Chief Correspondent, Sydney
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Jul 6, 2010

Australia govt, opposition battle over asylum policy

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard unveiled a new asylum policy on Tuesday aimed at allaying voter fears about rising boatpeople numbers ahead of elections, with the centrepiece a possible East Timor processing centre.

Conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott also released his asylum policy on Tuesday, saying he would “turn back the boats” by restoring the “Pacific Solution” of mandatory offshore island detention and temporary protection visas for boatpeople arrivals.

Jul 6, 2010

Australia govt under new mine tax revenue attack

SYDNEY, July 6 (Reuters) – Australia’s opposition accused
the government on Tuesday of misleading voters over billions of
dollars in lost tax revenue, reigniting a row over a
politically damaging mining tax ahead of an expected election.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard ended a three-month dispute
with global miners on Friday by announcing a watered-down tax,
but revelations the new tax revenue was based on higher
commodity forecasts put the tax back in the public spotlight.

Jul 6, 2010

Australian government under attack over mine tax revenue

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s government came under political attack on Tuesday over a potential A$4.5 billion ($3.8 billion) loss in revenue from a new mine tax, months before elections in which economic management will be a major issue.

But economists said the new tax structure would only kick off in 2012 and it was too early to make a precise estimate of the revenue. Growth in China, which is Australia’s biggest importer of minerals, was another variable.

Jul 6, 2010

Australian govt under attack over mine tax revenue

SYDNEY, July 6 (Reuters) – Australia’s government came
under political attack on Tuesday over a potential A$4.5
billion ($3.8 billion) loss in revenue from a new mine tax,
months before elections in which economic management will be a
major issue.

But economists said the new tax structure would only kick
off in 2012 and it was too early to make a precise estimate of
the revenue. Growth in China, which is Australia’s biggest
importer of minerals, was another variable.

Jul 1, 2010

Australia and miners reportedly agree to tax deal

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s government and key mining companies are reported to have agreed a compromise on a mining “super tax,” which could open the way for new Prime Minister Julia Gillard to call an early election.

The government made concessions in talks with miners on the headline 40 percent tax rate, the Sydney Morning Herald said, quoting sources with knowledge of the talks.

Jun 29, 2010

Australian Greens propose A$23/ton carbon tax

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s influential Greens party has written to new Prime Minister Julia Gillard calling for a A$23 a ton carbon tax after upcoming elections, allowing her time to gain support for a carbon trading scheme.

If Gillard’s Labor government is re-elected at polls expected within months, the Greens said they would help her pass a carbon tax through a hostile Senate within three months of polling day.

Jun 24, 2010
via Global News Journal

AUSTRALIAN PM RUDD’S FAREWELL

Photo

By Michael Perry

Chief Correspondent, Australia

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised so much but in the end failed to deliver the generational change voters had hoped for when they swept him to power 2007.

But it was for not want of trying.

In the end, the cut-throat nature of politics, where re-election is all that matters, saw Rudd’s government turn on him on Thursday in favour of his deputy Julia Gillard.

Jun 23, 2010

Strong economy may save PM Rudd at Australia polls

SYDNEY/CANBERRA (Reuters) – It should be Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s recipe for re-election: economic growth for 16 years, unemployment about half that of Europe and the United States, a strong housing market and manageable mortgage rates.

Yet Australian voters who felt little pain from the global financial crisis seem intent on inflicting electoral pain on Rudd this year, and may even turf him from office after just one term.

Jun 18, 2010

Oceans choking on CO2, face deadly changes: study

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The world’s oceans are virtually choking on rising greenhouse gases, destroying marine ecosystems and breaking down the food chain — irreversible changes that have not occurred for several million years, a new study says.

The changes could have dire consequences for hundreds of millions of people around the globe who rely on oceans for their livelihoods.

Jun 16, 2010

Australia PM signals tax compromise

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd signalled on Wednesday he may compromise parts of his controversial mining tax to gain at least partial resource sector backing and ease concerns over his leadership ahead of elections.

Rudd seems to be adopting a divide-and-conquer strategy against the resource sector as he seeks to solve the heated tax debate ahead of an expected October poll, with his government at risk of losing office due to a string of earlier policy failures.