Turnbull’s grip slipping – Malcolm Turnbull’s grip on the Liberal Party leadership is slipping, with shadow treasurer Joe Hockey publicly admitting he has been sounded out about taking over – Melbourne Age

Look who’s stalking – Joe Hockey is preparing to take over the Liberal Party amid a growing view in the Coalition that Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership is terminal and he will struggle to make it to the next election – Sydney Morning Herald

Twin polls cast pall over Turnbull leadership – Peter Costello has guaranteed Malcolm Turnbull two politically fraught byelections on the same day after announcing yesterday he was exiting Parliament in less than a fortnight – Sydney Morning Herald

Malcolm Turnbull leadership in crisis as disaffected Liberals turn to Joe HockeyThe Australian

The ‘nobodies’ are stepping up – Dennis Shanahan writes how Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal leadership has survived in the past few months because there was no alternative candidate. Liberals simply said there was “nobody but Malcolm”. That’s all changed now, and Joe Hockey, a high-profile and popular frontbencher, is prepared to take over as Liberal leader if Turnbull fails. The Liberal leadership is on the brink, although it will probably be resolved in the near future – The Australian

Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal dose of chaos – Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull, already battling climate change rebels, will now fend off a challenge while contesting two by-elections – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Is it dead Mal walking? Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership under siege – Federal Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull is fighting for his political survival with his Liberal Party leadership under siege on multiple fronts – Brisbane Courier Mail

Liberal Party turmoil as Peter Costello exit spells double trouble for Malcolm Turnbull – Melbourne Herald Sun


091008costelloageCurtain call for Costello as darker play takes shape – ”The Liberals” might well have been a play in three acts yesterday – tales of ambition, burning ambition and thwarted ambition – Melbourne Age

Ready for change: why I decided it was time – Peter Costello gives his reasons for retirement – Sydney Morning Herald

‘Good timing’ anything but for Malcolm Turnbull – If Peter Costello thought quitting politics and causing another by-election would make life more hellish for Malcolm Turnbull, he wasn’t letting on yesterday. The former treasurer insisted it was a “good time” for a by-election – The Australian

Peter Costello ends the dream for Liberal devotees with early retirementMelbourne Herald Sun

Economic matters

Rate rises hit home for vulnerable 225,000 – Since the previous interest rate rise in March last year, more than 225,000 households have grabbed a toehold in the housing market, forced to take on ever larger loans to do so. And, as the Reserve Bank continues to raise rates into the new year, all eyes will be on how Australia’s new home-owners cope with higher borrowing costs – Sydney Morning Herald

Our rate rise rattles global economic cage – Tim Colebatch explains how Australia’s interest-rate rise moved global markets on Tuesday night, with even Wall Street feeling the tremors from the Reserve Bank’s confidence that the recession was over – Melbourne Age

Power chief renews pay row – The row over executive salary has flared again, with figures showing that the head of Western Power pocketed a pay rise of almost $60,000 last year – The West Australian

Property development

Labor man admits to Haddad meetings – Another senior Labor figure with strong political connections, the former federal minister Gary Punch, has admitted meeting regularly with the NSW planning department boss Sam Haddad and his officials and lobbying them over several developments. The revelation puts further pressure on Mr Haddad, who already faces controversy over his meetings with the colourful Labor identity Graham Richardson and questions over his meetings with MP Eddie Obeid – Sydney Morning Herald

Aboriginal affairs

New Uluru view spares desert songlines – It starts 3km away and cost $21million to build, but the new Uluru viewing platform and walking track is meant to satisfy the 100,000-odd tourists who defy Aboriginal elders each year and climb the rock – The Australian

City Aborigines miss out in $5bn housing spendingMelbourne Age


091008peterhartcherTurnbull in political killing zone – Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald believes the Coalition has entered a cycle of despair over its leadership. The more a frustrated Malcolm Turnbull tries to assert his authority, the more Coalition MPs carp about him to reporters. The more they carp about him, the more the media report on the Coalition’s problems. And the more the media report on them, the harder it becomes for Turnbull to talk to the public about anything other than his leadership. The worse the funk becomes, the worse the Coalition’s poll numbers become. And there is nothing like poor polling to make MPs anxious and angry at their leader. The cycle begins anew.

Costello exit clears way for Hockey – Peter van ONselen in The Australian argues that Peter Costello’s decision to retire before the end of the present parliamentary term and force a by-election for his Victorian seat of Higgins is a gift to all Liberals including, believe it or not, embattled party leader Malcolm Turnbull – The Australian

Shih tzu hits fan in latte land – Miranda Devine on NSW’s web of bureaucracy and its anti dogs in cafe laws and the insidious and self-centred trend in pet owning – anthropomorphism, or humanising – Sydney Morning Herald

Rising seas wash away Mabo’s victory – Ross Garnaut in the annual Eddie Mabo Lecture delivered last night and reprinted in the Sydney Morning Herald outlines the changes rising sea levels will make in the Torres Strait.

Malcolm Turnbull’s Opposition recalls No Country For Old Men – Tommy Lee Jones surveys death and mayhem in the Coen Brothers film No Country For Old Men and ponders whether what he sees is a mess. “If it ain’t, it’ll do ’til the mess gets here,” drawls Tommy Lee. Surveying Malcolm Turnbull’s Federal Opposition, you can’t mistake what you see for anything but a mess – writes Dennis Atkins in the Brisbane Courier Mail



New evidence of widespread fraud in presidential pollSydney Morning Herald

US Health care

Obama backed across the aisle – The Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has thrown his weight behind President Barack Obama’s health-care efforts – Sydney Morning Herald



From this morning’s China Daily front page

East Asia

Japan favours Australian inclusion in East Asia communityThe Australian


NZ taxman chases Westpac for $825m – Westpac is facing a bill of as much as $825 million in back taxes and penalties as a consequence of the bank’s battle with the New Zealand tax authorities over a series of complex financial deals going back to 1998 – Sydney Morning Herald

Japanese change view on what looks good as luxury brands struggle – From the London Times reprinted in The Australian



Why News Ltd is eager to quit the NRL ahead of time – Frustrated by continuing conflicts of interest over coverage of player scandals and payment for media rights, NRL part-owner News Ltd is desperate to exit the game. The haste to abandon the NRL eight years ahead of its scheduled departure has fast-forwarded plans to establish an independent commission to rule a code that seemingly has as many leagues as Jules Verne envisaged – Sydney Morning Herald

Hey Hey condemned over Jackson Jive slur – The Nine Network has sparked condemnation over the racial overtones of a blackface skit performed during a live broadcast of Hey Hey It’s Saturday – Sydney Morning Herald

Seven network leads television ratingsThe Australian


Consumer affairs

091008chicagogreensBagged salad safety: Rising threat of food-borne illness lurks in convenient packages of leafy greens Leafy greens are the riskiest food regulated by the FDA, researchers for nonprofit center say Chicago Tribune

Servos pulling motorists’ leg, says Anna Bligh – Petrol stations forcing people on to ethanol-blended or premium-priced fuels by not stocking regular unleaded should come under competition watchdog investigation, Premier Anna Bligh says – Brisbane Courier Mail

Road works

Chiko rolled for road bypass – A farm that supplies the key ingredient to legendary Aussie snack, the Chiko Roll, is under threat – from a truck bypass – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Law and order

‘False speed readings used to issue tickets‘ – A Victorian police officer has alleged that some colleagues have corruptly used old readings from laser and radar devices to issue speeding tickets against unsuspecting motorists – Melbourne Age

Homemade bomb explodes in Sydney street – A car has been set alight and two houses have been damaged after a homemade bomb exploded in a suburban Sydney street, police say – Sydney Morning Herald