|Defence eyes fighter firepower as revenue shrinks|
|The annual round of pre-budget briefing has begun and the government is warning pain is on the way.|
The PM's Diary: Julia Gillard is on leave. Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan is in Melbourne this morning to launch the 2011 Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal. He told the audience: "When the Salvos knock on your door this autumn, dig deep so that they can keep doing the vital work they do every day of every year.'' He will meet with the Brotherhood of St Laurence later this morning and has appeared on Triple M Melbourne and with 5AA's Leon Byner. He will finish his day with meetings in Canberra.
Tony Abbott is in Sydney after completing the Pollie Pedal bike ride from the Gold Coast to Sydney, raising $200,000 for the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health in Western Sydney. Today he will sit down with Julie Bishop, Joe Hockey and other senior front benchers to discuss the upcoming federal budget.
Message management: Finance Minister Penny Wong writes today "in this budget we will have to confront some difficult truths, and the burgeoning growth in health expenditure is one of them''.
On Q&A tonight, Penny Wong, Greg Hunt, Bess Price, Graeme Innes and Chris Kenny.
WISE: The Women in Science and Engineering summit in Parliament House today will hear from the leaders like CSIRO's Megan Clark, ANSTO's Adi Paterson, IBM, the Australian Research Council, the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Bureau of Meteorology and Minister Kate Ellis about how to stop the scientific brain drain.
Must do better: It's early days, but Press Gallery president Phillip Hudson is running dead last in the gallery tipping competition with just nine winners.
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