Church camp found guilty of discrimination

Mark Russell - The Age
A youth camp owned by the Christian Brethren church has been ordered to pay $5000 compensation for discriminating against a suicide prevention group for young gays. Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal judge Felicity Hampel found the Phillip Island camp breached the Equal Opportunity Act when it refused to take a booking from members of Cobaw Community Health Service's Way Out project. ''The conduct of the respondents in refusing the booking was clearly based on their objection to homosexuality,'' Judge Hampel said in a judgment handed down on Friday. ''They are entitled to their personal and religious beliefs.

Call for child protection inquiry

Alison Andrews - The Examiner
The Tasmanian Liberals will move this week to set up a formal commission of inquiry into child protection in the state. Opposition Leader Will Hodgman said yesterday that there had been systemic failure in government over a long period of time that had exposed some of the state's most vulnerable children. He believes that only a thorough inquiry will obtain the complete picture of the adequacy of child protection services.

Beamer third MP to go in two weeks

Heath Aston - SMH
Diane Beamer has become the latest Labor MP to quit politics ahead of the state election. Ms Beamer, an MP for 15 years, is the third former minister to abandon the Keneally government in a fortnight following the resignations of Phil Koperberg and David Campbell. Her decision not to recontest brings to six the number of Labor MPs to jump ship, with others expected to stand down before almost certain defeat at the election in March.

No new stars can shine in ALP's black hole

Heath Aston - SMH
It was three weeks ago that Kristina Keneally made a public call for fresh faces to bolster the Labor Party before the state election. She even raised the prospect – some would say of last resort – of recruiting outside the ALP's depleted ranks. Luring a few so-called "star recruits". Fast forward to last Friday and Phil Koperberg, the former Rural Fire Service chief – and Labor's star recruit of the 2007 campaign – announced to no one's surprise that he was retiring from politics.

Kyle Sandilands vows to take down Clover Moore

Caroline Marcus - The Sunday Telegraph
Radio's Kyle Sandilands has vowed to wrest power from Lord Mayor Clover Moore, in anger over her proposal to close pubs and clubs at midnight. The controversial 2DayFM host and X Factor judge told listeners of his breakfast show on Friday morning that he would "get rid of" Moore, claiming that her plans would kill Sydney's nightlife. Sandilands has a personal interest in fighting the proposed changes to the legislation, having bought into the Kings Cross nightclubs Piano Room and Trademark alongside his business manager Andrew Hawkins just two months ago.

Kerri-Anne Kennerley got off lightly

Ros Reines - The Sunday Telegraph
Kerri-Anne Kennerley, who has caused a furore by referring to young women who go out late at night trying to attract footy stars as "strays", really got off lightly. In fact, many people leaving comments on forums said they actually agreed with her sad, anti-feminist views. But by labelling young women in this way, KAK has effectively dehumanised them and showed how out of touch she is with youth.

ALP mired in new stacking claim

Michael Bachelard - The Age
The dirty politics of Labor Party branch-stacking appears to have infiltrated the $27 million, government-funded Merri Community Health Service, with entire Lebanese families being signed up, some without their knowledge and with their signatures forged. The membership campaign appears to be part of a Labor factional power play in the area, with board elections at the health centre now under way. The Sunday Age has seen membership application forms apparently filled out in bulk.

Lambley romps in despite ALP swing

Nigel Adlam - NT News
CLP candidate Robyn Lambley yesterday romped home in the Araluen by-election in Alice Springs despite a swing to Labor of more than 6 per cent. The former town councillor clinched about 68 per cent of the vote. "I'm ecstatic," she said at her victory party at the Gillen Club last night. "I never expected this. "I got the jitters just after lunch - and I wasn't alone. "More people seemed to be taking Labor how-to-vote cards than mine."