Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Coalition to unveil parental leave costings - The Australian

Tony Abbott's paid parental leave scheme will add $1.1 billion to the budget bottom line for the two years it operates in the forward estimates, according to official Parliamentary Budget Office costings.

On the table (Oz): THE Coalition will today counter Kevin Rudd's most potent political attack by releasing official Parliamentary Budget Office costings that show Tony Abbott's controversial paid parental leave scheme will actually make money for the budget over the next four years.

Pork (Oz): KEVIN Rudd's electorate of Griffith and a swag of marginal Brisbane seats would be the big winners from the Prime Minister's plan to relocate Australia's main east coast naval base to the Queensland capital, a move that would rip thousands of jobs and billions of dollars out of Sydney.

'No hope': (AFR): Labor heavyweights believe Kevin Rudd has lost his confidence and, unless he regains its quickly, the party has no hope of victory on September 7.

Members' money (The West): The militant Maritime Union of Australia will plunge more than $250,000 into Labor's campaign for the Perth seat of Hasluck over the next 10 days despite the Liberal Party being increasingly confident it will retain the marginal seat.

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Dressed for comfort: If Obama wondered why Kevin Rudd sounded so relaxed on the phone early yesterday, it's because he was wearing his Brisbane Broncos trackie. We know this because Rudd tweeted a picture of himself on the phone to the US president wearing his beloved shell suit. He's clearly dedicated to the team, continuing to wear its colours after it gave Tony Abbott the red carpet treatment to hear his $5 million pledge to the club.

Authenticity problem: Kevin Rudd wears the prime ministerial trackie, but can he walk the walk? The Daily Tele today concludes the answer is 'No'. Rudd looked the business as he exited Kirribilli House yesterday, but "needed a lift home after just 3km".

Small-talk: Capital Circle is looking forward to the second Sky News People's Forum in Sydney tonight. Either leader could win the clash but one thing is certain - Rudd will make polite conversation with his make-up artist.

Stunt: We loved Labor's latest election ad, featuring Chaser-style operatives who try to sell "Abbott broadband" in Romania, Singapore and the US. "Worst offer ever," says one American woman. It's a pity the ad will probably be confined to social media, as it'd be too long and expensive to run on TV.

Dedicated: GetUp is challenging its members to defy The Australian's description of them as ageing "slacktivists", urging them to volunteer to man the polling booths on election day. They say it's "the most fun thing we'll ask you to do this year". "You'll meet really great people, like 81 year old, Beryl, who stood on a polling booth for an entire day last election," it says. What an offer.

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Today: Kevin Rudd is campaigning in Brisbane.

Tony Abbott starts the day in Melbourne before heading to Hobart, to announce a funding boost for the Cadbury chocolate factory.

The leaders will face each other tonight at Sydney's Rooty Hill RSL in the second Sky News People's Forum.

Treasurer Chris Bowen will debate shadow treasurer Joe Hockey at the National Press Club.

Greens' Senator Lee Rhiannon will announce the party's detention centre policy with Barrister Julian Burnside, at Wollongong University.

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Rout looms: FACING its first electoral wipeout in Tasmania in almost 30 years - the potential loss of five crucial seats - Labor is redoubling its focus on the island state and moving to further distance itself from the Greens.

Critic: FORMER navy chief Russ Crane says Kevin Rudd's plan to relocate Sydney's Garden Island naval base to northern Australia is not in line with the country's defence priorities.

Character: PRIME-ministerial aspirant Clive Palmer has admitted he bribed polling companies while he was an LNP director.

Liability: JAYMES Diaz's "invisible man" approach to campaigning showed signs of backfiring last night, when the trouble-prone Liberal candidate for Greenway failed to attend a candidates' forum.

He's no Howard: IT had all the hallmarks of a John Howard power walk, except for one thing. Kevin Rudd needed a lift home after just 3km.

Promise: The Courier Mail reports an underground freight tunnel will be carved through Brisbane's southside as part of an ambitious $5 billion plan to build an alternative rail line connecting the Queensland capital to Melbourne.

Caring: AN Abbott government would retain the fundamentals of Labor's childcare reforms, a softening of its rhetoric of the last three years attacking the National Quality Framework.

Costly: KEVIN Rudd's plan to relocate the navy's east coast base from Sydney's Garden Island to Brisbane would cost "'many billions more" than the $6 billion forecast in the Defence white paper and lead to a mass exodus of sailors from the navy, senior Defence sources say.

Pledge: The Daily Tele reports up to 50,000 new "future" jobs are being promised for Sydney under a $200 million plan to be released today by Industry Minister Kim Carr to make the city the centre for future industries and hi tech manufacturing.

Sweet pledge: The Mercury reports the much-loved tours of the Cadbury chocolate factory could return with Coalition leader Tony Abbott promising $16 million to upgrade the factory in Claremont.

Missing: The AFR reports Prime Minister Kevin Rudd considered dumping Defence Minister Stephen Smith ahead of the September 7 election but spared him when he offered to quit at the poll.

Analysis: The SMH reports the Coalition faces a funding gap of up to $27 billion over the next four years to pay for the promises it has released so far in the campaign, its own estimates and those of others reveal.

Oversight: The Advertiser reports aspiring treasurer Joe Hockey has been caught breaching parliamentary rules after failing to declare a family interest for almost his entire 17-year career in federal parliament.

Challenge: THE High Court battle over the federal government's asylum-seeker deal with Papua New Guinea has escalated to the level of a constitutional challenge, potentially curtailing any future government's plans to restore offshore processing.

'Stop it': ONE of the two Manus Island parliamentarians - who is also a vice-minister in the Papua New Guinea government - has asked for the asylum-seeker deal to be put on hold until after the Australian election.

Options: CHILDCARE Minister Kate Ellis won't rule out running for state parliament if she loses her seat.

Manners: The Daily Telegraph reports Kevin Rudd denies he has a rude personality and says anyone who has known him long would know he doesn't.

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Paul Kelly: As a classical liberal Abbott wants lower taxes, smaller government and the budget surplus, yet as an ideological conservative he wants extra spending to support the family, individual choice, tradition and stronger national defence.

Greg Sheridan: FOR Kevin Rudd, defence and security, and foreign affairs generally, exist entirely of white papers, grand pronouncements and lofty seminar speeches.

Judith Sloan: AT least Kevin Rudd understands the concept of opportunity cost.

Dennis Atkins: Labor insiders spoken to yesterday said the story of the day was as much a surprise to them as it was to readers of some Sydney newspapers where it first appeared.

Jessica Irvine: BEWARE politicians bearing spending promises they can't afford.

Geoff Kitney: Abbott is looking ahead and anticipating life after victory.

Mark Textor: A lot of what you'll see from businesses and interest groups is too little, too late.

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