Varied views of Senate rivals

TWENTY-FOUR candidates representing a wide variety of beliefs will contest the 2010 Senate election in Tasmania.  The Australian Electoral Commission released the line-up of candidates yesterday.  The ticket includes some candidates and parties standing for the first time in Tasmania, including the Shooters and Fishers Party and The Climate Sceptics Party.  The election also includes sitting Liberal senators Eric Abetz, Stephen Parry and Guy Barnett fighting for what most pundits believe will be two seats.

Tony Abbott boost puts poll at 50-50

THE election campaign is running strongly in the Coalition's favour.  Its primary vote has moved to 44 per cent and voter approval for Tony Abbott is improving in the key areas of economic management, national security and the handling of asylum-seeker arrivals.  Labor's primary vote has dropped to 37 per cent in the past week as dissatisfaction with Julia Gillard continued to grow since calling the election two weeks ago.

Adviser breached cabinet rules

JULIA Gillard's decision to have her bodyguard report back from national security meetings was a breach of the Rudd government cabinet code.  Police officer turned junior adviser Andrew Stark would have breached the code by not destroying the notes he took for the then deputy prime minister before leaving the meeting room.

Labor big guns swoop on Queensland

THE ALP is moving its big guns into Queensland seats such as Petrie, which were once considered safe, amid concerns about a voter backlash.  The Coalition has jumped on concerns about a backlash fuelled in part by an unpopular state government, and unleashed advertisements in Queensland telling voters that Premier Anna Bligh, who will become the national president of the ALP, is "Julia Gillard's boss".

Greens put the focus on holding balance of power

Labor and the Coalition are ideologically moribund and the Greens present a way forward, the party declared at the launch of what is likely to be its most important campaign.

Focus on homeless aims to end couch-surfing

When asked where home is, Luke's answer is simple yet heartbreaking: ''nowhere''.  The 19-year-old spends most nights couch-surfing at mates' places. On the nights when he is unable to find somewhere he is left on the streets.

Anger at slow aid for Pakistan floods

THE death toll from Pakistan's worst floods in living memory has neared 900 as outbreaks of waterborne disease emerged and penniless survivors streamed out of the raging torrents.  Up to 1 million people have been affected, according to the UN, in a country reeling from years of extremist bloodshed.

Neither party will have majority in the Senate

THE three biggest parties appear set to fight out the last two Senate seats in Victoria once again after party preference tickets released yesterday revealed no big surprises.  Family First senator Steve Fielding won his seat in 2004 with just 1.9 per cent of the vote but almost 500,000 preferences from other parties. But this time Senator Fielding will get preferences only from other parties on the right, which is unlikely to be enough to return him again.

History looms for Greens

If you want ''authentic,'' Bob Brown is certainly it. He hasn't been in The Australian Women's Weekly - though he recalls having a photo he took of sheep published there in 1973.