Why I'd rather drive than fly...

LATE last week an Airbus A330 flown and owned by Qantas subsidiary Jetstar was en route from Japan to Australia when a cockpit window caught fire.

Peter Gladwell

LATE last week an Airbus A330 flown and owned by Qantas subsidiary Jetstar was en route from Japan to Australia when a cockpit window caught fire. This follows the recent Air France A330 disaster where 228 passengers perished in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Jetstar Airbus was just two years old and was carrying 203 passengers. The fire broke out in one of the cockpit front windows and was immediately extinguished by one of the pilots before the plane was diverted to Guam and made a successful emergency landing without further incident.

The cause of this unusual fire is currently under investigation and the plane will be held in Guam until this has been completed.

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Many people argue it is much safer to fly than drive and this represents a strong case in favour of travelling by plane, but nevertheless I am not comfortable while flying on the basis that in driving my car I still maintain a great deal of control and I am on the ground not seven miles up with without any control whatsoever.

n Gangland violence and murder has hit the streets of Melbourne yet again with Monday's slaying of another member of the Moran family in the suburb of Ascot Vale.

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The shooting took place during lunch time while shoppers and workers were milling about on their lunch break.

Allegedly two masked gunmen walked up to Des 'Tuppence' Moran while he was sitting at his usual coffee shop and four shots were fired, killing him instantly, before the gunmen ran off.

This brings the number of gangland-related slayings on the streets of Melbourne to 28 and the Victoria police Organized Crime Squad has now taken over the investigation.

The opposition Liberal party leader Malcolm Turnbull can breathe a sigh of relief following the announcement by former party Treasurer Peter Costello that he is resigning after 20 years in politics.

Since being elected by his party as leader of the opposition, Mr Turnbull has been frustrated by media speculation about a possible challenge to his leadership by Mr Costello and there have been number of party faithful in the background undermining Mr Turnbull in support of Costello.

Nevertheless the opposition will be well pleased with the results from a latest opinion poll today showing the Liberals have closed the gap on the ruling Labor part in the primary vote to within one point.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has decided to leave interest rates on hold for the time being following better-than-anticipated economic results.

Nonetheless they have announced the door has been left ajar in case action is needed further down the track to re-examine interest rates.

This, in some analyst's eyes, means the next move could be in the upward direction following the heavily-contested decision by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to lift its interest rates by 0.2%.

Rumors are rife that the other major banks will follow the CBA's lead and lift their interest rates by a similar margin

Swine flu is on the increase in Australia with more than 1,500 confirmed cases, most confined to Victoria. Fortunately doctors insist most cases are of a milder nature with no cause for concern.

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