Both major parties were cautious about the 2Day FM prank call tragedy this week but the Greens are pushing for greater media regulation and tougher privacy laws. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy wouldn't be drawn on the issue saying the independent broadcast regulator should be allowed to do its job. Tony Abbott called the tragedy a prank that went horribly wrong but warned against over regulating, in support of major broadcasters.
Abbott did, however, try to regulate his own party on Twitter messaging with a view to preventing gaffes. This was in stark contrast to the government, which is gaining momentum with its social media usage, demonstrated by the PM who met a group of female bloggers at Kirribilli House in a bid to strengthen the lead she has with female voters.
Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan conceded low commodity prices would make achieving a budget surplus difficult but remained committed to it (Abbott claimed a blow-out on border protection costs was one reason a surplus was unlikely) while WA Treasurer Troy Buswell came under fire as his ex reported that a string of drunken incidents at parties led to their breakup. Buswell retains the support of Premier Colin Barnett, who moved up our charts through his attendance at COAG.
The COAG meeting of state leaders with the PM yielded tacit agreement between NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and his counterparts with Gillard on power pricing reductions and the support of most first ministers on the NDIS -- despite the reticence of Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu to commit on several key issues at the gathering.
Crikey Political Index: December 5-11