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Issue No. 152 13 September 2002  

The Legacy of 11/9
From the orgy of righteous indignation that has enveloped the �Free World� this week a more chilling truth is emerging: if the suicide bombers were attacking Liberal-Democracy they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.


Interview: Still Flying
Flight Attendant�s Association international secretary Johanna Brem looks at life in the air since last September�s terrorist attacks.

International: President Gas
NSW Firefighter�s president Darryl Snow sent this missive to his members on the anniversary of a day when 343 of their colleagues died in the line of duty.

Politics: Australia: A Rogue State?
ARM director Greg Barnes argues that September 11 has summoned a new era of isolationism and international lawlessness.

History: Levelling September
Counterpunch�s Peter Linebaugh reminds us that September 11 is the anniversary of another seminal battle: the fight for the English commons

Unions: Welfare Max
Maximus Inc is big, American and controversial. Right now its knocking on the door of Australian welfare delivery and there is every chance the Howard Government will usher it inside, reports Jim Marr.

Bad Boss: Welcome to Telstra!
A Telstra call centre has joined the race for Bad Boss after sacking a pregant woman who had the audacity to need to use the toilet

Health: Fat Albert: The Grim Reaper
Workers Online�s cultural dietician Mark Morey chews the fat over this week�s conference on child obesity

Poetry: A Man From the East And A Man From The West
Resident Bard David Peetz has penned this ode to the sacked Hilton hotel workers

Review: The Sum Of All Fears
Tara de Boehmler checks in to see that America�s cultural cringe is alive, well and sponsored by Marlboro cigarettes


 �Robbed Generation� Seeks Stolen Wages

 One Year On: Ansett Crash Still Hurts

 Cole Exposed By Immigration Scam

 Car Workers on Howard Hit List

 Mystery Windfall for Hilton Workers

 Shock: Abbott Backs Workers

 Union Billboards Censored

 Track Grab Ignores Lessons of Glenbrook

 Casual Approach to Air Safety

 Bosses Say No Living Wage For NSW Childcarers

 Pastry Workers Tell Boss To Get Puffed

 Injury Toll Mushrooms

 Victorian Zookeepers Down Buckets

 Pride and Safety for Workers Out!

 Activists Notebook


Gough's Plaza
Labor's living legend challenged NSW Labor to lift its game as he attended a renaming of 2KY House to Gough Whitlam Plaza.

The Locker Room
Support The System That Supports You
This system is a certainty, a moral, a good thing and a knocktaker; well, at least according to Phil Doyle

RIP Chainsaw Al
One of the heroes of corporate downsizing has been cut down but his memory lives on with golden handshakes for leaders of failed businesses still thick on the ground.

Week in Review
Lest We Forget
You can�t help a sneaking suspicion, Jim Marr writes, that George Bush is conscripting the dead of September 11, 2001, to lead his push for another war in the Gulf�

The Importance of Being Ernie
It was the tenth annual �Ernie� Awards for sexist behaviour and Labor Council�s Alison Peters was amongst the noisy punters

Workers Out!
Gay and Lesbian trade unionists are organising an international conference to develop a global response to homophobia in the workplace, writes Ryan Heath

 The CFMEU Race Debate #1
 The CFMEU Race Debate #2
 Keeping it Clean
 Sue the Leaders?
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Gough's Plaza

Labor's living legend challenged NSW Labor to lift its game as he attended a renaming of 2KY House to Gough Whitlam Plaza.

When I was elected PM in December 1972 arbitration systems were operating throughout Australia under Federal and State laws. They were in accord with ILO's most important human rights conventions, No.87 - Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948, and No.98 - Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949. The Coalition Governments between 1949 and 1972 had not ratified them. In February 1973 my Government ratified both of them.

The ILO's triple base of governments, employers and workers, monitored by its expert committees, is now the greatest guarantor of the rights of Australia's unionists. My Government ratified nine ILO conventions; the Howard Government has ratified none. In particular, there are now eight unratified ILO occupational and health conventions. They cannot be ratified unless every State and both Territories comply. John Della Bosca and the NSW Crown Solicitor's Office are ahead of all other jurisdictions in complying.

Last month Tony Abbott told Robert McClelland: "The Federal Government is not presently considering ratifying any ILO OHS Conventions. This is because the ILO will be considering a process to review all ILO OHS Conventions at its Annual Conference in June 2003, and it would be premature for Australia to ratify an OHS Convention when its status is under review.

It is immensely difficult for the ACTU and the Federal, State and Territory ministers for industrial relations to coordinate their representations and their representatives at the ILO's annual conference in Geneva every June. John Della Bosca and the Labor Council of NSW are well positioned to promote this continuing and crucial issue.

NSW led on quadrennial elections

NSW leads not only in union reform; it also leads in parliamentary reform. When I left the Federal Parliament the Legislative Council of NSW consisted of 60 members elected by the members of both Houses for 12 year terms; 15 of them had to be elected every three years.

At State elections in 1978, 1981, 1991 and 1995 the Wran, Greiner and Fahey Governments sponsored referendums to democratise the Legislative Council. It now consists of 42 members, each representing the whole State. Half the members are elected on the same election date as the members of the Legislative Assembly, the fourth Saturday in March in every fourth year. The next election is to be held on 22 March 2003.

NSW should lead on simultaneous quadrennial elections

At the last three Federal elections the NSW branch of the ALP has shown that it cannot win Federal elections. Of the 50 Federal divisions in NSW only 20 are held by the ALP. The NSW branch should now give the same leadership in political reform as it has given in union reform. It should advocate the US practice of having all Federal and State elections on the same day.

In the United States Federal and State elections are held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even numbered years. Presidents and Governors are elected for four years, members of the House of Representatives for two years and Senators for six years. Some members of the State legislatures are elected for four years and some for two years. The conduct of Federal elections sometimes differs between the American States but the date of the elections is universally accepted.

In Australia all sides of politics attack Federal policies at State elections and attack State policies at Federal elections. The US system has the advantage over the Australian system of ensuring that the parties have to present co-ordinated, coherent and consistent Federal and State policies at elections.

The Federal and Queensland Parliaments are now the only Australian Parliaments which are limited to three-year terms. In Western Australia the Legislative Councillors are limited to fixed four-year terms. In South Australia there will now be elections on the third Saturday in March in 2006 and every four years thereafter.

NSW should again lead on Upper House reform

The NSW branch of the ALP should also advocate the adoption of another advantage of the State's political system. The Legislative Council of NSW was denied the power to delay or reject appropriation bills by the State Constitution Amendment (Legislative Council) Act 1932, approved by referendum in 1933. The Senate in South Africa had been denied this power by the British Union of South Africa Act 1909. The House of Lords had been denied it by the British Parliament Act 1911.

The ALP's policy should aim to have fixed four-year terms for every House of Parliament in Australia. The performance of independents in the NSW Legislative Council shows the folly of their eight-year terms. The Senate Democrats, of whom four will expire on 30 June 1995 and four on 30 June 2008, show the folly of six-year terms.


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