The Age obviously are in the business of selling ads and the more attention grabbing the story, the better, but this series of anecdotal snippets might have some positive influence if raises the profile of this type of cheating and leads to better counter-measures.
Conversely, it might raise awareness of such cheating for students who have not engaged in such misconduct previously and exacerbate the problem. :-(
Some useful suggestions for dealing with ghost writing from Edith Cowan University at
Some research on the area has been conducted, including
Centre for Academic Integrity , 2000) http://ethics.sandiego.edu/eac/Summer2000/Readings/Principles.html
James, R., McInnis, C., & Devlin, M. (2002). Minimising Plagiarism. In Assessing Learning in Australian Universities. Australia: Centre for the Study of Higher Education.
Franklyn-Stokes, A. & Newstead, S.E. (1995). Undergraduate cheating: who does what and why? Studies in Higher Education, 20(2), 159-172.
Park, C. (2003). In Other (People's) Words: Plagiarism by University Students - Literature and Lessons. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 28(5), 471-488.