Today’s winners and losers

Bad news on the markets, bad news from the US, bad news for at least one federal political party leader – it’s getting hard to find a winner in the current economic and political context.

Losers:

The recruitment industry: The on-hire recruitment industry, which relies on s457s for much of its business, has been begging for an easing of onerous training obligations introduced last year. What did they get today? Another review.

Wayne Swan: Started damping down expectations of a big budget surplus underpinned by booming revenues as soon as he got back from a meeting with global economic leaders in the US. Being Federal Treasurer must be getting less fun by the minute.

The G9 telcos: Communication Minister Stephen Conroy released the request for tenders for the national fibre-to-the-node (or maybe to the home) broadband network. The G9 telcos, the only real competitors to Telstra, are rated just a 30% chance of winning the tender. Given that the cost of bidding could be up to $50 million, they now face a tough decision about whether to throw their hats into the ring.

Brendan Nelson: Speculation about whether Nelson’s leadership will last is escalating after yet another poor poll. The only question now appears to be when Malcolm Turnbull will take over.

Winners:

Quentin Bryce: Australia’s new Governor-General appears to be widely liked and respected. Having been the first woman in Queensland admitted to the bar, a successful academic and public servant and the mother of five, no doubt she will be well and truly up to the task.

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