Australian News Headlines, Auspol News Headlines Wednesday 17 January 2018

in #news4 years ago

Essential Poll results.

The first Essential poll for the new year ! Released January 16th
ALP 38, Greens 9, Liberals 34, Nationals 3, PHON 6, NXT 3, others/independent 7
Two party preferred: ALP 53 LNP 47
If an election was held today ALP 85 (+16) seats Coalition 60 (-16) seats others 5 seats.
Turnbull approval rating: Approve 38 (-3) Disapprove 45 (+1)
Turnbull approval rating: (L/NP Voters): Approve 68 (-6) Disapprove 20 (-1)
Shorten approval rating: Approve 32 (-4) Disapprove 49 (+4)
Shorten approval rating: (ALP Voters): Approve 60 (-4) Disapprove 20 (+1)
Preferred PM: Turnbull 42 (0) Shorten 25 (-3)
An Australian republic: Support 44 (0) Oppose 29 (-1)
A tax on sugar-sweetened drinks: Support 53 Oppose 38

PM Malcolm Turnbull increases salary of ministerial staff.

The Courier Mail reports that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has personally approved almost $1 million in pay top-ups for senior staff, including those who work for him, boosting some staffer salaries above the pay of a backbencher. It is reported that the Prime Minister has exercised his power under MOPS, the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act, to grant up to 30 ministerial staff higher pay than under the enterprise agreement. It puts the staffers above the range in their band, at a time when Australians are struggling with the lowest wage growth on record and facing significant cost-of-living pressures the Courier Mail writes. They report that under their workplace agreement, government staffers can be paid a maximum ­salary of $259,000, which is already well above the $203,000 wage of most federal MPs.

NBN admits three in four FTTN customers won't get top speeds

The SMH reports that the National Broadband Network has admitted only one in four customers connecting through the most controversial technology in the mix will access its much-touted top speeds. The disclosure made to a parliamentary committee, comes as pressure is mounting for the government to write down the value of the multi-billion dollar project as it struggles to deliver the service that would underpin its financial worth and the taxpayer investment in it they report. SMH reports that what the NBN response shows is that when the rollout concludes in 2020, three out of four fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) customers are not expected to be able to access its fastest download speeds, of 100 Mbps.

'Weak and Defective' Judge warns against Macolm Turnbull's plan to adopt Victorian anti-corruption model.

The SMH reports that a judge who helped design Victoria's anti-corruption watchdog says that it remains weak and defective, and has warned Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull not to adopt it as the model for any federal corruption body. Prime Minister Turnbull opened the door to establishing a national watchdog last month – after years of Coalition resistance to the idea – and suggested its powers would emulate Victoria's Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) rather than the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) it is reported. However, writes SMH, former Court of Appeal judge Stephen Charles, who helped the Baillieu Coalition government design IBAC, says the body continues to fall short despite improvements made by the Andrews government.

"It has a narrow jurisdiction, weak investigative powers and a limited ability to use them, including public hearings, which are critical to exposing corruption to the public," he commented.

It is reported by SMH that Mr Charles argues it should be able to use the full suite of its investigative powers at the start of any investigation, unhampered by thresholds – much like ICAC.

Cuts will see 10,000 potential students miss out, universities warn.

SMH reports that ten thousand students will miss out on government funding for university this year, peak body Universities Australia says, as the sector looks to accommodate $2.2 billion in funding cuts by the Turnbull government. It is reported that more than 190,000 students are expected to commence university from March, after a similar number graduated last year, but the government has frozen public funding at 2017 levels. It is reported that the freeze is not indexed, which means after inflation of at least 1.5 per cent most universities will face a choice between cutting student places, research, facilities or back office costs.

"The impact will vary from university to university," commented Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson.

I apologise for not posting yesterday from the @polichick account but I was experiencing technical difficulties. They have been resolved and things should go back to normal.

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