I've just found a reference that says the Dead Bird was not the first Australian newspaper to publish a half-tone photo. In his paper, The Culture of Newspapers:
The Slow Birth of the Modern Newspaper in Australia, 1890-1940, Peter Dowling credits the Illustrated Sydney News with the "first", in August 1988. I'm off to the State Library in about an hour to go back into battle with the microfiche, so I'll try to find it...
A quote I enjoyed from Dowling's paper:
As for the daily broadsheets, even though the half-tone process meant that it was possible for them to be illustrated, it was not until World War I that they first began to publish occasional photographs. The main reason for their reluctance to take advantage of the new technology was that it was considered beneath the dignity of a broadsheet to include pictures.
I came across Dowling's interesting but, alas, unillustrated paper on a Google search I did after a visit to newsdesigner.com, a site that chronicles redesigns at contemporary newspapers. Newsdesigner posted a par about the downsizing of European papers and I was interested in learning the dimensions of the "Berliner" (315 x 470 mm ... thanks for that, newsdesigner).