Economic matters

PM Kevin Rudd revamps stimulus package – Kevin Rudd has dramatically reconfigured his $43 billion economic stimulus package after warnings it could expose taxpayers to unacceptably high costs delivering promised new school buildings. The government has also revised guidelines for its $16.2bn primary schools building program, inserting for the first time a “value-for-money” requirement, compliance with council building laws and involvement of apprentices on building sites – The Australian

Victorian boom leads recovery – Victoria is at the centre of an investment surge so big that it has confounded all forecasts and provided the strongest indication yet that Australia is on the verge of a sustained economic recovery – Melbourne Age

Change of rules for school projectsThe Australian

Colleges used scheme to bypass approval – Two Melbourne private schools have been accused of using the commonwealth’s schools rebuilding program to bypass council planning approval to build contentious projects that had been rejected by the state’s top planning tribunal – The Australian

Mining revival may lead to rate risesThe Australian

SA consumers shake off recession fears, survey showsAdelaide Advertiser

Aboriginal affairs

Intervention slammed as UN finds ‘entrenched’ racismNorthern Territory News

Probity check for ‘new ATSIC’ as minister fails to commit to seed moneyThe Australian

UN delegate blasts ‘demeaning’ NT intervention – The United Nations special delegate on indigenous rights has slammed the intervention into remote communities in the Northern Territory as discriminatory and demeaning – Melbourne Age

Industrial relations

Julia Gillard delays pain on pay penalties – Gillard has moved to address the key concerns of business over the Rudd government’s overhaul of the award system, explicitly directing that proposed extra costs for retailers be phased in over five years, and requesting more flexible work hours in the horticulture sector – The Australian


090828sydneyteleI’ll sack the coup plotters, Premier Nathan Rees warns Sydney Daily Telegraph

Renegade MP denies he spread Rees dumping rumour – Labor backbencher Tony Stewart has denied being the source of the rumour that led to reports NSW Premier Nathan Rees would be dumped early next week in favour of Planning Minister Kristina Keneally – The Australian

Nathan Rees adamant he will remain leaderSydney Morning Herald

Quick on the drawl, she’s the bearpit’s rising star – Holy Toledo. Nathan Rees’s potential rival has come a long way in a short time since moving from Ohio in 1994 – Sydney Morning Herald

Elections and pre-selections

Brumby in fight over party job – Premier John Brumby is locked in a dispute with his party over the key role of campaign director just 15 months from next year’s state election – Melbourne Age

Schools must show gratitude, says PM Kevin Rudd – Kevin Rudd is demanding schools show their gratitude for stimulus cash handouts with roadside signs that will stay in place until after the next federal election – Melbourne Herald Sun

Tennis champion courts Liberal preselection for seat of Bradfield – The tennis champion John Alexander has joined the Liberal Party and will add his name to the bulging list of candidates seeking preselection for Brendan Nelson’s north shore seat of Bradfield – Sydney Morning Herald

Traffic laws

New laws to crack down on distracted drivers – Under the laws, announced by Roads Minister Tim Pallas yesterday, drivers will for the first time be fined $234 and lose three demerit points if any of their passengers are not wearing a seatbelt – Melbourne Age


Rudd urges end to history wars – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called for an end to the history and culture wars that intruded into Australia’s political debate during the Howard years. He said it was ”time to leave behind us the polarisation that began to infect every discussion of our nation’s past” – Melbourne Age

Teachers take out their anger on the Reverend Fred Nile – NSW House MP the Reverend Fred Nile was hissed, booed and howled down by about 1200 teachers last night as he delivered a speech calling for greater transparency in schools – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Forgotten schools in cash bonanza – A public school serving Australia’s most disadvantaged urban community will get a complete makeover after winning $2.5 million in funding from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s education revolution – Sydney Daily Telegraph

School league tables ‘demoralise’ students – Peak teacher and parent groups rallied at Rosehill Racecourse yesterday to protest government plans to allow the publication of school league tables later this year – Sydney Morning Herald


Libs blame Defence for court messMelbourne Age

SA confidence surges with defence boom – Key companies are lining up to join South Australia’s defence industry as an employment surge signals the start of an anticipated boom – Adelaide Advertiser


Body parts on Thursday Island rubbish dump: claim Brisbane Courier Mail


Rees keeps the soap bubbling – Editorial in the Sydney Daily Telegraph says if the NSW Premier can beat his own party and survive until the election, it will be a modern miracle. As for winning that election, though, that’s when matters will become even tougher.

Report fails to see fiscal recovery – Michael Stutchbury writes in The Australian that the first report card on the Rudd government’s budget stimulus fails on its basic assumption that the economy still needs this rush of government construction spending to stave off recession.

Kevin Rudd gives Schapelle Corby a raw deal – Jill Singer in the Melbourne Herald Sun says PM Kevin Rudd, not shy about offering his opinion on popular issues ranging from naughty photographers to wicked shock jocks, has gone strangely quiet on Corby and his Government’s failure to negotiate with Indonesia about prisoner exchange.

The sky falls in on solar industry – Dennis Shanahan in The Australian writes that the supporters of the RET legislation argue that without a target and government support such industries will not get under way without a high price being set for carbon in the emissions trading scheme. This is true. The problem is that the promises of new green jobs to replace all the old brown jobs lost will be difficult to fulfil while China, for strategic reasons – not environmental sympathy – is prepared to open its bottomless pockets and distort a world market.

Whitlam’s grandkids – Trevor Cook writing in The Australian has studied the maiden speeches of the new Labor members and says they show they are the beneficiaries and bearers of the Whitlam legacy. What really motivates them is the agenda Gough Whitlam largely created for the national parliament: health, education, community-building and social justice.

Proof needed for policy – Henry Ergas in The Australian writes that evidence is perhaps a necessary condition for sound policy, but it is far from being sufficient. We need to ask not merely whether policy does what it claims to do but whether what it does is worth doing.

Faith alone won’t help the first Australians to better lives writes Michelle Grattan in the Melbourne Age


090828bostonglobeKennedy mourned near and farBoston Globe


Crown records loss as US plans go awryThe Australian

Crown jewels turn to paste – A $1.7 billion write-down on assets bought by Crown, owner of Crown Casino, reveals the scale of the disaster of James Packer’s forays into the US and British gambling markets – Melbourne Age

Maryborough Sugar Factory puts sweet deal to Tully shareholders – n the face of rising sugar prices, Maryborough Sugar Factory, the only sugar company listed on the ASX, yesterday mounted a $90.4 million takeover offer for the unlisted grower-owned Tully Sugar Ltd – Brisbane Courier Mail

Chinese glut hinders local solar cell trade – Lavishly subsidised Chinese solar cells are flooding the world market and creating a glut that threatens to hamper the Rudd government’s efforts to foster a solar cell industry in Australia – The Australian


Poachers pillaging dugong and turtles – Poachers are killing dugongs and turtles in -waters close to Cairns and are illegally selling the meat for up to $50 a kilogram. Rangers have also found rotting carcasses of the protected animals at the Yarrabah dump and nearby beaches south of Cairns this month. These are believed to be discarded by poachers after taking the “good meat” for sale – Cairns Post

Record set to tumble for hot August nights – Australia is on track for a record hot August, and this winter is likely to be the hottest on record as well – The Australian


Pentagon hires firm to evaluate reporters – seeking to embed with US troops in Afghanistan to find out how best to influence their coverage – The Australian

Cut! Time for a free kick for niche Australian movies and their makers writes Rachel Ward in the Sydney Morning Herald

Flesh feast lands Foxtel in hot waterMelbourne Age


The drink


AFL captains back Geelong’s Just Think campaign against boozy thugsGeelong Advertiser

AFL captains join forces to tackle Melbourne CBD violence Melbourne Herald Sun

Drinking wards off dementia – reportAdelaide Advertiser

Club veteran blames licence laws and louts – the Melbourne Age gets the views of a night club pioneer.

Swine flu

Swine flu vaccine plan in disarray – The Federal Government’s plan to immunise the population against swine flu is in chaos because insurers may not cover doctors who administer the jab. Inadequate testing and the possibility of spreading other infections means there is too high a risk patients will sue, the insurers say – Sydney Morning Herald

Public kept in dark over baby’s swine flu deathNorthern Territory News

The tragic face of the swine flu fight – swine flu epidemic almost brought the NSW hospital system to its knees, wiping out 5000 surgical procedures, taking up a third of intensive care beds and forcing up sick leave among hospital staff by more than 50 per cent. Health officials now believe they may have finally turned the tide but it was revealed yesterday another eight people – including five from NSW and a toddler in the Northern Territory – had died from swine flu – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Dress size

Why I said no to the Big Apple – Cassi Van Den Dungen – The price teenager Cassi Van Den Dungen would have had to pay to model on the world stage was dropping from a skinny size six to a skeletal size four – Melbourne Herald Sun

Law and order

Teen boys are our worst criminals, ABS figures showSydney Daily Telegraph

Internet sex law failing – Not one convicted paedophile has been barred from using the internet in the past year, despite tough laws which were intended to “keep our children safer” – Adelaide Advertiser

The punt

Dog day for bookie after $50,000 bet on greyhound – Brisbane Courier Mail

Government witholds pokie ‘cheats’ identities – Eight of the 134 games approved since December 2007 have a level of volatility which is higher than what is recommended by the Australia/New Zealand Gaming Machine National Standard, but their names remain secret – Adelaide Advertiser


Insurer warns doctors on abortions – Australia’s largest medical negligence insurer has warned Queensland doctors it will not cover them for “criminal” drug-induced abortions – The Australian


On gender scale, we’re more equal than others – Australian women don’t realise how good they have it compared with their sisters overseas, a new international study has revealed – The Australian