Boat people

Indonesia thwarts 1000 boat people – Indonesian authorities have stopped more than 1000 would-be asylum-seekers from setting off for Australia, a sign of better co-operation in tackling unlawful migration, Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor said yesterday – The Australian


Turnbull hit with rebellion over ETS – Turnbull’s shaky leadership took another heavy blow yesterday when he was confronted with a partyroom rebellion over his position on climate change. Retiring Liberal Brendan Nelson sparked the discord with an impassioned valedictory address in which he begged colleagues to “stand for something” and urged them to reject Kevin Rudd’s proposed emissions trading scheme – The Australian

Backbench warns Turnbull over emissions accord –  Malcolm Turnbull faces a revolt on emissions trading, with members of the Coalition warning him against striking a deal with Labor before the Copenhagen conference – Melbourne Age

The McGurk murder

‘Mamma mia, you know too much’ – Tripodi mate linked to Medich deal – The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the fallout from the murder of standover man Michael McGurk is edging closer to the State Government.One of Labor minister Joe Tripodi’s closest friends and a director of his private company has taken out an option on a block of land at Badgerys Creek earmarked for rezoning by the Government.The 37-hectare rural block is only one paddock away from another block owned by the developer Ron Medich.

Political life

Security row in State Parliament after MP shoot threat – A security crackdown has been ordered at NSW Parliament after a protester illegally gained entry and threatened to shoot a Shooters’ Party MP – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Ex-Liberal minister joins sexism outcry – Former minister Fran Bailey says those in her party who have allegedly waged a sexist campaign against the woman expected to succeed Peter Costello in the plum seat of Higgins are troglodytes. The blast came after question time yesterday was dominated by a fight over women in politics, in which the Coalition moved to gag two female ministers – Melbourne Age


Factions fight for safe seat – The decision by the federal Labor MP Julia Irwin to retire at the next election threatens to create a factional fight for her safe western Sydney seat of Fowler – Sydney Morning Herald

Aged care

Call to extend nursing home bonds – The prospect of high-care nursing home patients being required to pay accommodation bonds of more than $180,000 has been raised by the Productivity Commission


AG bid to bend gender ruling – Attorney-General Christian Porter has launched an appeal against a landmark ruling that two female-to-male transsexuals could be considered men, despite them still having internal female reproductive organs – The West Australian

Mental health

Child mental health ‘critically underfunded’ The West Australian

Lurks and Perks


Taxpayers to fund Anna Bligh’s PR campaign – Premier Anna Bligh is planning a taxpayer-funded PR blitz, including a letter to every Queensland household, to dig Labor out of the electoral doldrums – Brisbane Courier Mail

Obstetricians double fees – Obstetricians have more than doubled the amount they charge pregnant women to manage their pregnancy in the last five years as they milked a new taxpayer-funded Medicare Safety Net which has turned them into millionaires. A Government attempt to try and cap further rises and save taxpayers $194 million is in danger of being blocked by the Senate – Brisbane Courier Mail

Local government

Brimbank City Council sacked by State government – Intimidating parking inspectors, leaking of confidential council information and attempts by councillors to influence outside organisations led to the sacking of the disgraced Brimbank City Council. In a dramatic intervention, the State Government appointed administrators to run the ALP-dominated western suburbs municipality, leaving the more than 170,000 residents without any elected representatives until 2012 – Melbourne Herald Sun

State sacks council over ALP links, ‘abuse’ Melbourne Age

Moore vows to codify transport blueprint – Sydney’s Lord Mayor will try to enshrine any new public transport plan into law, with a guaranteed budget and construction timetable, to ensure the projects are delivered – Sydney Morning Herald

Industrial relations

University staff to strike over casuals, pay rise – Brisbane’s three universities will be hit by a 24-hour strike as unions attempt to wipe the Howard-era conditions from their enterprise agreement – Brisbane Courier Mail

Insulted watchdog John Lloyd snaps: no quota system on construction crackdowns – industry watchdog John Lloyd has criticised the Rudd government over its handling of his future, with taxpayers facing a $115,000 compensation payout if he departs before his contract expires next year – The Australian

NT public servants’ pay freeze – Public servants will have their wage increases capped at 2.5 per cent as part of the NT Government’s attempt to rein in spending in the wake of the global financial crisis – Northern Territory News

Aboriginal affairs

Online register created for executive Aboriginal positions – An online register has been established to get more Aboriginal people to take on senior management roles, positions on boards and on committees in the public and private sectors. It will be launched today by SA Employment Minister Michael O’Brien and state Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jay Weatherill – Adelaide Advertiser


Economic reform a Turnbull minefield – Paul Kelly in The Australian believes the Liberal Party confronts a novel political and intellectual dilemma: how does it present as the party of economic reform when the new policy fashion is fiscal stimulus and labour market regulation?

Coalition turmoil comes to surface – Simmering frustration within the opposition burst to the surface in both parliament and the Coalition party room yesterday as Liberals and Nationals called for their leadership to “stand for something” over carbon emissions trading and immigration – Dennis Shanahan in The Australian

From chaos to farce – Christian Kerr writes in The Australian about an interesting afternoon at Parliament House

Break-up has been long time coming – says Michael Stutchbury in The Australian

Must accept the Conroy call – Jennifer Hewett writes in The Australian that Communications Minister Stephen Conroy gallantly insists Telstra has a choice about how to react to his big new telecommunications reform. Actually, Canberra is determined to prevent Telstra from having any real choice at all and is willing to use the full force of government to make sure.

Politics is the real driver – Dennis Shanahan in The Australian explains that the real story of the current enthusiasm for the structural separation of Telstra is the difficulty the government’s promise on a national broadband network finds itself in.

Stifling a stiletto-armed warfare – Tony Wright in the Melbourne Age on how a web page called women in the Liberal Party proved an embarrassment to the Liberal Party in Parliament yesterday

Economic medicine went down a treat thanks to Howard – Ross Gittins in the Melbourne Age writes that Kevin Rudd needs to give credit where credit’s due. John Howard, Peter Costello and the Liberals are entitled to a lot of the credit for our comparatively comfortable position. In seeking to deny them that credit, Kevin Rudd is being disingenuous and churlish.

Now it’s a game of smash the pinata – Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald writes that we have long known that Rudd is shrewd. The news is that he can be steely as well.

Oh boy – Julie and Julia turn up the heat – Annabel Crabb in the Sydney Morning Herald on the Liberal Party’s women trouble.


Climate change

US planning to weaken Copenhagen climate deal, Europe warns – Key differences between the US and Europe could undermine a new worldwide treaty on global warming to replace Kyoto, sources say – The Guardian, UK


Carve-up of Telstra ringing in a better deal – Lower prices. Simpler plans. A greater range of products. Actual customer service. These are the potential benefits of the Telstra carve-up and the tough new punishments for poor performance by any telco – Sydney Daily Telegraph

090916advertiserTelstra must split, says GovernmentAdelaide Advertiser

Government plans to split Telstra to cut call costs – Australians have been promised cheaper mobile calls, broadband and landlines under a Federal Government plan to split Telstra in two – Melbourne Herald Sun

Stephen Conroy rings in a new era for telcosThe Australian

Telstra break-up will be pain for telco and gain for consumers The Australian

Thodey gets an offer that he can’t refuse – Analysts said the impact of the government’s aggressive stance remained unclear and it was now up to Telstra chief executive David Thodey to convince investors the company could turn the situation to its advantage – The Australian

The game’s up for the old Telstra Melbourne Age

Local gas plant starts – A natural gas project with a more immediate effect on WA households and businesses but overshadowed by the Gorgon project broke ground yesterday – The West Australian

Industry superannuation funds top rankings – Independent research firm SuperRatings has measured more than 300 funds in Australia, using 400 criteria, which included investments; fees; insurance; service delivery; education of members; financial planning facilities; employer support and fund governance – Brisbane Courier Mail


Rich countries to foot climate change bill – Rich countries will have to spend about $550 billion a year to help developing countries tackle climate change, the World Bank has estimated before crucial international talks next week – Melbourne Age

Watching their lives slip away in Port Macquarie – At Lake Cathie, near Port Macquarie, 17 houses are at risk of being washed away – without compensation – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Traveston Dam ‘far from done deal’ – Anna Bligh has been caught out fudging the truth on the “green light” for Traveston Dam, which faces “thousands” of conditions before being approved – Brisbane Courier Mail


Google launches magazine-like news reader – Internet giant Google has unveiled its “Fast Flip” online newsreader, featuring stories from major media outlets, including the BBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post – Sydney Morning Herald


Nature’s way

090916cairnsrabbitsKiller rabbits attack snakesCairns Post

Killer rabbits butcher snakes – The Brisbane Courier Mail pointed its readers to a similar rabbit attack proving popular on You Tube

Sexual harassment

Another NSW policewoman cries foul over sexual harassment – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Law and order

090916dailytelegraphConvicted paedophile Dennis Ferguson sold toys to kids for charity – Major charity Diabetes Australia will strengthen its screening of volunteers after it was revealed convicted paedophile Dennis Ferguson was caught selling toys on its behalf – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Quick justice for speeding drivers – Speeding drivers who clog up courts by contesting fines will now be dealt with by justices of the peace, in order to get thousands of cases out of the system – Adelaide Advertiser

Sex bribe offer ruined me, says ex-detective – He blew a whistle nobody wanted to hear and now former major crime squad detective Daryl Venables is paying a heavy personal price for trying to close down an illegal brothel – Sydney Daily Telegraph

The drink

Motorcyclists face zero alcohol limit – Queensland Transport is investigating the benefits of a zero alcohol limit as part of its four-year motorcycle safety strategy, along with new technology to prevent bikes escaping speed camera detection – Brisbane Courier Mail

The weed

Smokers: if you can’t ban them, ask them – No smoking – please. That is the message that could be coming to a bus stop near you as the City of Sydney considers using ”courtesy signage” to encourage people not to smoke in outdoor areas, instead of banning it outright. Measures under consideration – to be voted on next week – include signs asking people not to smoke at malls, bus stops and taxi stands and ”etiquette announcements” at city events – Sydney Morning Herald


Private hospitals don’t deliver, say patients – Queensland private hospitals have finished last in a national patient satisfaction survey compared with other Australian states – Brisbane Courier Mail

Superbug strikes down four at RDH – A deadly superbug has surfaced at Royal Darwin Hospital with several patients carrying the bacteria – Northern Territory News


‘Industry mafia running’ Adelaide’s taxisAdelaide Advertiser