Public service lurks and perks

Dining out on NSW Health a tax dodge – Public health employees can dine out in style and claim the cost against tax under a widespread tax minimisation arrangement facilitated by NSW Health – Sydney Morning Herald

Political life

Staff deserting Kevin Rudd in droves – More than half of Kevin Rudd’s staff have fled the PM’s office since the election, taking with them at least 120 years of political experience – Sydney Daily Telegraph


Indonesia key to boat solution as aid millions to stop arrivals – Kevin Rudd is seeking a new strategic compact with Jakarta to halt the transit of asylum-seekers through the Indonesian archipelago to Australia. A massively expanded Australian aid package to fund detention centres and training and broader intelligence-sharing between the two nations lies at the heart of Mr Rudd’s sweeping plan – The Australian

Boat people shun fluids in stand-off – The 255 Sri Lankan asylum seekers staging a hunger strike last night remained defiant, insisting they would not leave their boat or even consume liquids, despite the blazing heat – Melbourne Age

Melbourne Herald Sun
Melbourne Herald Sun

Asylum seekers ‘scum’: NT politician – A Territory politician has come under fire for calling asylum seekers on Christmas Island “scum” – Northern Territory News

Labor Government polices linked to the death of 25 asylum seekers – Nationals leader Warren Truss claimed the boat people died trying to get to Australia after the Federal Government changed border-control policy – Melbourne Herald Sun

Gillard attacks ‘vile slur’ by Truss – The Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has demanded the Coalition apologise for a ”vile, indeed despicable” slur after it blamed Labor’s approach to asylum seekers for the deaths of at least 25 boat people – Sydney Morning Herald


Five guilty in Sydney terrorism trial – Five Sydney men have been found guilty of conspiring to do acts to prepare a terrorist act – Sydney Morning Herald

Charges may be laid over terror raid leak – A Victorian detective may face criminal charges for leaking to a newspaper details of a top-secret terrorism investigation into an alleged plot to attack an army base in Sydney – Melbourne Age

Sydney terror quintet facing life in jail for plotting murder on a massive scaleThe Australian

Economic matters

Labor tweaks its new land tax – Billions of dollars in new taxes for much-needed public transport, schools and hospitals in Melbourne’s growth areas will be paid by those buying land on Melbourne’s urban fringe, rather than by existing landholders as first proposed –  Melbourne Age

Don’t expect a drop in the exchange rate soon – cautions Ross Gittins in the Melbourne Age

Smelters costing us $4.5 billion – A Liberal Party elder and senior member of the state cabinet that decided to build a huge aluminium smelter in south-western Victoria has declared the decision ”absolute madness”, saying it had been a costly ”disaster” for the state – Melbourne Age

Public servants threaten recovery – “Budget breaking” blowouts in public service numbers are destroying the financial position of the states and threaten economic recovery, new research has found – The Australian


Thinker in Residence on Lib chopping block – The state’s high-profile Thinker in Residence program would be ditched by a new Liberal Government, the Opposition says. The program, which has brought to Adelaide world-renowned thinkers such as Baroness Susan Greenfield, was introduced by the Rann Government as a forum for innovative ideas to take the state forward – Adelaide Advertiser

Dickson seat may yet be within Dutton’s reach – The redistribution of federal electoral boundaries in Queensland has turned out marginally better for Liberal frontbencher Peter Dutton, giving him cause to rethink a decision to abandon his line-ball seat of Dickson in Brisbane’s north – The Australian


Out of the bag: Ferret unmasked by police, with his criminal history – For months NSW’s ”spokesbikie”, the head of the United Motorcycle Council and a member of the Finks Motorcycle Club, has refused to reveal his name or past. But Western Australia’s top cop took the extraordinary step of not only outing Ferret as 44-year-old Mark Anthony Moroney, but reading his criminal history live on air on Thursday – Sydney Morning Herald


$100m bid to find 21,000 apprentices – The Federal Government will triple a subsidy to employers who hire an apprentice in a drive to have 21,000 teenagers take up a traditional trade over summer – Sydney Morning Herald

Aboriginal affairs

All-in communities will be death of the Yolngu, elder says – Sitting in a wheelchair with his Order of Australia insignia around his neck, the most senior traditional leader in Arnhem Land warns that white men’s politics threaten his Yolngu people’s future – Sydney Morning Herald


Razor wire returns – Liberal backbencher Petro Georgiou writes in the Melbourne Age that political skirmishing is intensifying about who is tough, tougher or toughest on border protection, and facts go out the window.

Good policy wielded with a big stick – Katharine Murphy in the Melbourne Age claims that muscling up to Telstra is a much-needed victory of substance over spin.

A greener future need not mean a jobless oneThe Melbourne Age editorial argues that finding a way to keep Alcoa employing Victorians without reducing the already modest CPRS to a mere fig leaf is a dilemma for the Brumby and Rudd governments.

Howard’s ghost still haunting those left behind – Peter Hartcher writes in the Sydney Morning Herald that on all three of the big policy problems now gripping our national politics, the man animating the Coalition is John Howard.

All hail the shameless neo-cons – Mike Carlton pays tribute in the Sydney Morning Herald

Rudd’s softer stance mugged by reality – Paul Kelly in The Australian says Kevin Rudd has substituted the Indonesia solution for the Pacific Solution in seeking to stop asylum-seeker boats arriving in Australia, a strategy that imposes new financial, diplomatic and security tests with Jakarta and the region.

Rudd should talk tough to Sri Lanka – Laurie Oakes in the Sydney Daily Telegraph says what we have not heard from the prime minister is any criticism of the Sri Lankan Government for creating a situation which drives ethnic Tamils into the arms of smugglers in the first place.



Vote probe to force Karzai back to pollsMelbourne Age


How UBS made a mint from a mess in Australia – while the head office in Switzerland was under siege – Melbourne Age

Cheap fuel offer stalls over regulator’s concerns – The competition regulator has signalled an end to the escalating war in popular supermarket fuel discounts, deciding a two-week promotion to give big spenders at Coles supermarkets 40 cents a litre off petrol could be illegal – Sydney Morning Herald


Dams filling, but no easing to stage 2 yet – Melbourne would retreat to stage 2 water restrictions within days if the State Government were to abide by water restriction trigger levels. Spring rains have boosted dams to 35.9 per cent of capacity, putting Melbourne within striking distance of the old stage 2 trigger, which came into effect when dams were above 37.5 per cent capacity in spring – Melbourne Age

ETS shift won’t hit taxpayers: Coalition – The Opposition’s extensive proposed amendments to the emissions trading scheme will not cost taxpayers anything extra, spokesman Ian Macfarlane has said – Melbourne Age

Sins of emissions just hot air, says think tank – Left leaning think tank The Australia Institute has seized on unpublished Treasury data revealing huge cuts in emissions from cows and sheep, saying they are ”simply implausible” – Sydney Morning Herald

Mr Rudd please save our river – The plight of the lower reaches of the River Murray is now so desperate the children of the area have pleaded to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to “please help us save our river” – Adelaide Advertiser



The drink

Morning after drink drivers still at risk: expertsBrisbane Courier Mail


Numb with horror: the train just hit my baby – Shocking CCTV images reveal the traumatic moment when a mother feared the worst. Her pram containing her six-month-old son had rolled out of her reach on Ashburton rail station platform – and on to the tracks where it was hit by a city-bound train – Melbourne Herald Sun

Real estate

Rent fall a three-year first, but rises loom – Sydney’s rents have fallen for the first time in three years. But they are likely to start rising again soon, analysts say, driven higher by increased interest rates and an employment market that appears to be stabilising – Sydney Morning Herald

Law and order

Dangerous driver ‘shouldn’t get jail term’ – The Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions has made a rare decision not to demand any form of prison sentence for a Black Saturday firefighter whose dangerous driving killed a teenage girl and seriously injured two others – Melbourne Age

Straying rapists sent back to prison – Nearly half of all serious sex offenders released from prison and fitted with electronic anklets monitoring their every move have breached conditions of their release and been returned to jail – Sydney Morning Herald

Working hours

A nine-to-five job with overtime? Those were the daysSydney Morning Herald