THE NEWS WRAP: Liberals take control of COAG reforms

By Michelle Hammond
Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Liberal premiers are working to take control of the Federal-state agenda to overcome obstacles in the Gillard Government’s process, and pursue new reforms following the ­election of Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.


NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said he would ask Newman to sign a conservative pact to pursue reforms outside the COAG process, as he had with Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu.


One of Julia ­Gillard’s senior advisers said the Prime Minister was determined COAG “should not become a political football”.


Qantas creates Jetstar Hong Kong


Qantas is planning to set up a budget airline in China under an agreement with China Eastern Airlines.


The new airline, Jetstar Hong Kong, will begin flights in 2013, flying short-haul routes in China and to Japan, South Korea and South East Asia.


Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan said the airline wanted to capitalise on the enormous potential of the Chinese market, in which there is only one other budget carrier.


Activist to sue Clive Palmer over CIA claims


Environmental campaigner Drew Hutton is pursuing legal action against Clive Palmer, saying the mining magnate cannot say whatever he wants about people just because he is a billionaire.


Last week, Palmer accused the environmental campaigner of having links to the CIA in a plot to shut down Australian mining operations.


Hutton says Palmer has admitted to “basically making up” the conspiracy about the CIA. Hutton says he has asked his lawyer draw up a letter of intent to send to Palmer.



The Australian dollar has pushed past 105 US cents for the first time in six days following indications from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke that the US would keep interest rates low.

At 6.30am this morning, the Australian dollar was trading at 105.31 US cents, up from 104.48 cents on Monday.

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