THIS MORNING’S FRONT PAGES

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POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

Australia

Elections

090923smhpollPut up or face poll, Libs told – The Rudd Government has given the Opposition less than a month to finalise the changes it wants to the emissions trading scheme or be frozen out and risk an early election. In a terse letter to Malcolm Turnbull yesterday, the Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, said the Opposition has had enough time to reach a position – Sydney Morning Herald

Kevin Rudd threatens Opposition with early election over climate changeMelbourne Herald Sun

Rudd’s election threat over Turnbull climate deadlockSydney Daily Telegraph

Green paper looks at lower voting age – The possibility of lowering the voting age, giving people more time to enrol when an election is called and changing citizenship requirements are canvassed in the Government’s second green paper on electoral reform, released today – Melbourne Age

Economic matters

WA firms upbeat on economy – Business confidence in WA is back at resource boom levels, a new survey reveals, in a sign the corporate sector is readying itself to put on extra staff and beef up expansion plans – The West Australian

Push to put CGT on $1.1m homes – The Brotherhood of St Laurence will today make a fresh push to remove capital gains tax exemptions for the most expensive residential properties, with new analysis to be released showing the concession is skewed towards the wealthiest in the community – The Australian

Pedophilia

Rees finds way to evict pedophile – The Rees Government will introduce extraordinary legislation to allow it to evict the convicted pedophile Dennis Ferguson. Mr Ferguson, who is at an undisclosed location after threats from vigilantes, was threatening to return to his public housing flat in Ryde where neighbours had protested against his presence – Sydney Morning Herald

Cultural sensitivity

Genital mutilation is ‘culturally sensitive’ – A report commissioned by the SA Department of Families and Communities, found a number of child abuse workers identified “excessive physical discipline” and “female genital mutilation” as issues which required “sensitive responses from Families SA” – Adelaide Advertiser

Aboriginal affairs

Labor fails Northern Territory school building test – Labor has failed to make any significant progress on its plans to build three boarding schools in the Northern Territory almost two years after promising the colleges would be built – The Australian

Industrial relations

Overhaul of award to shock sparkies – The Rudd government’s award overhaul will impose significant pay cuts on apprentice electricians, undermining Labor’s green jobs agenda and exacerbating the skills shortage in the resources sector – The Australian

Opinions

Turnbull offered a helping hand – Dennis Shanahan in The Australian sees a Kevin Rudd who has suddenly switched tack from bullying, taunting and threats to being above politics, acting in the national interest and offering close co-operation with the Coalition on an emissions trading scheme.

Feminists screwing it up for sisters – Janet Albrechtsen in The Australian

Shattering our Great War myth – Paul Kelly plays World War I historian – The Australian

Our population explosion: more people, more damage – Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald says it’s clear the penny hasn’t dropped about climate change. Neither our leaders nor we have any real appreciation of the severity and urgency of the problem we face. We can’t focus on the problem for more than a few minutes. We can’t stir ourselves to action.

Labor has more to gain if the election is after July – Peter Costello in the Sydney Morning Herald doubts that Kevin Rudd wants a double dissolution election

Guess who’s coming to dinner? Media moguls roasting politicians – Tony Wright in the Sydney Morning Herald contemplates what Rupert said to Kevin at this week’s dinner in New York.

Elsewhere

Afghanistan

Kevin Rudd mulls Afghan boost – The Rudd government has held out the prospect of boosting support for the war effort in Afghanistan, despite ruling out more troops, as the military situation deteriorates – The Australian

US pulls back in new Afghan strategy – The top US military officer in Afghanistan has ordered his forces out of sparsely populated areas where American troops have fought bloody battles with the Taliban for several years and is redeploying them to protecting major Afghan population centres, reports said yesterday – The Australian

BUSINESS

Macquarie has made one fee-grab too many – John Durie in The Australian says the people watching the MAp saga most intently will be the independent directors at other Macquarie vehicles, because they, like MAp director Trevor Gerber, have their heads in the firing line. The $345 million price tag Macquarie placed on its management rights was one fee-grab too many, and must be cut – The Australian

Banks given too much power, says Keating – The former prime minister has plenty of advice on managing the financial sector. He spoke to Eric Johnston of the Sydney Morning Herald

Premier results add weight to timing of Myer float – Malcolm Maiden in the Melbourne Age argues that confidence about the willingness of consumers to keep spending in coming months as interest rates edge up and the Rudd Government’s fiscal stimulus fades is a key to demand for shares in Myer’s float, and Solomon Lew served up more evidence yesterday that Myer has its float well timed.

Corporate deal sees War Memorial Last Post ceremony sponsored – The Australian War Memorial is in danger of being festooned with sponsors’ logos unless the Federal Government boosts its funding. In the latest corporate deal the solemn Last Post closing ceremony has been sponsored by Canberra utilities company TransAct to the tune of $25,000 a year – Sydney Daily Telegraph

ENVIRONMENT

U.S. and China Vow Action on Climate Threat but Cite Needs – Some 100 heads of state gathered at the United Nations on Tuesday for an unprecedented daylong conference on combating climate change, with leaders like Presidents Obama and Hu Jintao of China acknowledging that agreement is an important goal, but also stressing their own needs – New York Times

China takes lead on climate as Kevin Rudd calls for ‘grand bargain’ The Australian

Penny Wong opens way for real ETS talks with opposition – The Rudd government has opened the way for real negotiation and amendments on its historic carbon emissions trading scheme, but has set a 28-day deadline for Malcolm Turnbull to convince his rebellious partyroom to approve any amendments in “good faith” – The Australian

More compo tipped for coal-fired generators – The Rudd government is likely to boost compensation to coal-fired generators under its emissions trading regime to avoid energy market disruptions, after receiving high-level advice that its proposed $3.5 billion compensation fund may not be sufficient – The Australian

MEDIA

New-look Belinda Neal stands by her man – Just days after she discovered that her husband of 23 years had been cheating on her with a much younger woman, federal MP Belinda Neal enjoyed a makeover and glamour photo shoot in an upmarket Canberra hotel. Sporting a stylish blonde bob, pearl earrings and a crisp Carla Zampatti shirt, Ms Neal put on a brave face to pose for The Australian Women’s Weekly and to declare that she is standing by her man, NSW MP John Della Bosca – The Australian

Wilful Walker has the staggers as Fairfax chairman – Jennifer Hewett in The Australian writes that it’s not if, but when. Ron Walker is clearly on his way out as chairman of Fairfax.

Walker to step down as Fairfax chairmanSydney Morning Herald

Walker pushes Corbett as successor – Mr Walker will do the rounds of Fairfax’s large investors early next week with the deputy chairman and former Woolworths chief executive Mr Corbett in an attempt to garner support for Mr Corbett’s succession – Sydney Morning Herald

LIFE

From The Age
From The Age

The drink

Liquor laws blamed for drink harm – A big rise in alcohol-related injuries and illnesses reported in Victoria has been linked by a researcher to the state’s liberal liquor licensing. The report’s author, Associate Professor Tanya Chikritzhs, said the big rise in alcohol-related hospital admissions in Victoria was consistent with a large increase in the number of licensed premises, from 2000 to 24,000 in the same period – Melbourne Age

Booze into an early grave – Victoria’s rampant alcohol culture puts almost 450 people in hospital every week through assaults, injuries and disease and the injury toll has doubled in a decade – Melbourne Herald Sun

Alcohol killing 60 Australians each week – Alcohol abuse is putting strain on the health system, causing a surge in the number hospitalised every year for alcohol-related illness, violence and accidents – Adelaide Advertiser

Lax drink laws fuel big rise in injuriesThe Australian

CLC eyes grog ban in parks – Traditional owners want campers to be restricted from drinking in nine national parks to demonstrate the unfairness of the intervention’s grog bans. Central Land Council chief executive David Ross said people should be able to enjoy the parks without alcohol – Northern Territory News

Hundreds of teens treated for alcohol and drugs – The latest national report card on alcohol-linked deaths and hospitalisations – now estimated to be costing Australia $15 billion a year – shows a fall in the rate of deaths in WA but a 15 per cent increase in hospital admissions over the decade from 1996 – The West Australian

Child abuse

Mum, not dad, more likely to neglect kids – Mothers are more likely than fathers to neglect and emotionally and physically abuse their children, information obtained under freedom of information laws reveals. But figures from the WA Department for Child Protection show substantiated cases of child sexual abuse against fathers still far outnumber those against mothers – The West Australian

Population

Growth head and shoulders above India – Australia is poised to be the world’s fastest growing industrialised nation over the next four decades, with a rate of population growth higher even than India – Sydney Morning Herald

Melbourne’s population hits 4 millionMelbourne Age

WA’s growth rate is fastest in the nationThe West Australian

Bullying

Parents failing as bully epidemic worsens – An exclusive Galaxy Poll for The Courier-Mail has revealed that more than 80 per cent of those polled believe parents are not doing enough to prevent bullying. And about three-quarters want a ban on mobile phones in schools – Brisbane Courier Mail

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Peter Fray
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