Today’s selection from online news sites


Concern at lobby group's influence as Christians get filter plan tip-off

THE Australian Christian Lobby was briefed one day before Labor's major announcement on delaying its controversial internet filter plan. On July 9, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy announced the government would ask state and territory ministers to review the refused-classification processes.


Government plans for expert to check each banned web page

THE federal government will hand-pick an "expert" to manually check up to 10,000 blacklisted online web pages. The proposal, which one critic described as too traumatic and absurd, will come to fruition over the next year if Labor wins the August 21 election.

Preference deal a game-changer: Abbott

THE preference deal between Labor and the Greens has injected a radical new note of uncertainty into the election campaign, says Tony Abbott. Last night, the Opposition Leader told The Australian the preferences deal would mean that, should the government be returned, the minerals resources rent tax would almost certainly have to be changed, with consequences for government spending. "There will be more taxing and more spending, but it won't be the taxing or the spending the government wants," Mr Abbott said.

Green chokehold in the Senate

THE Greens are the big winners from yesterday's preference deal with the Labor Party. It should guarantee them the balance of power in the Senate. But the arrangement is fraught with danger for the ALP. It opens the party up to a scare campaign and may even undermine their numbers in the parliament.

State Labor plans to counter Greens

THE State Government yesterday made a brazen bid to stem the flow of votes to the Greens, with Premier Kristina Keneally announcing a "greenway" through Sydney's Inner West. A new light-rail line from Dulwich Hill to the city will have a bush-lined path running alongside it for cyclists and pedestrians.

Rise of the Greens could spell the strange death of Labor Party

ABOUT six years ago, I suggested that Julia Gillard take over the leadership of the federal parliamentary Labor Party. Although my call owed more to the reckless idealism of youth than some Nostradamus-like ability, Gillard's parliamentary prowess was obvious, notwithstanding her association with the Medicare Gold policy and Latham's catastrophic leadership more generally.

Work Choices mess leaves Libs rattled

CONCERNS about Tony Abbott's ability to withstand the rigours of an election campaign are rippling through Coalition ranks after the Opposition Leader struggled to get his lines straight on his promise that Work Choices was ''dead, buried and cremated''. As Labor and the Greens confirmed a Herald report yesterday of a preference deal between the two parties covering all but six of more than 50 marginal seats, Mr Abbott was haunted all day by the ghost of the policy that helped bring down the Coalition government in 2007.

Brian Loughnane: Liberal Federal Director

Brian Loughnane has hung on to his job through three Liberal leadership changes in three years, which gives the party's federal director a reputation for staying power, if nothing else. Unlike his Labor counterpart Karl Bitar, running his first federal election, Loughnane, 52, is a seasoned warhorse with one staggering success (the 2004 election) and one monumental loss (the 2007 poll) under his belt.

Karl Bitar: Labor Campaign Director

The powerbroker running Labor's election campaign is not only happy to be a ''faceless man'', he would quite like to be nameless as well. Labor's campaign director, Karl Bitar, so hates his name featuring again and again in the rapid-fire political authorisations at the end of ALP advertisements, he's thinking about getting his deputy directors to be named as the authorising person in some of them.