PAGE ONE OF THIS MORNING’S PAPERS

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POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Taxation

Tax review to press for company rate cut – The Henry Tax Review is set to recommend a cut in Australia’s company tax rate to perhaps as low as 25 per cent, offset by higher taxes on mining profits and capital gains – Melbourne Age

Leadership

Rudd role looms as mediator – The twin concerns of devising a new global financial order and a new treaty to rescue the planet from global warming are set to dominate Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s visit to the US next week – and on both fronts Australia is well placed to make significant contributions as mediator between larger nations – Melbourne Age

Working for the man – Katharine Murphy in the Melbourne Age records a day in the life of the people running the country from the PM’s office.

A year of living confusingly – Lenore Taylor writes in The Australian that a year ago no one, absolutely no one, predicted the biggest problem the Coalition faces would be confusion about what Malcolm Turnbull stands for.

Lurks and perks

Judge Clive Wall tries to bill taxpayers for hotel suite – A Queensland udge has been read the riot act by his boss after trying to argue why he could slug taxpayers for a luxury Brisbane hotel suite costing more than double his allowance.- Brisbane Courier Mail

Local government

Friendless and furious: Ku-ring-gai fights for life – Stripped of any say in how it is developed, the north shore is battling on alone to save its heritage, writes David Marr in the Sydney Morning Herald

It’s time to trim our councils – The wages of council chief executives are costing each ratepayer up to $47 a year. The total bill for executives and councillors has blown out to $8.4 million – Adelaide Advertiser

How this fed-up resident helped topple a council – How Darlene Reilly helped form the Sunshine Residents and Ratepayers Association, or SunRRA. Ever since, the group has campaigned against the culture of Labor nepotism, branch stacking and manipulation of public funds that have long beset Brimbank and that have stretched all the way to Premier John Brumby’s cabinet – Melbourne Age

Town planning

Storming the headland – How Paul Keating single-handedly overturned the winning plan for Barangaroo – Sydney Morning Herald

Mayor slams Madden for Woolies takeover – Woolworths could bypass local planning authorities to build its 30 new hardware stores in Victoria, after a decision by Planning Minister Justin Madden to seize control of the first of the new sites before an application had even been lodged. Hume mayor Jack Ogilvie said he was ”bitterly disappointed” that Mr Madden had ripped control of the project from the council – Melbourne Age

Political life

David Cappo: Voice of conscience won’t be silenced – The snipers say he has too much influence, more than some of the Premier’s Cabinet ministers themselves. Indeed Mike Rann, while writing for thepunch.com.au, ordained him “as one of the most powerful South Australians” – Adelaide Advertiser

Libs herald up-and-comer – A profile of Kelly O’Dwyer, Peter Costello’s heir to the blue ribbon Liberal seat of Higgins – Melbourne Age

Depression

Coalition loses frontbencher as illness floors Andrew Robb – Opposition climate change shadow minister suffering from depression –  Melbourne Herald Sun

Population

Swan’s great population challenge – Australia’s workforce is set to explode as the number of people of working age or younger jumps by almost half over the next 40 years – Adelaide Advertiser

Populate and perish: Sydney’s time bomb – Sydney in 2049 will be a vast urban sprawl stretching from Newcastle to Wollongong that as many as seven million people will call home, experts say. Yesterday’s revelation by the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, that Australia’s population will swell to 35 million in 40 years has forced a reconsideration of whether Sydney can cope – Sydney Morning Herald

Defence

Sailors washed off submarine as rescue kept quiet – A covert intelligence-gathering mission by a navy submarine almost ended in disaster when a giant wave washed five of its crew into the ocean in the middle of the night – The Australian

Opinions

Rudd’s strategy to spear and seduce – Paul Kelly in The Australian writes that there is a touch of genius in Kevin Rudd’s latest move; at one stroke he champions the unifying ethos of the Labor Party, suffocates the political lifeblood of the Liberal Party and strengthens Australia’s diplomacy. The appointments of Kim Beazley and Brendan Nelson strengthen Australia’s profile in important capitals. They also reveal Rudd’s complexity as a leader and the historic threat he poses to the Liberal Party of Australia.

PM Kevin Rudd uses ‘dead hand of socialism’ in Telstra break-up – Late last year, when Telstra was in a standoff with the Rudd government over its plan for a super-fast national broadband network, a business executive asked a senior minister how the government could be sure it would win the stoush. The reply, delivered only half in jest, was telling. “The dead hand of socialism is always open to us,” the minister replied. “Just remember what Joh Bjelke-Petersen used to say: the parliament can do anything.” – Lenore Taylor in The Australian

Telstra break-up may stifle innovation – Michael Stutchbury writes in The Australian that the deeper message from Stephen Conroy’s brutal strike against Telstra is that Labor is asserting political authority over the market economy Bob Hawke and Paul Keating created in the 1980s and early 90s. If business does not deliver what the government wants, it must be prepared for the rules to change.

Black dog barking at Liberal top warrior – Laurie Oakes in the Sydney Daily Telegraph on the politician who thought it was just that he wasn’t good in the mornings but was actually suffering from a form of depression. Andrew Robb is now on three months leave.

Promise of foreign affairs to remember – Greg Sheridan in The Australian describes the ambassadorial appointments given to Kim Beazley and Brendan Nelson as a delicious moment in Australian politics, full of irony, symbolism and paradox.

Questionable logic all round – Annabel Crabb in the Sydney Morning Herald reckons that these days the conservative side of politics in this country resembles nothing so much as a crumbly old trade union. You know: one of those post-amalgamation affairs where a new leadership, resplendent in up-to-the-minute ties and eager to forge ahead, is incessantly reviled by its long-standing members – the horny-handed sons of toil – for being sell-outs.

Bearing no fruit – Shaun Carney in the Melbourne Age writes that philosophically adrift and relying on sound-bite blows as its tactical armoury, the Liberals are in serious disarray.

Elsewhere

Pakistan

Growing questions on death of Benazir Bhutto – United Nations investigators are preparing to question former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, amid mounting doubts over official versions of how she died and claims of a cover-up – The Australian

BUSINESS

Grocery giants lose monopoly – Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs Minister Craig Emerson yesterday revealed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had struck a deal with Woolworths and Coles to abolish 80 per cent of leases that restricted competition in shopping centres – Brisbane Courier Mail

Racist bosses beware – Racist bosses in South Australia are costing the state productivity and population growth because of a reluctance to hire international students, an employer group says – Adelaide Advertiser

Inside the world of Mr Taxi – The man behind the country’s dominant taxi company has made some powerful friends over the years, writes Linton Besser in the Sydney Morning Herald

ENVIRONMENT

Kevin Rudd set for climate failure at Copenhagen – Kevin Rudd has talked down prospects of international agreement at a crucial climate change summit in Copenhagen in December, amid fresh predictions the conference is doomed to failure – The Australian

Sorry climate change tale looming for CopenhagenThe Australian

India ready to target emissions as pressure mounts on USThe Australian

Traveston Dam brings heartbreak to Mary Valley – The Brisbane Courier Mail tells the story of farmers who don’t want to leave.

High-tech fishing devices wipe out tunaSydney Morning Herald

MEDIA

Fairfax chairman to brave shareholder vote – Fairfax Media chairman Ron Walker has signalled he might voluntarily leave the board as early as the first quarter of next year — provided he can survive a shareholder vote on his re-election in November – The Australian

No time to party for Mr Melbourne Ron Walker – Ron Walker is planning a quiet family affair, surrounded by children and grandchildren, to celebrate his 70th birthday tomorrow. Sadly for Mr Melbourne, it’s likely to be a brief lull in a growing storm that peaks on November 10, when shareholders decide whether he should be dethroned as Fairfax Media chairman and turfed off the newspaper group’s board – The Australian

Fairfax accused over loan – A Fairfax Media board member yesterday accused major shareholder John B. Fairfax of immoral behaviour as divided camps led by chairman Ron Walker and Mr Fairfax prepared to lobby shareholders – Melbourne Age

Stakes are high in the Fairfax Media scrum – Ian Verrender in the Melbourne Age asks: When old money talks, who walks? John B. Fairfax aims to be the last man standing.

Delayed telecasts of AFL games a joke – How can the two preliminary finals not be shown live on free-to-air TV? It is just staggering – Brisbane Courier Mail

Henson returns to haunt PM – There is one book Kevin Rudd might not be thrilled to see on the shortlist for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards: The Henson Case by David Marr, which recounts the closure of a photographic exhibition by Bill Henson in Sydney last year following accusations of child pornography – Sydney Morning Herald

LIFE

Prices

Peak-hour power price hikes – Energy retailers are warning families to change the way they live or risk harsh hip-pocket punishment as the industry pushes to expand time-of-use charging – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Real estate

Property hot again as buyers and homes flood on to the marketBrisbane Courier Mail

Chinese buyers fuel top-end property boomMelbourne Age

Deadline nears for first-time buyers – Almost 900 properties go under the hammer this weekend as a crucial deadline for the Federal Government’s first home buyer boost approaches – Melbourne Herald Sun

Millionaires’ row on other waterfront – A record $4 million-plus has been tipped for a Cabarita waterfront home as vendors line up their fresh spring auction listings – Sydney Morning Herald

Consumer affairs

ANZ folds to pressure on penalty fees – The ast big bank holding out against cutting penalty fees has caved in – Melbourne Herald Sun

Child protection

Staff boost for child crisis – Victoria is set to get 200 more child protection workers in a bid to rescue a system in crisis that Premier John Brumby admits has failed to protect children – Melbourne Age

The drink

Drink laws must tread a fine line between the wowsers and the wasted – Tim Dick in the Sydney Mrning Herald

Swine flu

Children must wait for swine flu vaccine – Swine flu is killing children at twice the rate of seasonal flu, but under-10s will have to wait at least two months for the vaccine that is soon to be offered to every Australian adult in the nation’s biggest immunisation scheme – The Australian

Swine flu shots to start – Swine lu vaccinations are to start in less than two weeks after final approval from the nation’s drug safety authority – Melbourne Herald Sun

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