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Issue No. 138 31 May 2002  

Demonising Unions
There's a common streak running through the Liberal Party's prosecution of its witch-hunt of the building industry unions and the federal ALP leader's push to reduce the influence of trade unions within the Party. That's the view that unions are on the nose.


Interview: The Star Chamber
CFMEU national seretary John Sutton surveys the limited progress of the Cole Royal Commission.

Politics: The Odd Couple
After spending years yelling at each other, a couple of young factional players started talking to each other in the name of refugees.

Tribute: I-Conned
A rogue priest and Philip Ruddock have combined to leave master artist, Rados Stevanovic, living in a suburban park, as Jim Marr reports.

Media: Audiences Before Politics
The real challenge facing the new managing director of the ABC is how to make audiences central to what the national broadcaster does, argues Tony Moore.

International: The Off-Side Rule
It may be kick off time at the World Cup but unions in South Korea and around Asia are using the world’s biggest sporting event to focus attention on workers’ rights, as Andrew Casey discovers.

Economics: The Fake Persuaders
Companies are creating false citizens to try to change the way we think, writes George Monbiot.

History: Terror Tactics
As the Howard Government prepares terror legislation to ban organisations, Neale Towart remembers a similar attempt at censorship in the name of security.

Poetry: Food, Modified Food
That old school yard joke "what do you get if you cross a ... with a ...?" is becoming startlingly true. The latest development is a featherless chicken.

Review: Spiderman Spins Out the US
Red Pepper's Rick Giombetti scales the big screen and puts Spiderman in his place, flying in the face of right wingers who would claim the Marvel Comic legend as their own.

Satire: England's World Cup Disaster: Star Hooligan Breaks Foot
The English World Cup 2002 campaign is in tatters after star hooligan Gerard Wilson of Chelsea broke his foot.


 Cole Suffers Credibility Crisis

 Councils Armed To Drown Sweatshops

 Miners Win Record Payouts

 Bracks Crew Not Family Friendly

 Time to Charge Directors

 Waterfront Truth One Step Closer

 Speedy Flow-On for NSW Workers

 Star Sin-Binning Prompts Inquiry Call

 New Chief Puts ABC Back In The Picture

 Getting it Wrong on Training

 Gravy Train Gets Richer For Max and Mates

 Reward For Delegate Who Stood Up

 Casino Workers Hit Mat Leave Jackpot

 Drug Haul Sparks Security Warning

 East Timor’s MPs Take Australia On

 ACTU Officials Denied Visas Into Fiji

 Commemorate 100 Years of Votes for Women


The Soapbox
Modernising Labor?
NSW Labor Council secretary John Robertson argues that genuine reform of the ALP would go beyond the 60-40 rule, to increase the voice of unions within the Party.

The Locker Room
Juego Bonito
Forget the dour contests of the Premier League and Serie A, it’s the World Cup which transforms football into the beautiful game. Noel Hester analyses the form.

Week in Review
He Who Pays The Piper
Money comes in all colours but, in politics, the hue is usually blue, as Jim Marr discovers …

Rich Pickings
Australia's wealthiest were on display this week as BRW released its annual Rich 200 list.

About Last Night
The CFMEU's Phil Davey, on an APHEDA -Union Aid Abroad delegation to Palestine, recounts his experience trying to get back to his hotel after dark.

 Simon and the Creanites
 In Defence of Latham
 Swans A Pathetic Con-Job
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Rich Pickings

Australia's wealthiest were on display this week as BRW released its annual Rich 200 list.

Packer Wealth Dives, But He's Still Richest

Kerry Packer may have lost almost $1 million a day in the past 12 months, but he is still Australia's richest man, worth $5.9 billion, according to the annual BRW Rich 200 List. Packer, whose PBL was hit badly by son James's misadventure into the collapsed phone company One.Tel, owns Australia's fastest-falling fortune, which has shrunk by $300 million. The fastest-growing fortune belongs to Frank Lowy, whose shopping centre empire Westfield is worth $700 million more than at this time last year. The nation's 10th and newest billionaire is Kerry Stokes, whose Perth-based tractor and equipment business Westrac more than made up for the recent fall in the share price of his Seven television network. High-profile departures include One.Tel founders Jodee Rich and Brad Keeling, as well as Rodney Adler, who could not withstand the collapse of two companies he was associated with - One.Tel and HIH insurance.

Full list at

Patrick Delivers Healthy Rise to CorriganM

Chris Corrigan's rapidly expanding transport group, Patrick, has posted a 10.1 per cent rise in net profit to $38.98 million for the six months to Marchthanks to continued waterfront productivity gains, higher port throughput and contributions from new acquisitions. The initial contribution from the newly acquired National Rail and FreightCorp, bought jointly with Toll Corp, was the focus of attention as the $1.1 billion acquisition was bedded down. Patrick booked an initial $2 million net profit contribution from the rail companies, but nothing from Virgin Blue, in which it recently acquired a 50 per cent stake.

Rip Curl Considers Offshore Production

Two colourful members of the BRW Rich List are considering moving production for their Australian surfwear company, Rip Curl,off-shore. The Torquay-based company was formed by two Victorian surfers, Brian Singer and Doug Warbrick, in 1963. Michelle O'Neil from the Textile Clothing and Footwear union says an off-shore move would cost 46 jobs, and would be outrageous. She says the pair's presence on the Rich List indicates that Ripo Curl is a pretty healthy company that's giving them some good return. A company spokesperson has stressed that no decision on the move has yet been reached.

Greenpeace Turns Corporate Lingo On Itself

Greenpeace, the most strident of all environmental groups, now wants to tackle the corporates by using their terminology. In a world first, the Australian arm of Greenpeace has developed benchmarks to monitor the way businesses handle green issues. The benchmarks focus on how companies stand on environmental policies and reporting, climate change, the protection of ancient forests, genetic engineering, the nuclear threat, ocean biodiversity and fisheries, and toxic-waste production and disposal. Greenpeace corporate environmental campaigner Monica Richter says Greenpeace will be asking Australia's biggest companies how they measure up on the issues so it could separate the progressives from the laggards.

Enron Fallout Reaches White House

A United States Senate committee has voted to subpoena the White House for documents related to contacts with the collapse of energy giant Enron. The vote was along Republican-Democrat party lines, with Republicans arguing that the decision to subpoena the White House was both premature and inappropriate, as well as overly broad in its scope. Meanwhile, investigatorshave recovered more than 29,000 electronic files and e-mails deleted from Arthur Andersen computers before a federal probe was launched, an FBI agent has testifiedAndersen is accused of destroying tonnes of paper documents and thousands of electronic files from its client Enron to hide its role in accounting irregularities at the energy firm before its spectacular meltdown last year.

Bank Pays $180m To Settle Investigations

The investment bank Merrill Lynch has agreed to pay about $180 million to settle an investigation into allegations that its analysts misled tech stock investors. The bank, which is one of Wall Streets most prestigious names, has not admitted any wrong-doing. The New York Attorney-General, Eliot Spitzer, had been investigating claims that bank analysts gave overly optimistic opinions of stocks they privately disparaged in order to win people over as investment banking clients. Mr Spitzer says the agreement will create a buffer between the stock analysts and the investment banking part of the business.


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