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Election round-up: the story so far…

by Marquette Turner

in News & Views

The Howard camp had a difficult weekend with a rift developing between Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull and John Howard over signing the Kyoto protocol and coming under increasing pressure of a broken promise over interest rates.

Meanwhile the Greens and ALP are negotiating a preference-swap deal that leaves Family First out in the cold. But reports this morning point out this could mean that tough competition between the minor parties could mean the Coalition will remain in control of the upper house.

The biggest promise comes from Labor leader Kevin Rudd. He has promised a $1 billion package of grants and tax breaks designed to encourage investment in desalination and water recycling infrastructure.

Local and state governments will be able to apply grants of up to $100 million for desalination or waste water recycling projects, while businesses will be eligible for tax breaks worth up to 10% of the value of eligible projects.

Howard has committed a further $390 million for the Work Skills Voucher program. The program provides vouchers worth up to $3000 for people to take courses in areas such as ICT, accounting and administration. The new funding will make room for a further 110,000 people to claim the vouchers.

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