Australian Nuclear Energy, in recognition of the Government’s hostility towards nuclear power – Sydney Morning Herald


Banned suicide story ‘sensitive’ – Channel Nine maintains its story about a series of suicides at a Geelong school was a ”sensitive and careful treatment of the issue” despite agreeing to court orders permanently preventing its broadcast – Melbourne Age


The drink

Call to charge adults who supply booze to teens – Liquor retailers have hit back at federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon after she accused industry “cowboys” of encouraging teen alcohol abuse. The retailers say adults who buy booze for youths also need to be held accountable – Brisbane Courier Mail

Ambulance officers ion Queensland ‘on grog run’ while patient ignored – A man having a seizure waited for an ambulance while a paramedic went to the pub to pick up alcohol for an office party that degenerated into a racial brawl. The Brisbane Courier Mail continues an investigation in to the ambulance service.

Give me power to shut bars, urges Doyle – Lord Mayor Robert Doyle wants the power to shut bars and pubs earlier and further limit patron numbers to stop venues releasing violent drunks on to the street. Cr Doyle said Liquor Licensing had failed to crack down on city venues and the Government’s extension of a freeze on new late-night venues would achieve nothing as violent attacks, including the assault of a police sergeant at the weekend, had continued under the ban- Melbourne Age

Melbourne City Council forced to move New Year’s Eve celebrations – Fears of clashes between late-night revellers and families have forced Melbourne City Council to find a new location for part of its $1 million New Year’s fireworks extravaganza – Melbourne Herald Sun

The punt

Pokies spend on the rise – A rise in poker machine takings in South Australia has been attributed to the Federal Government’s stimulus package and the tough economic times – Adelaide Advertiser

Law and order

Simon Overland says police will use force on thugsMelbourne Herald Sun

Criminals should pay court costs: Magistrate – Judges should be allowed to force wealthy criminals to pay some of the taxpayers’ costs of convicting them, Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Cannon says – Adelaide Advertiser

Simon Overland says thugs who threaten police will meet brute force Melbourne Herald Sun

Eating out

Travellers can’t see past Sydney restaurants – In a repeat of last year’s snub, Vue de Monde was the only Melbourne restaurant to achieve the apparently prestigious three-star rating from the Sydney-based magazine Gourmet Traveller – Melbourne Herald Sun.


More Queensland hospitals drop abortion – The revolt by Queensland’s doctors widened yesterday, as another two public hospitals reportedly withdrew medical abortion services and a pregnant woman was sent to Sydney for treatment scrapped by the state’s biggest hospital – The Australian

Consumer affairs

Wednesday is the day for tanking: watchdog – Petrol consumers should take note: the weekly price cycle has shifted and for most of this year the cheapest day has been Wednesday. The weekly cycle, which in the past resulted in most fuel in Australia being sold on a Tuesday, began to shift in December – Melbourne Age

20,000 telco complaints every month – Irate telco customers are flooding the industry watchdog with 20,000 complaints a month, prompting a warning to carriers to lift their game – Melbourne Herald Sun