Economic matters

Families miss out on tax cuts – New research reveals that high-income earners on $180,000-plus salaries received tax breaks of $250 a week under former prime minister John Howard’s tax reforms. But workers on an average wage of $48,000 received less than one sixth of this – Adelaide Advertiser

Government looks at boosting workers’ superannuation – Millions of Australians could have their savings boosted in a major overhaul of superannuation. The Rudd Government has foreshadowed lifting the compulsory superannuation guarantee, which was last raised in 2002 to 9 per cent – Brisbane Courier Mail

Super tax breaks for low-paid – Tax breaks for low- and middle-income earners to encourage them to boost their superannuation savings have emerged as central to a federal government push to slash future aged-pension liabilities – The Australian

Dispute over WorkCover’s missing $40m – Workcover’s unfunded liabilities are $40 million higher than the figure the SA Government and the corporation tabled in Parliament yesterday, the state’s top financial watchdog suggests – Adelaide Advertiser

Bank bashing

Interest rate rush earns banks $17 million – The big banks swindled borrowers out of $17 million – equal to the monthly repayment on all the houses in Kellyville – fast-tracking the latest rate rise by four days – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Criminal matters

Anti-bikie laws ‘offend natural justice’ – South Australia’s secretive and controversial anti-bikie legislation “offends the rules of natural justice” , an independent review has found. The report, conducted by retired Youth Court chief judge Alan Moss, was ordered following the Finks motorcycle club becoming a “declared” organisation in May and must be conducted as part of the legislation. Tabled in Parliament today, the review found the “unashamedly tough” laws had a “built-in bias” against the accused – Adelaide Advertiser


Asylum seeker torrent tipped – Australia is facing a flood of asylum seekers in a serious test for its border controls. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd yesterday admitted there was huge pressure across Australia’s north as people smugglers swooped on the displaced – Melbourne Herald Sun

No vacancy for boatpeople as Kevin Rudd toughens stance – Kevin Rudd has been forced to expand the immigration detention centre at Christmas Island in a last-ditch attempt to avoid transferring asylum-seekers to the mainland. – And as officials began processing the 56 asylum-seekers intercepted on Monday – the 32nd boat to arrive this year – the Coalition renewed its attack on the government, accusing the Prime Minister of “losing control of our borders” and of replacing the Howard era Pacific Solution with an “Indonesian solution” of managing refugees – The Australian

Rudd attacks old foe and phones a friend for a favour – Kevin Rudd will spend less than a day in Indonesia next week in a show of support for the country that has become pivotal in stemming the flow of asylum seekers to Australia – Sydney Morning Herald

Sri Lankans threaten to blow up boat in Indonesia – More than 260 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers were last night threatening to blow up their boat if the Indonesian navy forced them to disembark at the port in Merak after the large cargo boat they were piloting towards Christmas Island broke down – The Australian

‘Detention island’ struggles to cope – The number of asylum-seekers on Christmas Island reached more than 1000 for the first time yesterday, meaning locals are probably outnumbered by the new arrivals and the mainland workers sent to deal with them – The Australian


091014ntspinHow NT Govt spins off $9m of your tax – The Territory Territory Government and its departments are spending about $9.2 million a year on spin. A Northern Territory News investigation has found 109 people are employed in media, marketing and communications roles in the NT public service – Northern Territory News

Foreign affairs

Warm feelings for nearest neighbours – Australia is surprisingly at ease with itself, given the turbulent times, but with a take on the world that is stimulatingly unpredictable and steers away from party political lines, according to the latest Lowy Institute poll – The Australian

Political life

This is the man in charge of fixing our housing crisis – The Territory Territory politician in charge of rolling out a $672 million housing program – that is yet to build a single house – was once sacked from a local council for his failure to meet timelines and provide effective leadership – Northern Territory News

Freedom of Information

Secrets released in Rann loophole – The SA Government has created a loophole to grant itself sweeping access to former Liberal Party Cabinet documents under a new FoI policy – Adelaide Advertiser

Local Government

Burnside conduct report delayed – Results of the investigation into SA’s Burnside council that had been expected within weeks will now not be made public until February – Adelaide Advertiser

Industrial relations

Toilet police bullying employees – Workers at a government call centre were ordered to observe a three-minute time limit when using the toilet and keep diary entries of how long they spent in the bathroom – Sydney Daily Telegraph


Union gives up fight against privatisation – Queensland’s biggest and most powerful union has said the privatisation debate was finished and its union counterparts were wasting their time protesting against it. Australian Workers Union secretary Bill Ludwig said the planned $15 billion privatisation of state assets was no longer an issue and there was no point protesting or continuing the debate – Brisbane Courier Mail


Power and position make Packer fair game – Chris Masters writes in the Sydney Daily Telegraph that James Packer is more than a subject of interest. He is a powerful businessman who should be known to shareholders and citizens. He holds licences to operate casinos that bleed the weak. Packer’s lament that the type of intrusion caused by Paul Barry’s biography is wrong is a challenge to his own family history. The Packers made a fortune from magazine articles and television programs that made an art of intrusion.

I can speak for myself Mr Hulls – Jeremy Hallam, hired as an actor to play a jockey at the Cranbourne Cup on Sunday, writes in the Melbourne Herald Sun that he was shocked when Racing Minister Rob Hulls came out and said that the Little People’s Cup event was tacky. He’s wrong.

Get tough or prepare for a flood – writes Phillip Ruddock in The Australian


Manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers sentiment flags – National Australia Bank’s latest monthly business survey reveals business confidence fell for the first time in five months, weighed down by flagging sentiment among manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers – Brisbane Courier Mail

Why James is still on a roll – Terry McCrann in the Melbourne Herald Sun does the sums and shows shareholders in Packer companies are in front since son James took over from Dad Kerry.


Brumby’s dirty secret: coal for export – Victoria’s massive brown coal reserves look set to be opened up to export for the first time – prompting claims the state is putting commercial opportunity ahead of its responsibility to curb greenhouse gas emissions – Melbourne Age

China claiming lead on climate – A key Chinese adviser believes the world will forge a new climate change pact at Copenhagen in part because China is recognising that it can lead the world on clean technology – Sydney Morning Herald

Liquefied natural gas a tinder box for Labor – A row has broken out between the federal and Queensland governments over restrictions on liquefied natural gas projects that threaten $40 billion in foreign investment and form a key plank of the Rudd government’s emissions trading scheme – The Australian


John Ibrahim will tell his story via new book deal – King’s Cross identity John Ibrahim is poised to sign a lucrative contract with a leading book publisher to tell the story of his transformation from son of impoverished Lebanese immigrants to “Teflon John”, Kings Cross entrepreneur and the subject of a cabinet full of police reports – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Murdoch network accused of ‘war on Obama’ – The White House has gone on the offensive against its critics in the press, singling out Fox News and going so far as to accuse the Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp-owned network of waging a ”war against Barack Obama” – Melbourne Age


091014NTGROGThe drink

Diluted grog laws to end in ‘absolute mayhem on the streets’ – A proposal by the NT Opposition to loosen up the number of hours people can buy booze in Alice Springs has been attacked by the Northern Territory Government as lacking commonsense. Sales are currently restricted until 2pm as part of Labor’s efforts to crack down on drunkenness and grog-fuelled crime and violence – Northern Territory News

Push for breath tests in pubs and clubs – Pubs and clubs should install breathalysers so patrons aren’t forced to rely on dodgy calculations to determine whether they are too drunk to drive, it has been claimed – Brisbane Courier Mail

Law and order

McGurk murder: the hunt is on for men in suits – Two men in business suits were seen casually strolling away from the home of businessmen Michael McGurk in the minutes after he was shot dead – Sydney Daily Telegraph

091014ntassaultNTFL footballer not guilty of rough conduct – A footballer has been acquitted of a serious criminal charge over an on-field clash. Former St Marys player Joseph Brett Hill, 35, was charged with causing serious harm to Waratahs ruckman Joe Cunningham after the March, 2007 reserves match – Northern Territory News

RBA gets ‘please explain‘ – The head of Nigeria’s central bank has called on the Reserve Bank of Australia to explain why its bank-note firm’s dealings in Africa involved multimillion-dollar payments to offshore tax havens – Melbourne Age

Real Estate

House prices to rocket by 20pc, forecast leading expertsMelbourne Herald Sun


Dwarfs say controversial piggy-back rack was just a bit of fun – Dwarfs who took part in a controversial piggy-back race at a country race meeting would do it again in an instant – Melbourne Herald Sun

The Pokie tax reversal cost state millions: Carr – The former premier Bob Carr has criticised the NSW Labor Government for slashing club poker machine taxes, branding the move a waste of public money that has simply made clubs more lavish – Sydney Morning Herald