Economic matters

Wayne Swan to keep up spending program – Swan will resist pressure to wind back the Rudd government’s $43 billion economic stimulus program, despite the release this week of figures likely to cement Australia’s claim as the only developed country in the world to avoid recession during the global financial crisis – The Australian

Kevin Rudd and government spend on artworks, plants, cuts to IVF, cancer drugs – Sydney Daily Telegraph loks at some spending figures provided by the Senate

Hard cut needed to rein in debt – Harsh spending cuts by the Federal Government will be necessary to rein in burgeoning debt even as the national economy grows – Adelaide Advertiser


Migration rules set for revamp – Australia’s immigration policy is set for an overhaul amid concerns that it is failing to meet the nation’s long-term needs, with a record influx of more than 600,000 temporary residents adding to the strain of a growing population – Melbourne Age


Rudd to use gas venture to talk up the economy – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is expected to visit the Gorgon gas project this week, as the Government keeps its fingers crossed that Wednesday’s national accounts will show the Australian economy still growing – Melbourne Age

Tide rising for Doyle return to state lists – Senior Victorian Liberals are urging Robert Doyle to consider a return to state politics, and the Lord Mayor is believed to be interested – Melbourne Age

Ramshackle Rees drags NSW down in investment opportunitiesSydney Daily Telegraph

Jobs for the girls (of the boys)

Labor lobbyist’s wife gets government job – A prominent Labor lobbyist’s wife has been appointed to the State Government’s top planning body, despite having limited development experience. Davina Quirke was appointed to the Development Policy Advisory Committee, the body responsible for advising the minister on planning changes, while her husband, former State and Senate Labor member John Quirke has developer Makris Corporation as a client – Adelaide Advertiser

Political life

Robert Schwarten ‘attacked’, Anna Bligh heckled by protesters Brisbane Courier Mail reports on a community Cabinet meting


School signs break election law, says Chris Pyne – Education Minister Julia Gillard faces fresh problems with claims the signage requirements attached to her schools stimulus scheme could breach state electoral laws – The Australian

Sanctions busting

Legal check on ANL arms ship – The Rudd government will investigate whether an Australian-registered ship carrying an undeclared cargo of weapons from North Korea, bound for Iran, may have broken Australian laws and violated sanctions – The Australian


Land clearing eased as fire risk looms – The Brumby government has bowed to mounting pressure to act on vegetation reduction in bushfire-prone areas, moving to allow Victorian landowners to clear, without permits, trees and scrub around their homes – The Australian

Fire front fuels grim warning – Winter fires burning on the NSW South Coast yesterday, threatening property and forcing residents to prepare for evacuation, sounded a grim warning for the summer, the Minister for Emergency Services, Steve Whan, said – Sydney Morning Herald

Industrial relations

Uni lecturers prepare to stop work in four states – On Friday the Australian Electoral Commission notified the regulator, Fair Work Australia, that staff at the University of NSW had voted to approve 24-hour stoppages, bans on working overtime or using email and a ban on marking and processing exam results. Staff ballots at the University of Wollongong, Charles Sturt University and the University of New England also showed overwhelming support for a range of industrial action including stoppages and marking bans – Sydney Morning Herald


Speedy recovery vindicates Treasury – David Uren writes in The Australian that recovery is coming much quicker than was expected. Far from Treasury’s medium-term forecasts being hopelessly optimistic as many, including this correspondent, judged, they may if anything understate the speed at which the Australian economy is bouncing back.

Poodle’s bite may yet wound the government – Glenn Milne in The Australian on Christopher Pyne at last getting a hearing from the press at Julia Gillard’s expense

Opposites attract in renewed trans-Tasman friendship – Rowan Callick in The Australian on Kevin Rudd turning to the Anzac spirit, to revive a sense of optimism and opportunity in the international realm.

Rate rise soon as economy starts to fire – Michael Stutchbury in The Australian

Don’t provoke a cranky poodle – Malcolm Farr in the Sydney Daily Telegraph on a number of policy incidents which have left Gillard, who also is Minister for Education, Employment, Workplace Relations, a touch embarrassed.

Coalition is spoiled for choice in Bradfield, but must push wider renewal – Philip Corey in the Sydney Morning Herald

Rudd the social democrat must confront underemployment – Lindy Edwards, writing in the Melbourne Age, believes the PM should be judged on his response to this growing problem.



Ruling party swept away in Japanese election rout – The Australian reports Japan’s long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party was headed last night for a shattering defeat, losing about two-thirds of the seats it held before Prime Minister Taro Aso called an election six weeks ago.

Crushing end to postwar era: LDP swept from office Sydney Morning Herald

East Timor

Forgive Indonesian crimes, Ramos-Horta urges East TimoreseSydney Morning Herald


Pivotal moment in Japan’s history – Greg Sheridan in The Australian sees Hatoyama and his Democratic Party of Japan promising to break down the influence of Japan’s all-powerful bureaucracy and put power into the hands of politicians. They also promise to reverse the crippling fertility decline, which has led to Japan’s population starting to decrease, to seek a more independent foreign policy, to redistribute money and spending power to the consumer and most of all to normalise Japanese politics – to create a competitive two-party system. It’s a grand sweep of history, to wipe away the post-war settlement under which Japan has changed government just once since the mid-1950s.


Has Australia dodged a recession?Melbourne Herald Sun

Gunns eyes buyout to increase plantation suppliesThe Australian

Banking ethics

Storm Financial inflated pensioner incomes fifty-fold to secure loans – The Bank of Queensland waved through investment loan applications from failed investment group Storm Financial that inflated the annual income of pensioners into seven-figure sums – The Australian


The blackbuck stops here: zoo caught misleading public – Western Plains Zoo has been suspended from selling animals after it misled the public about the sale of endangered antelope to a member of the NSW Shooters’ Party lobbying for the right to hunt them – Sydney Morning Herald

Polluters win no matter who is in power – Kenneth Davidson in the Melbourne Age writes that Labor’s policies to tackle climate change pander to big business.


Yankalilla TV woes – Mark Day in The Australian on the switching of the television signal from analog to digital with the people of Yankalilla as an example of some confusion

Advertising on pay-TV fails to thrive – The Australian



School bullying shame: three children a class bullied dailyBrisbane Courier Mail

Mullumbimby High School walkout over bullyingBrisbane Courier Mail

Students demand principal’s sacking after schoolmate’s deathSydney Morning Herald

Male mindlessness

Young men’s mindlessness starts at home: surgeon – One of Australia’s leading neurosurgeons has blasted Victoria’s ”epidemic” of violence, and called for parents and teachers to take responsibility in teaching self-restraint to young men – Melbourne Age


Queensland abortion law change is woman’s best hopeThe Australian

Unequal pay

Women workers short-changed $1 millionBrisbane Courier Mail

The punt

Baby-faced punters gamble their lives, families in crisisSydney Daily Telegraph

The drink

Last orders for classic British pint – Plans are afoot in Britain to replace the classic pint glass with one made out of plastic. The government’s idea is that by introducing shatter-proof plastic vessels it will help address the increasing problem of beer drinkers using pint glasses as weapons in their local pubs- Sydney Morning Herald

Law and order

Thugs cost Melbourne $60m a yearMelbourne Herald Sun

NSW Police recruitment drive slows down with too many officers – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Men’s health

Army faces the enemy within – Since 2002, the Australian Army has lost nearly twice as many of its men to cancer as have been killed fighting in Afghanistan. Eleven have died in action and more than 20 have been killed by several types of cancer – Sydney Morning Herald

Food safety

Fears as Chinese food pours in, farmers claim lost markets and biosecurity riskThe Australian