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Issue No. 150 30 August 2002  

Shut It Down!
The CFMEU’s legal bid to have the Cole Royal Commission closed down seeks to prove legally what any dispassionate observer has worked out for themselves: the whole show is biased.


Interview: Australian Worker
AWU national secretary Bill Shorten gives his take on the relationship between the wings of the movement

Unions: Morning Ambush
Rowan Cahill joined the Dayson workers as they took their fourteen week dispute to the doors of an American corproate giant

Cole-Watch: Grumpy Old Men
When the Cole Commission declared closed its second innings in Sydney last night, lasting memories centred around the hands played by two grumpy old men, Jim Marr reports.

International: Arrested (Sustainable) Development
Unions fronting up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development are making clear their views that development can never be considered sustainable unless social justice is made a top priority, reports Tara de Boehmler.

History: Illegal Alien
As we remember the shameful way we turned away a group of people escaping the horrors of a dictatorial regime, the treatment of Egon Kisch by the UAP Government in 1935 highlights yet another.

Economics: The Trouble With PPPs
The Uni of NSW's Christopher Shiel explains why the state's current flirtation with Public Private Partnerships is an ongoing joke

Poetry: Is This 'My Country'?
On the anniversary of the Tampa, and with the help of Dorothea Mackellar and Peter Dodds McCormick, Worker's Online travels back a year to contemplate those moments when eyes were closed to the nature of the Taliban regime.

Review: Garage Days
Mark Hebblewhite reviews a new Aussie flick that brings the indie music scene to the big screen


 Bias Case Clears First Hurdle

 Eight Weeks Only for Bomb Survivors

 Justice At Last for Woodlawn Miners

 Labor for Refugees Put Acid on Crean

 Canberra Cash Linked to Hall of Fame Stoush

 Osama Poster Sparks Controversy

 Underwear Obsession Prompts Rehab List

 Community Workers Win Lifeline

 Mad Monk Staff in 'Mad Hatter' Protest

 Qld Health Win Pay Rise

 Education Forum To Spark Public Debate

 Activist Notebook


The Soapbox
Is Simon the Likeable?
The United Firefighter's Daryl Snow is back to give the ALP and political leaders in general an almighty hosing down

The Locker Room
A Modest Proposal
This NRL salary cap has come in for some debate recently, with many following the lead set by the Murdoch Media and calling for administrators of the game to throw the baby out with the bathwater, writes Phil Doyle.

Week in Review
World Domination
They’re right funny critters those Yanks who get their hands on the levers of power and we’re not talking, funny ha ha, here, Jim Marr writes…

The Costello Two-Step
Treasurer Peter Costello's two faces were on display this week - ducking and weaving from enforcing corporate accounting standards while upping the push to cut corporate tax

Always Listen To The Wind
Bernadette Moloney & John Hartley report from a conference aimed at getting reconciliation right

 Tony Moore is a Four Letter Word
 Choral Classics
 Sleeping Giants
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Tool Shed

Dr Doolittle

As the world grapples with ways to secure a sustainable future in Johannesburg, one man has the mission of keeping his nation in the global doghouse. Dr David ‘Doolittle’ Kemp, the Tool Shed is yours.


You probably remember him from his role as Count Dracula in the smash hit Attack on the Clever Country. It ran from 1996 to 2001 and left Australia's educational institutions resembling a row of corpses. Now Dr David Kemp has lost the atrocious facial hair and re-emerged as the man whose mission it is to champion Australia's sovereign right to belch filth into the atmosphere.

It's a tough gig, but one this distinguished Tool is equipped to discharge. Keen Canberra watchers rate Kemp as one of the premier spinners in Federal Parliament, with an uncanny ability to front up and run his lines regardless of the questions asked, the public mood or the underlying illogic of his position. And when it comes to defending Australia's refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, these are the basic skills required. Eight Six nations have ratified the Protocol which sets targets for Greenhouse Gas Emissions and establishes a series of incentives such as a global system of trading carbon credits. Under the Protocol Australia isn't even asked to reduce its emissions, just increase them at a slower rate. But that's not good enough for Kemp - it would require the sort of concerted action that is against his underlying philosophy. Australia sits outside the tent with the USA and few other global pariahs.

And so to Johannesburg, where Dr Doolittle would be the front man as the world asked Australia why it was being such a slob. Australia's official delegation of 50, included more than 30 civil servants, but none from the Australian Greenhouse Office. Given that Kemp has totally ridden over, with its efforts to rpepare the ground for greenhouse reductions ridden over by his much-vaunted Government-Business dialogue. This talkfest allows the major polluters in Australia to argue the Kemp Doctrine (ie inaction), even as the premier business forum, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, representing over 160 of the worlds largest multinational corporations including shell and BP, Dupont, General motors, Nestle, BHP and Rio Tinto, concedes the time has come to support Kyoto.

Of course the smart business providers are realizing that a sustainable energy agenda is not just a long-term, but also a short-term benefit. Smart businesses are reviewing their operations to take part in the carbon credit trade that will inevitably emerge. Within the Protocol framework, Australian companies could expand into new export markets, reduce environmental damage, and earn "credits" for Australia's national greenhouse gas emissions account, all at the same time. With nations like China and India coming on board the critical mass exists to create a new economy around environmental management. For a pro-business government, Howard's mob seem strangely asleep at the wheel on this one - Kyoto is a market-driven response to the issue.

Meanwhile, we face accusations from our Pacific neighbours like Tuvalu who are threatening court action to force us to stop practices that is turning their nation into a swimming pool. It's a real concern, after all if the Islanb go under we'll have to go to the added expense of issuing asylum seekers with floatees before we hive them off.

The real Dr Doolittle made his name from being able to talk to the animals. This one doesn't talk to anyone: his bureaucracy, the business lobby, the international community - not to mention the environmental movement are demanding action from Australia. Dr Doolittle is ensuring we do nothing.


The most inspiring interpretation of this week's tool get's a souvenir edition of Ship of Tools. Deface the Tool of the Week, click the button above to post your artwork, fill out the form and send your entry in and we'll post the winners next week in the Tool of the Week Gallery.


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