Aussie media stoke up the Ashes

The media here are having a field day with accusations by the Australian cricket team about England's delaying tactics towards the closing stage of their first test at Cardiff.

Peter Gladwell

The media here are having a field day with accusations by the Australian cricket team about England's delaying tactics towards the closing stage of their first test at Cardiff. According to the press England are in breach of the rule book and things are verbally heating up between the two teams ahead of the second Test at Lords.

In one way I don't blame the Aussies after coming so close to defeating England by at least an innings after their pretty dismal batting performance.

Once again English people living out in Australia have to suffer the humiliation brought about by their dreadfully unreliable cricket team. Compared with the Australian eleven England doesn't seem to produce a team with stamina, firepower and pride to win.

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Supermarkets dominate Australia's retail petrol sales with their discounting vouchers offering four cents off every litre of petrol providing you spend over A$30 in their stores. Now the balloon has gone up with the two major supermarket chains offering 40 cents off each litre of petrol to those spending a crazy A$300 in their stores during the next three days.

Although these two supermarket chains control only 30% of the petrol retail sites they have 50% of the market share and the Australian consumer watchdog has been pressed into investigating this latest price war.

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The previous Liberal Government are solely to blame for allowing these two supermarket chains to gain this kind of control over the independent retailers many of which have since been driven to the wall and out of business.

For the majority the supermarket discount policy favouring shoppers is a bonus against the rising cost of fuel at the pump, but many fail to recognize they are being charged inflated prices for their groceries at these supermarket chains and in many instances they can buy their fuel much cheaper by driving a short distance out of town.

Unfortunately the Australian consumer watchdog is little more than Federal Government-funded paper tiger when it comes to challenging the large oil companies. It's laughable with the oil companies usually denying all the claims about their price-fixing despite in reality nearly every petrol station altering their prices at the pump almost at the same time on Wednesdays.

Since deregulation dairy farmers in Victoria have been forced to accept reduced prices for their milk and the companies that contract the majority of dairy farmers in this state have announced that they will be reducing the price paid for a litre of milk at the farm gate down to a mere 24 cents a litre for the next 12 months.

This is all to do with the foreign exchange mechanism and on what these companies can get for the milk products internationally. The high value of the Australian dollar against most cross rates is to blame for our exports being less competitive in most overseas markets.

Twenty-one million doses of the new swine flu vaccine have been ordered by the Federal Government and, providing these new vaccines are approved by the Australian Drug Administration, doctors are being advised to begin a programme of national immunisation in October.

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