Economic matters

Why our rates will remain high – Forget spin about putting the nation before themselves – it could be two years before banks give back the nearly four rate cuts they have stolen from borrowers. They may even pinch more in the meantime – Adelaide Advertiser

Rudd fends off backlash on jobless numbers – The jobless rate may be better than expected, but some areas are doing it tough and the Federal Government wants to avoid a revolt – Sydney Morning Herald


ACTU to call for Tamils to be brought to Christmas Island – The union movement will today demand Kevin Rudd adopt a softer approach to asylum-seekers and allow 78 people in limbo on board the Oceanic Viking to enter Australia for processing – The Australian

Humane approach welcomed as Tampa fears fade into past – AWU Federal Secretary Paul Howe findes trade union nsupport for telling the Rudd government to “open its heart” and “bring these people in” – The Australian

Health concerns for Tamil asylum-seekers – The health of 255 Australia-bound asylum-seekers crammed on a wooden boat that is anchored off the Indonesian port of Merak is deteriorating amid claims that their water supplies have been restricted by local authorities who are pressuring them to leave the boat – The Australian

Christmas Island tent city to hold surge of detainees – Tents will be brought to Christmas Island as back-up accommodation inside the immigration detention centre while the Rudd government expands the facility to hold up to 2200 people – The Australian


Tebbutt pushed to take the reins – Pressure is mounting on the Deputy Premier, Carmel Tebbutt, to take over as leader after disastrous polling by Nathan Rees and the failure of Kristina Keneally to demonstrate sufficient leadership potential – Sydney Morning Herald

The Coalition

‘Tell me to go’: Joyce challenges Liberals – Tensions between Barnaby Joyce and his Liberal critics appear to be coming to a head, with the Nationals Senate leader challenging them to get the ”appropriate person” to say he should leave the Coalition – Melbourne Age

Jobs for their boys

Kevin Rudd defiant on hiring Peter Costello – Paul Keating’s attack on the appointment of “policy bum” Peter Costello to an $87,000-a-year job with the Future Fund won’t stop the government doing it again, Kevin Rudd said yesterday. The former Labor prime minister yesterday condemned the decision to award Mr Costello the part-time job, warning the Prime Minister of growing disquiet in Labor ranks over his enthusiasm for bipartisan appointments – The Australian

Keating sprays PM and Costello – Paul Keating has accused the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, of ”disloyalty” to Labor by appointing a ”policy bum”, Peter Costello, to the Future Fund’s board of guardians. Mr Rudd defended his appointment of the Labor foe and former treasurer, suggesting attacks from both sides of politics vindicated the decision – Sydney Morning Herald


Change or lose drought assistance, farmers told – Farmers with a history of needing taxpayer-funded drought assistance will have to change their practices or face being refused help in the future under plans being developed by the Rudd government – The Australian

Fund raising

Coal firm paid to see Labor – A coal mining company paid the ALP for a private briefing with Premier John Brumby just days before its $1.5 billion coal export scheme was to be considered by a state cabinet committee. The revelation fuels what has become known as the cash-for-chat controversy in Victoria and concerns about Labor’s mixing of government business and ALP fund-raising – Melbourne Age


PM treads water with no solution in sight – Glenn Milne in The Australian writes thast the Oceanic Viking has now become Rudd’s Tampa. Except unlike with the Tampa where John Howard reaped a domestic political reward, Rudd has alienated his own party and for the first time in his prime ministership looked genuinely out of control. This is the broader message that will affect voters: Rudd has miscalculated badly. How he must hate it.

Double benefit in drought policy shift – Matthew Franklin in The Australian sees Primary Industry Minister Tony Burke’s push to reform the exceptional circumstances drought assistance arrangements as a policy for the times and worthy of support.

Middle-class angst a luxury we can’t afford – David Burchell in The Australian writes that those who advocate that we accept all asylum-seekers are being hypocritical because they know that we cannot.

Panic, little ones, it’s the Carbon Monster – Green fearmongering is scaring children witless, says Brendan O’Neill in The Australian

Tax plan mustn’t ignore nature’s coming backlash – Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald forecasts that the ravaged natural environment is about to bite the economy back, and the tax system needs to play a major role in helping to avert disaster

Another job for a Tory, but Costello will have to help Labor look good – Phillip Coorey writes in the Sydney Morning Herald that the political genius of Rudd giving jobs to Liberals is that it purports to show him acting in the best interests of the nation by appointing the finest people possible, regardless of their political affiliation. Still, the Costello appointment will do little to quieten the public’s cynical regard for politics.

Migration: the true story – Paul Sheehan in the Sydney Morning Herald defends Australia from charges thast its detention policy is xenophobic.



Abdullah quits Afghan run-off poll – Afghanistan was thrown deeper into turmoil yesterday with the decision by Hamid Karzai’s challenger for the presidency to boycott next Saturday’s run-off election for the national leadership – Melbourne Age


China’s energy fears good for our miners – The first Australia-China export and investment boom was almost entirely about metal, particularly iron ore. The next one will be about energy, beginning with coal – Sydney Morning Herald

Investors brace for ugly plunge – Fear of another harsh downturn has gripped investors amid growing sentiment that the rally in global equity markets since March has been overcooked. Futures markets predict the local sharemarket could fall as much as 2.5 per cent today after Wall Street suffered its biggest one-day fall in three months on Friday – Sydney Morning Herald


CSIRO bid to gag emissions trading scheme policy attack – Thee nation’s peak science agency has tried to gag the publication of a paper by one of its senior environmental economists attacking the Rudd government’s climate change policies. The paper, by the CSIRO’s Clive Spash, argues the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is an ineffective way to cut emissions, and instead direct legislation or a tax on carbon is needed – The Australian


Keating explodes over media – Enraged by what he regards as an invasion of his family’s privacy, the former prime minister Paul Keating has called for the rewriting of privacy laws so that media would have to gain someone’s permission before publishing a photograph or story about their private life – Sydney Morning Herald

Free TV, ABC call for sport web bans – The ABC and commercial free-to-air broadcasters have called on the federal government to extend the sports broadcast anti-siphoning scheme — which governs how sporting codes are televised in Australia — to cover new media proliferating on the internet – The Australian


Real estate

Auction sales gallop past 80 per cent mark – Although the Melbourne Cup long weekend traditionally sees less homes put up for auction, the 332 at the weekend was almost double the figure at the same time in 2008. And pundits who tipped a fall in the clearance rate will have to eat their words. It stayed safely above 80 per cent for the 25th week in a row, adding confidence to a market bruised by the global financial crisis last year – Melbourne Herald Sun

The drink

Queensland pub and club hours almost certain to be cut – Queensland nightclubs have only weeks left before almost certainly being forced to shut earlier after another violent weekend in key entertainment precincts. The State Government will consider winding back closing times from 5am – Brisbane Courier Mail

The State’s bloodiest bars – The 48 most violent pubs and clubs in NSW have been fined for 70 breaches of their strict licensing conditions – despite having been inspected 3600 times in less than a year – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Time to end ‘massive drinking problem’The Australian talks with drinkers.

The theatre

Washington falls headlong for all-Australian moment – Judging by the response to the Sydney Theatre Company’s opening night of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Kennedy Centre, Washington’s most prestigious arts venue, Australia has pulled off the soft-power equivalent of hosting the G20 or getting North Korea back to the negotiating table. Aside from attracting a crowd that included US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Senate majority leader Harry Reid, the play seemed to inspire a huge response – Sydney Morning Herald

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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