Daily News - 9 September 2013

Posted 9 September 2013 8:02am
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NSW - Hotline supervisors failed test
Anna Patty, Sydney Morning Herald

Many caseworkers are employed as senior supervisors at the state's child protection hotline despite having failed the application process for the role.

Abbott ministry announcement a week away
AAP

A meeting of the coalition joint parties is due later this week and it will be then that Mr Abbott starts finalising portfolio positions before a likely formal announcement early next week.

However, the timing may rest on the fate of shadow industry minister Sophie Mirabella, who's battling independent Cathy McGowan in her Victorian seat of Indi.

The moral point of difference between Labor and the Coalition
Michael Mullins, Eureka Street

Last Thursday, then opposition leader Tony Abbott announced the Coalition's proposal to cut $4.5 billion from Australia’s foreign aid program over the next four years. The proposed deep cuts to foreign aid will be used to pay for improvements to the nation’s infrastructure.

... Caritas acting CEO Helen Forde suggested in a statement on Sunday morning that the amount of $4.5 billion in foreign aid could save up to 450,000 lives.

Thank you, Australia, and welcome back to the Anglosphere
Daniel Hannan, The Telegraph (UK)

What Abbott's detractors really mean by "sexist" is that he opposes abortion. Not that he plans to ban or restrict it – he did neither as health minister – but that is personal views are somehow unacceptable. There is a hint of anti-Catholicism here, of the Richard Dawkins kind: how, we are invited to ask, can we elect someone who believes in fairy-tales?

Greg Craven: The Tony Abbott I know
Greg Craven, News Limited Network

... it is a fair bet that Abbotts sympathy with indigenous people has something to do with his exposure to Catholic social justice theory. It also is highly likely that someone formed by the Jesuits is going to place at least a passing value on education. And anyone trying to predict Abbotts industrial stance would be well advised to at least factor in some fairly interesting Catholic intellectualism on the legitimate place of trade unions, as well as Hayek.

Tony Abbott's Australia: conservative, less green, more mean
Kathy Marks, The Independent (UK)

Mr Abbott may face internal challenges. Although his Liberal Party remained unified and disciplined in opposition, cracks are likely to appear between its conservative and liberal wings now that it has gained power.

Look At Tony Now
Ben Eltham, New Matilda

While he is often portrayed as a hardline right-winger, in fact Abbott is closer to a big government conservative. His ambivalence towards markets, his Catholic faith and his roots in the old DLP are all hints pointing to a rather different sort of Liberal politician. Abbott is by no means a doctrinaire free marketer: in fact, he appears to be quite ready to consider the use of state power for social and ideological ends. Just as much as despondent progressives, dry Liberals will be in for a wild ride.

An economic rationalist's guide to the election
Robert Carling, Centre for Independent Studies

Just as the truth is the first casualty of war, principled policy is the first casualty of election campaigns. Even in Australia's era of 'economic rationalism' that ended a long time ago, the economic dries took a back seat role during election campaigns (the Hewson-led Liberal campaign of 1993 being the exception). In the 2013 campaign, however, the dries are not just in the back seat but locked away in the boot, and it is not at all clear that they will be allowed out after the election regardless of who wins.

At last, the grown-ups are back in charge
Amanda Vanston, The Age

The make-up of their ministerial staff will be crucial. Sadly, ministers will be approached by many who seek such a job as some type of reward. Naturally, ministers need to have close to them people they can trust. That is vital. But they need a few other things as well.

Their new partner will be their department. It will provide a departmental liaison officer to work in their office. But that will not be enough. The wise ministers will have someone senior in their office who has worked in the public service, who is not answerable to the department and who understands the public service well.

New leader unlikely to follow pundits' script
Dennis Shanahan, The Australian

Conservatives hoping for hard-line economic policies and even harder-line social policies will be disappointed. While it is unlikely there will be any sighs of relief from Labor's bedrock supporters -- and it is historically low bedrock -- there may be enough middle-road pragmatism to head off scare campaigns about cost-cutting and old-fashioned conservatism.

Murdoch celebrates conservative victory in Australia with Twitter tirade
Oliver Laughland, The Guardian

The News Corp chief took to Twitter shortly after Abbott delivered his victory speech in Sydney. Murdoch tweeted: "Aust election public sick of public sector workers and phony welfare scroungers sucking life out of economy. Others nations to follow in time."

The day after the night before
Jeff Sparrow, Overland

Denouncing ordinary Australians as fools and halfwits, as slackjawed dupes of Murdoch too dim to grasp the obvious, might make us feel better but hurling abuse at those you want to convince has never been a successful strategy, particularly in a context in which the Left is all too often portrayed as a clique of self-satisfied elitists.

Clive Palmer is no joke
Paul Kelly, The Australian

One lesson from this poll has been the underestimation of Palmer. He is no joke; this is serious. The combination of his cunning, war-chest, profile and erratic populist instincts that cast him as a hero to some alienated voters will create problems for the Coalition and Labor.

Welcome to your nightmare, Tony Abbott: minor parties claim Senate seats
Sarah Blake, Patrick Lion and AAP

The coalition government appears likely to fall short of a Senate majority by five seats, but may not have to make deals with the Australian Greens to pass laws.

Single-issue groups set to take balance of power
Tim Colebatch, The Age

A barnyard of minor parties will control Australia's new Senate when they take office next July, judging from provisional figures from the Electoral Commission.

Despite its thumping majority in the lower house, the new Abbott government has lost at least one Senate seat and probably two. Labor appears to have lost six seats. One in four Australians voted for one of the dozens of minor parties whose names sprawled across their metre-long Senate ballot paper.

Liberal Democrats look set to win Senate seat for NSW
Gabrielle Chan, The Guardian

[Liberal Democrat candidate's David Leyonhjelm's] recently suggested solution, first discussed by Nobel laureate Prof Gary Becker, to asylum seekers arriving by boat was to institute a fee, because, his argument went, most boat people were economic refugees.

“In the Australian context the fee should be set at a level that makes it more attractive than paying a smuggler, after taking into account the risk of drowning at sea, detention upon arrival and the (admittedly small) prospect of being deported. While it is difficult to be sure exactly what that might be, a figure of around $50,000 seems about right,” he wrote.

Crushing red tape for charities
Helen Rittelmeyer, Centre for Independent Studies

The number of not-for-profit (NFP) sector workers reporting a negative view of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) tripled in 2012, as more details of its precise nature became clear.

New encyclical to clarify poverty vows, cardinal says
Estefania Aguirre and Alan Holdren, Catholic News Agency

A new encyclical that is being written by Pope Francis will help address how to live out a vow of poverty in the modern world, according to one cardinal.

“How to define poverty is not easy today because it’s not a question of radical poverty,” Cardinal Prosper Grech, an Augustinian friar, told CNA Sept. 3, “but an encyclical on poverty will help all religious orders to define how to really live poverty in our societies.”

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