||Issue No. 137||24 May 2002|
An Aussie Icon
Interview: Just Done It?
Tribute: Lest We Forget
History: Solidarity Forever
Technology: Unblocking the Superhighway
International: Gloves Off
Unions: Out Of Work
Review: Strange Business
Poetry: The Lawyer's Lament
Satire: Government Mourns Loss Of Last Anzac
The Locker Room
Week in Review
Your Tools Page is Down
Big Dave Foster
Give Us a Click!
Will the Real Mark Latham Please Stand Up?
The Last Survivor
Not Hate Mail
Week in Review
Origin of the Species
Guess what? There's an election looming in NSW. How do we know? Well, the telltale signs are all about us.
After three years in the melting pot, John Della Bosca announces a multi-pronged approach to protecting tens of thousands of outworkes. Self regulation is given nine months to deliver before an Ethical Clothing Trades Council recommends whether or not regulations are required. That report is due in February, approximately one month before the Carr Government goes to the polls.
Then, after years of building super highways across and below the city, Carl Scully bows in the direction of public transport. Plans to introduce bus-only lanes on Parramatta and Victoria Rds will be a serious incentive for commuters to leave the wagon in the garage.
The Government takes another step in the right direction by flagging a tax on the windfall profits of developers who benefit from state provision of road or rail links.
Taken together, they could just about prise a smile of Wayne Bennett.
Corporate rights are increasinly interfering with yours and mine. We all know about the millions of people who die in poor contries each year because patents-driven drug companies refuse to allow access to generic products. On a much more prosaic level, a Federal Court ruling gives enormous power to the elbows of Australian media companies big and rich enough to win rights auctions.
Popular comedy, The Panel, is at the centre of a judgement which rules Ten used Nine's footage "unlawfully" on 12 occassions. The worrying element being that these clips were not screened for their news or information value but to illustrate comic concepts. Amongst the infractions were footage of the Prime Minister singing Happy Birthday and former NSW Origin prop, Glenn Lazarus, doing a cartwheel - very appropriate, he wasn't the only one.
Hey, now here's one for the records, a paid-up trade unionist and a female, at that, has snuck her way onto the Business Review's Rich List. Yes, drum roll please, Nicole Kidman, known for her Actor's Equity involvement, registers at the $112 million mark, er, largely, one suspects, because of the terms of her divorce from some American bloke.
She is, however, a long, long way short of the Billionaire Boys Club where Mr K Packer still rules supreme with an estimated $5.9 billion nest egg.
Big Kezza is one of two in the top seven to have substantial interests in poker machines which would come as no surprise to another of the fabulously weathy, John Singleton, who blew $150,000 backing Queensland to beat NSW after the TAB refused to let him get set for a million.
What do Victorian AMWU secretary, Craig Johnston, and Queensland captain Gorden Tallis have in common. Both reckon their respective sin-binning are a bit stiff.
Johnston, of Johnson Tiles "run through" fame, faces a string of charges, including threatening to kill, while big Gordie is left cooling his heels as team-mates succumb to the Blues.
At least, Big Gordie has the Bill Harrigan factor to plead in mitigation.
Everywhere you look the world is populated by Odd Couples. Alfie Langer and laugh-a-minute mentor Wayne Bennett spring to mind as, on the other side of the fence, do Gus Gould and Super League spruiker Laurie Daley, but really, they pale alongside the African adventures of rock star Bono and US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.
The pair is committed to ensuring development aid finds its mark.
Bono, comes from the Fair Trade corner while O'Neill, formerly a corporate high flyer, couldn't be drier if he was on fire.
They're on the third week of their African odyssey.
Last, and very likely least, comes news from the House of Bush that journos accompanying the US president, on tour in Europe, are being told to lift their sartorial standards.
The White House press code puts the blue line through polo shirts, jeans and shorts and advises the female of the journalistic species that skirts, falling below the knee, are in.
Not a mention of objectivity or balance, understandable given the president's war on terror. This week the White House maintains the rage with separate warnings that another terrorist attack is "almost inevitable"; that terrorists will get weapons of mass destruction and "not hesitate to use them" and the Big Guy's own assessment that his country's enemies are "nothing but a bunch of cold blooded killers".
Wonder if he gets his media advice from the mob who used to run the ARL's State of Orgin campaigns?
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