The bleached bombshell may have made her name as a celebrity TV lawyer amongst the glamour pusses on 'Beauty and the Beast'; but her foray into psychotherapy had her sounding more like Stan Zemanek on a particularly feral day. Here's what she had to say: "People who are just malingering, or just have an anxiety condition or depression - that they really need to get over it and get back to work - that they are not going to be compensated just to stay in the workforce". Admittedly the syntax is tortured, but the message plain. The thousands of Australians with depression are just bludgers and withdrawing public support for them would we one way to get them off their lazy, morose butts.
The comments drew instant flak from all corners of the mental health fraternity; with the Mental Health Council of Australia calling for her sacking and the head of the federal government's national institute on depression, Almostblue, Ian Hickie, saying "the ignorance displayed by the federal minister and the stigmatising nature of her comments are truly remarkable". While most sensitive MPs would withdraw and apologise immediately, Coonan claimed the comments were taken out of context and said "it is unfortunate if my comments have offended anyone".
The ham-fisted foray into psychiatry is just the latest attempt by Coonan to run the insurance industry's line and attack the rights of Australians to pursue compensation and legal action. Throughout the so-called 'crisis' in the medical insurance industry, Coonan took the role of John Howard's cannon fodder, fronting the media without a clue of what to do about the prospect of doctors taking strike action to reduce their insurance costs. It was a daily torture watching her attempt to filibuster her way through the daily briefings, where she would assure the public she had a plan to keep the health industry operating, only she couldn't quite outline it because she didn't have the detail at her disposal. Seldom has one spent so much time saying so little.
For those who have followed Coonan's career the flexibility displayed is nothing new: this woman has more positions than the karma sutra. A one-time activist with the Womens Electoral Lobby who turned to peddling her family law business on the Mike Walsh Show - the televisual version of Prozac; Coonan entered politics a member of the Liberals' 'wet' faction, that fast-disappearing group of dreamers who think the Liberals are actually as good as their name. When it became obvious that the hardliners would have control of the winnable Senate seat at last year's election, Coonan jumped ship quicker than you could cry 'children overboard'; catapulted to the Top of the ticket and a place in the Howard Ministry.
Since then it's been all bluster and balls-up; with Coonan's unique look of high-hair, lots of jewels and pancake make-up has doing nothing to hide the underlying truth that this is a woman out of her depth. Those who remember Sylvania Water's matriarch Noelene Danniher, will recall her propensity to blow off after a few scotches, only to watch in bemusement as her bile wreaked havoc across her nuclear family. Coonan doesn't just share Noelene's bouffant; her words are proving equally destructive.
Speaking to US investors, Chris Corrigan this week described the 1998 waterfront confrontation, featuring dogs and Dubai-trained mercenaries, as “extremely good value” and said he was preparing for disputation at National Rail.
Rail industry leaders have described his inflammatory statements as classic top-end-of-town, Federal Government "double speak".
"Imagine if a trade union leader went to an international workers conference and proposed widespread disruption as a way of chasing investment away," one said. "I wonder if Abbott will bring out his economic traitor line for Mr Corrigan."
Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Nick Lewocki was marginally more circumspect. He warned Corrigan that any attempt to transfer his waterfront tactics to rail would be expensive for Toll and Patrick shareholders.
He said any strategy to use industrial action to cut jobs would be counter-productive.
"I can assure Mr Corrigan the RTBU is committed to the growth and success of the rail industry but this won't be achieved unless workers are treated with dignity and respect, and there is proper recognition of their efforts to increase productivity," Lewocki said.
"Mr Corrigan is not doing himself or potential investors any favours by holding out increased returns by threatening rail workers in a highly-integrated transport industry."
There has been significant reform of NSW rail freight over the past decade with industry analysts pointing to a 55 percent productivity increase in that time.
Lewocki called on Corrigan to leave threats and posturing in the States and deal with NSW rail workers "through consultation and negotiation".
Action around the 36-hour week campaign was flagged this week with the CFMEU writing to 1000 NSW employers, initiating bargaining periods. Failure to meet calls for seven nominated long weekends a year, and 12% on wages over three years, would see them follow up with 1000 notices of protected industrial action.
CFMEU state secretary, Andrew Ferguson, said leisure time was top of the agenda for workers in an industry that routinely works six days a week.
"We won't be intimidated by Abbott, Cole or anyone else from seeking a fair deal for our members," he said. "Building workers are entitled to spend time with friends and families, same as anyone else."
Ferguson was referring to the Abbott-inspired Building Industry Royal Commission which has been highly critical of the CFMEU for pattern bargaining, although it is legal under the Workplace Relations Act.
The increased leisure time campaign is a classic example of pattern bargaining, chasing similar deals for workers across the construction industry.
It was as a result of Commissioner Cole's interim report, published without notice and prior to hearing union evidence, that Abbott rushed his Taskforce into existence. It was established in the face of Cole's insistence that his report to Abbott contained no findings of fact.
Such a move was predicted months ago by leading union officials, including Ferguson and Labor Council's John Robertson.
The Tasforce will have 25 staff of its own and work in tandem with officials from the notoriously anti-union Office of the Employment Advocate. Offices in Sydney and Melbourne are expected to open in the next 14 days, dovetailing with industrial action by building unions.
Meanwhile, the leisure-time campaign that seeks to establish four-day weekends across the industry, received a major boost this week when Westfields agreed to close their multi-million dollar Bondi Junction redevelopment on the six weekends nominated by unions.
The Council has engaged consultants, experienced in work with the Police Department, to develop alternatives to the invasions of worker privacy being demanded by employers.
Council safety watchdog, Mary Yaager, blasted "knee jerk demands" for testing as "expensive, invasive and inefficient".
"As a health and safety measure, drug testing is flawed," she said. "What it will tell employers is whether or not workers have drugs in their system. What it won't reveal is any level of impairment and that's what we need to identify.
"Drug test doesn't measure impairment. It's not designed to do that."
Yaager said Labor Council backed the training-up of people in the workplace who could identify specific impairments. She said that worker or employer reps on Safety Committees would be the obvious candidates.
Labor Council has commissioned independent, expert advice on the matter as at least three separate employers try to ram through claims that they should have the unilateral right to put workers through drug tests.
Off the Rails
The RTBU has stalled state government efforts to introduce random testing of rail employees at any time, day or night.
There is currently provision for workers to be tested at sign-on point but there is strong opposition to that being extended without adequate reason.
Union secretary Nick Lewocki says every rail accident is fully investigated and the findings made public. There has not been one accident in the past 20 years attributed to alchohol or drug abuse.
"Once signed on our people can still be tested if there is an incident, in practice that means an accident, public complaint or supervisor suspicion. We will not allow that to be broadened unless it is done in the context of a full review of matters such as fatigue and impairment - the full gamut of safety on our rail system," he said.
Government has agreed to such a review before going ahead with the proposed regulation.
Storemen Buck Tests
Last month NUW storemen and labourers at Brambles Sydney depots struck for 48 hours in opposition to a policy the company has already imposed in South and Western Australia.
Brambles calls their tests "voluntary" but anyone refusing is subject to dismissal.
"The policy is plain wrong," NUW secretary Derrick Belan said. "Our people have no objection to proper impairment tests but this is ridiculous. There are no laws in this country which force people to submit to drug and alcohol testing."
The NUW is slugging the issue out with Brambles in the Federal IRC. That case is currently on hold.
Meanwhile, NSW IRC Commissioner Michael Walton is about to bring down a decision in a similar dispute between BHP and the AWU in Wollongong.
Yaager says Labor Council would use its report to update policy guidelines and seek a an agreed approach to the issue.
Westpac this week announced it would close call centres in Sydney and Melbourne with the work sent to smaller states, while AXA has taken the ultimate step and relocated 70 jobs to Bangalore, India.
In both cases, the Finance Sector Union says the companies are using their workers as cannon fodder in pursuit of bigger profits, squeezed from tax concessions from governments desperate to attract investment.
FSU NSW secretary Geoff Derrick says the global and national jobs auction is undermining job security, with totally productive workers being told they were no longer viable.
Derrick says state governments offering investment inducements should have that money deducted from their federal grants because it diverts much needed public funds from health and education toward corporate profit results.
And he says exporting jobs to low wage economies like India was just the end point of the national scramble to induce investment.
"First it was manufacturing jobs, now it is service sector work that is being shipped offshore by companies that trade on their commitment to Australia.
"If Westpac wants to save money, they need only look to reigning in the executive salaries instead of up-rooting peoples lives to save a buck," he says.
The Liberals IR spokesman Michael Gallacher has told Workers Online that he would retain the powers of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission and would be supportive of increased regulation of labour hire.
Distancing himself from the hardline federal IR agenda of Abbott and Reith, Gallacher said he had his own approach to industrial relations.
"My own observation is that there is an enormous amount of good will amongst employer and employee organisations and that the Government should seek to maintain this and set up a process facilitating agreed solutions rather than imposing them," Gallacher said.
On current issues of importance to trade unions, Gallacher:
- said the Coalition would support "appropriate regulations" for labour hire that "ensure labour hire is not simply a device to destroy workers rights and conditions."
- indicated he was open to discussing the ACTU call centre Code of Conduct with Labor Council
- suggested privacy protection to workplace emails should be similar to that accorded telephone calls.
- and pledged that a Coalition government would review the state's workers compensation scheme to determine if last year's reform package "went too far".
He also restated the Coalition's support for a pay rise for nurses and promised to work constructively with other public sector workers pursuing pay rises next year.
Gallacher played up his own trade union background, which included holding elected office with the NSW Police Association and receiving a TUTA course certificate.
"Unions are an important part of the social development of Australia as well as its industrial framework," he said.
"My concern with the Union movement has been where it involved itself in politics rather than looking after the interests of its members. One of the strengths of the Police Association has always been that it has remained politically non-aligned."
The Memorandum commits the NRL to an active role in ensuring employees and outworkers involved in the manufacture of rugby league apparel receive Award minimum wages and conditions.
Under its terms, the NRL will supply clothing unions with the names and addresses of all licensed product manufacturers.
They, in turn, will be encouraged to sign Licensee Agreements with the union, commiting to provide details of sub-contractors' contracts, employees and wage records within 14 days of request.
Failure to meet that deadline, or proven breaches of legal entitlements, would be grounds for terminating the contract.
TCFUA secretary, Barry Tubner, hailed NRL co-operation as a "breakthrough with international implications.
"For the first time we have the written support of a major sporting organisation for our campaign to protect vulnerable wage workers and outworkers.
"Chasing dodgy operators through the courts is a major logistical and financial exercise. This will shortcut that process dramatically.
"You never know what will come out of the court process, maybe a $10,000 fine maybe a slap on the wrist. This document specifically puts their contracts at risk and, at the end of the day, that's what they care about."
Unions are moving to have the ARU, AFL and Soccer Australia follow league's lead.
NRL chief David Gallop joined Tubner and Labor Council secretary, John Robertson in signing-off on the Memorandum at Peter Wynn's Score, Parramatta.
Teeth are expected to be added to the process when international clothing giant, Nike, signs off on the first Licensee Agreement within weeks.
Workers Online understands that Nike Australia has received the green light from its US base to become the first licensee to commit. American executives are expected to fly to Sydney for the signing ceremony, later this month.
Meanwhile, in an interesting twist on today's Memorandum the NRL, TCFUA and Labor Council will make submissions to ACCC chief, Alan Fels, to ensure there are no roadblocks constructed by the consumer watchdog.
Fels will by asked to okay the process because of NRL legal concerns stemming from the South Sydney embarrassment when they were found to have breached the Trades Practices Act.
Health Minister Craig Knowles' decision has been welcomed by the Funeral Industry Council, headed by Labor Council assistant secretary Mark Lennon, the Funeral Workers Union and peak industry bodies.
Just this week, those organisations approached the Government with evidence of a St Mary's operator who had forged 60 death certificates, presumably to save fees that would normally be paid to a doctor.
The man at the centre of the scam has now opened a funeral director's business, on his own account, at Penrith.
"NSW already has the toughest funeral industry regulations in Australia and we will strengthen them by giving the Director General of NSW Health the power to throw out of the industry any funeral director who repeatedly breaches the Public Health Act," Knowles said.
"On top of those powers, NSW Health has reached agreement with the Funeral Industry Council to develop an accreditation scheme for funeral directors."
Accreditation of directors and key workers is seen by the union, and Labor Council as a key health and safety issue for workers and quality guarantee for customers.
Lennon greeted the tougher regime as "a signficant step in the right direction".
Included in a raft of new NSW regulations are provisions for:
- minimum vocational standards for anyone embalming bodies
- invasive body preparation on bodies with List A diseases to be restricted to those having completed approved training in mortuary practice, infection control and occupational health and safety
- mortuary operators to maintain detailed registers of every body handled
- mortuary and crematoria operators to disclose full details of their businesses on the public record
- authorised officers to enter and inspect facilities and vehicles
- tougher penalties for offences
Government will also set up an 1800 number to encourage members of the public to report breached of Public Health regulations.
"They wanted to bring in one group of low-waged immigrant women workers to undermine another group of low-waged immigrant women workers," Mark Boyd, NSW LHMU Hotel Union assistant secretary said.
"They got the help of an outside agency to find migrant women to come in and subvert the hotel workers' strike which starts early tomorrow morning."
The plan had been to lock strike-breakers in spare bedrooms so they couldn't speak to current workers.
But late yesterday the plan seemed to be fraying as hotel executives moved to bribe workers with big dollar offers not to strike.
Notices have been circulated telling workers that if they don't strike they'll get paid $25 an hour, Boyd said.
Normally these workers get $12 an hour, and for working on Saturdays $16.15.
"Our members are laughing," Boyd said.
"Our people will be in the streets on Saturday and looking forward to meeting community people who will join them at the hotel workers rally at 11am in George St, opposite the Queen Vic building."
Union members are riding a wave of community support. The US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson has sent a long message of support from Brazil - where is currently campaigning for 'Lula', a metal union leader turned politician leading the Workers Party as its candidate for President of that country.
One of the key speakers at the rally will be Jack Mundey, a heroic former leader of the NSW BLF.
"The Hilton Hotel owes the trade union movement - big time," Jack Mundey said today.
"They should treat their current workers better, because without the trade union movement they would not have the 'treasure' that they now value so much - the Marble Bar.
" When the hotel was built the original developers wanted to knock down the Marble Bar - a heritage site. It only survived because my union, the BLF, put a ban on knocking it down.
"When we put the ban on we had a lot of knockers. Now the architects behind the refurbishment are saying the Marble Bar is the 'jewel' in the redevelopment."
AWU national secretary Bill Shorten said a search of the facility was necessary if detention officers were to return to work, ending the dispute over conditions within the centre.
The Australian Industrial Relations commission has ordered a steering committee of AWU, LHMU and ACM representatives to develop a plan for conducting a weapons search at the Port Hedland detention centre.
Shorten says the inspection will identify the key issues in the safety dispute.
"Our members do not take action lightly but have done so because they are concerned about low staffing levels and detainees stockpiling homemade weapons,'' Shorten says.
In hearings in the AIRC this week, Senior Deputy President Lacy said AWU detention officers had a genuine safety dispute and that demarcation issues existed at the site.
He said: "I held serious concerns about the safety issues ...and the likely consequences of a protracted dispute on the welfare of the detainees and those responsible for their supervision and welfare.''
"ACM must stop burying its head in the sand and realise that our members have genuine safety concerns over operational practices at Port Hedland detention center,'' Shorten says
The 37 minister-teachers, members of the Independent Education Union succeeded in their application for award coverage in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission today.
The decision means minister-teachers will have access to employment rights such as paid maternity leave, carers leave and significantly higher salaries.
Deputy President John Grayson rejected the Seventh Day Adventists' church's argument that the minister-teachers should not be covered by the award because it would represent an undue influence of the state on the workings of the church.
NSW IEU state secretary Dick Shearman said the decision brings the Seventh Day Adventists into line with all other churches that operate schools.
"This decision sets a clear demarcation between where religious duty and industrial rights intersect," Mr Shearman said.
"It means that just because you serve the church as a teacher doesn't mean you forfeit your rights as a worker."
The workers, members of Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) are resisting owner AMP's third application in as many years to introduce paid parking for Warringah Mall's employees.
Addressing the meeting were Branch Secretary-Treasurer of the SDA, Greg Donnelly, local Member for Warringah and Minister for Workplace Relations, Tony Abbott,and NSW Senator Michael Forshaw.
Also in attendance were members of the Municipal Employees' Union (MEU), the Federated Clerks Union (ASU) and Financial Sector Union (FSU).
The meeting heard how the $4 fee represented 6.6 weeks in lost wages per year for a typical fast food worker at the Mall and 3.7 weeks in lost wages per year for a typical working mother at one of the Mall's department stores.
Addressing the meeting, Greg Donnelly also referred to reports in the weekend press that outgoing CEO of AMP, Paul Batchelor, is reported to be negotiating a golden parachute in the vicinity of $7 million dollars.
Mr Donnelly said: "What are they hiding? AMP refuses to face the consequences of their actions. It is typical of the Mall's whole approach to bury its head in the sand and refuse to listen to anyone but its bean counters."
The meeting resolved to roll out a petition over the coming weeks, in addition to approaching local surrounding businesses, residents and the Mall's small retailers in further efforts to bolster the gathering broad coalition of opposition to the Mall.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow said millions of dollars worth of exports could be jeopardised unless shipping and port authority employers quickly ended the lockout of more than 10,000 workers.
"Australian unions have experienced the kind of extremist and irresponsible actions of shipping and stevedoring employers that are now paralysing trade on the US west coast.
"Unions around the world are alarmed by the behaviour of the employers in the US and are working to support the efforts of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to get the ports working again, particularly to transport perishable goods.
"The US unions have offered to work for free on urgent cargoes, but the shipping and stevedoring employers are refusing to let them in the gates," Burrow says.
Australian unions are sending a delegation to the US this week to support the ILWU.
Officials from the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) of employers are continuing talks on the lockout, which is costing more than $1.5 billion a day.
The PMA has refused to negotiate on the terms of a new employment agreement with the ILWU since May this year.
The extremist tactics of employers in the dispute have been likened to those used by Patricks stevedores in its confrontation with maritime unions in Australia in 1997.
Tokyo/Sydney Axis Against US Port Employers
Australian & Japanese maritime workers join forces to launch campaign against US companies responsible for ILWU lockout
Zenkoku-kowan dockworkers union, the All Japan Seamen's Union, and the MUA have formed a pact against PMA Pacific Maritime Association as the West Coast waterfront war moves to the brink of worldwide industrial dispute.
In a 8-point Statement of Support for the US dockworkers' union (ILWU) signed in Tokyo yesterday, the three unions announced they would "closely liaise with each other and the ILWU to promote an effective campaign and actions in Australian and Japan in support of the ILWU and against eh PMA group of shipping companies."
MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin was this afternoon one of an international delegation meeting with Japanese ship owners in Japan.
The Tokyo pact follows the Newcastle joint declaration of support for the ILWU signed off by mining and maritime unions from the US, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa last month.
Meanwhile the International Transport Workers' Federation has warned that US employers "face international union response" to the docks dispute
The ITF reacted strongly to the news that US employers in the ongoing West Cost ports dispute brought armed guards to a negotiating meeting on Tuesday, forcing the ILWU to walk out of the talks arbitrated by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
The ILWU has accepted ongoing mediation to settle outstanding technology issues at the centre of the breakdown in contract negotiations with the employers. Union members have also volunteered to work all military, perishable and passenger cargo, with the PMA finally allowing workers to finish loading the Maersk Innovator in Oakland, yesterday
ACTU Young Unionist and Community Activist Forum
Building a Future through Action
A two day ACTU Young Unionist and Community Activist Forum will be held in Melbourne on the 10th and 11th October 2002. The ACTU Youth Committee has developed an agenda for the forum, and would encourage the participation of State and Federal Secretaries in this event.
Please find attached a registration forum that includes an overview of the forum, a draft agenda and relevant accommodation and flight booking details.
To ensure the success of this important initiative it is essential that young union members, delegates and activists from a wide variety of unions, participate in the forum.
Would you please ensure that registration forms are received by Friday 27th September to enable the administrative arrangements for the forum to be finalised.
Each affiliate will be responsible for all costs associated with attendance of delegates to the forum. The registration fee is set at $110.00 (including GST) for the entire two day event.
We look forward to your participation and support to further strengthen the involvement and commitment of young members, delegates and activists within the union movement.
For more information please contact Sharon Gibbard, ACTU Events Manager on 03 9664 7320 or [email protected]
CONSUMERISM AND COUNTER-CONSUMERISM
Public Lecture 6-7pm + Discussion Panel
Wednesday 9 October, 6-9pm
University of Technology Sydney, Broadway Campus, Building 3 (Bon Marche, cnr of Harris + Broadway), Floor 5, Room 510
Disabled Access. Refreshments available. Entry by donation ($10/$5). Enquiries: James Goodman, 95142714.
Panel: Tim Connor (NikeWatch), Peter Lewis (BossWatch), Julia Murray (Fair Wear activist), Vicki Sentas (Midnight Star Social Centre), chair, David McKnight (Research initiative on International Activism)
Thomas Frank is the author of 'One Market under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism, and the End of Economic Democracy' and 'The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism'. He is a founding editor of 'The Baffler', a magazine of cultural criticism (thebaffler.com).
Hosted by the Research Initiative in International Activism (international.activism.uts.edu.au) and the Transforming Cultures Research Group (transforming.cultures.uts.edu.au) with the support of the Australian Centre for Public Communication (acpc.uts.edu.au), Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (acij.uts.edu.au), and the Sydney Social Forum (www.sydneysocialforum.org)
ASYLUM SEEKERS have the same HUMAN RIGHTS as all of us, to live in PEACE, with JUSTICE and EQUALITY.
A year ago the Australian government began a new phase of its war on refugees using SAS troops to turn away hundreds of Afghan refugees on the MV Tampa.
The government said its border protection policies were to stop terrorists. But this is a lie. Not one refugee in the last two and half years has been rejected for security reasons. Before the elections the government vilified refugees claiming they threw children into the sea.
This was also a lie.
The government says it meets its international obligations to the refugees. This is a lie. The UN has yet again condemned the Australian government's policy of mandatory detention. While the government backs the US threats to wage war on Iraq, a war that will create thousands more refugees in the Middle East, it also threatens to cancel visas and deport refugees to Afghanistan and Iran. The government says that Afghanistan and Iran are safe - that too is a lie.
The government's policies are built on deception and lies. But more and more their lies are being exposed and opposed. As on Palm Sunday, World Refugee Day and Tampa Day, thousands of people will rally across Australia to demand the truth and the humane treatment of refugees.
THE TRUTH IS:
*War and oppression have made millions of refugees in the Middle East;
*There is no 'queue' for refugees from Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan;
*Asylum seekers are not 'illegal'. Claiming asylum is legal under Australian and international law;
*Mandatory detention of children breaches our international treaty obligations.
*Asylum seekers are not criminals and terrorists.
We call on the Government to:
*Stop the lies, misinformation and demonisation of refugees
*End mandatory detention and the "Pacific solution'
*Replace Temporary Protection Visas with full immigration rights
*No deportations - let the refugees stay
Howard's drive for war with Iraq is wrong. THE TRUTH IS: An invasion of Iraq would kill many civilians and create more refugees; the Iraqi people are the only ones who can create a democratic Iraq; Middle Eastern Australians are the victims of racism created by the war hysteria.
Endorsed by Australian Arabic Council, Australian Manufacturing Workers
Union, Catholic Mission, CFMEU, Edmund Rice Centre, Free the Refugees
Campaign, Chilout, Independent Education Union, Jews for Ethnic Tolerance, Coalition for Justice for Refugees, Labor for Refugees, Liquor Hosptiality and Miscellaneous Workers Union, Palm Sunday Committee, Refugee Action Coalition, Wayside Chapel, Labor Council of NSW, Australian Services Union (NSW & ACT), Maritime Union of Australia, Show Mercy, Independent Education Union, CEPU (T&S) NSW Branch, Nurses Association
Contact: Ian 0417 275 713; Tamara 0405 224 070; Amanda 0408 057 779
0408 05 7779
White Bay Power Station Conservation Management Plan
White Bay Power Station commenced operation in 1917 to supply power to the Sydney railway and tramway system. Extensions to the original structure and new equipment were added over the following decades to meet the demands of the expanding Sydney domestic electricity market.
White Bay Power Station has experienced several phases of demolition and reconstruction culminating in the destruction of the second Boiler House in 1976. This signalled the end of White Bay as a major Sydney Power Station. It was called back into service throughout the early 1980s to help meet peak winter electricity demand and supplement production from the Liddell Power Station. White Bay Power Station was shut down on Christmas Eve 1983 and decommissioned in 1984. It was the longest serving power station in metropolitan Sydney.
Today, White Bay Power Station is seen as an important part of the heritage of the Rozelle/Balmain area. Its powerful industrial aesthetic makes it both an important local landmark and a source of inspiration. Recent uses of the site include filming of the second instalment of the film 'The Matrix.'
- THE CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN
Design 5-Architects have been commissioned by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority to produce a Conservation Management Plan for the White Bay Power Station. As part of this study, Context Pty Ltd are undertaking a Social Significance assessment. This is designed to gain an understanding of the significance the site holds for communities associated with White Bay. Context Pty Ltd are particularly interested in speaking to former employees of the White Bay Power Station.
- INVITATION TO FORMER EMPLOYEES
Context Pty Ltd needs the help of former employees of White Bay Power Station in order to establish the significance of the site to those who worked there. On the weekend of October 26th / 27th 2002 Context Pty Ltd, in association with Design 5-Architects will be hosting a workshop for former employees of White Bay Power Station. Former employees are invited to participate in a focus group to discuss their memories of White Bay and help us to understand the significance it holds for them.
The workshop will commence with a tour of the facility and conclude with a 'Back to White Bay' barbecue. The weekend will coincide with the Electrical Trades Union's centennial celebrations to be hosted at the Sydney Town Hall on the evening of Saturday October 26.
The workshop will provide an opportunity to talk about your memories of White Bay Power Station and catch up with other former employees. If you worked at the White Bay Power Station or know someone who did, we would love to hear from you.
Libby Riches at Context Pty Ltd, Ph: (02) 9318 0699
Email: [email protected]
Of late I have read on many an occasion about the youth not staying on the farms as Jackaroos and Jillaroos for any lenth of time.
Our 17yr old son has just been employed on a farm in the Melbourgh area, and advised him that he would be receiving more that the minimum wage. This kid is being made to put in 12-13hrs a day 6 days a week for $204.70 per week. When we equate this to an hourly rate over a 72hr week he is receiving just over $2 per hour.
As this farm is under 10 000ac they are under no obligation to pay any form of over time, is it any wonder that the young farmers of tomorrow are settling for city jobs when they are exploiting the kid to such a degree.
So David Murray, head of Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is getting a $4.65 million bonus. 17,000 people have lost their job so that MR Murray can get his bonus. That is appalling.
It is totally unfair that Chief Executives like Mr Murray can earn so much money and the staff at the branches who still have their jobs earn so little in comparison.
What is also appalling is that my poor 82 year old mother who is crippled with osteoporosis now cannot do her banking at the CBA branch nearby to her home at Newmarket, (Vic)
Mr Murray's team closed that branch. Now my mum has to travel by train several stops to the CBA branch at Moonee Ponds. (VIC)
So while Mr Murray enjoys his $4.65 million bonus, he should spare a thought for my mum on her walking frame and the trouble she now has getting to a branch, JUST TO DO HER BANKING. SHAME ON YOU MR MURRAY.
I work for a hire-labour company and my position undermines the EBA of the other electricians in many ways. The other electricians are permanent and I am a long term casual filling in a permanent position for a large international company (about a year and a half).
I don't enjoy the conditions the other permanent electricians enjoy under their EBA. The other electrician's response was "why should you be part of our EBA ? ". They had totally lost their sense of unity and solidarity which they are suppose to have, since they are financial members of the ETU, just like I am.
It is obvious that this large company has seeked the use of a hire-labour company to scab them out entirely. They have done it before and they will do it again.
Use or abuse, you decide.
One must congratulate the Municipal Employees Union for its successful campaign in obtaining a community language allowance for its members employed in local government.
While this to some Australians may be an innovative idea, to those who have been employed in Local Government for any length of time would be aware that these language differences have been a problem for decades.
My first recollection of type this communication challenge was 30 years ago while working for the Sydney City Council, on a road construction gang in Lang Road, which is adjacent to Centennial Park...
This certainly was a agreeable work environment, with pleasant walks to the Duck Pond, at morning tea time, while deeply breathing in the aromas of the grass. But usually there was little communication difficulty before lunch, as all the boys appeared to be pacified with the aroma of the grass , be a tad uncommunicative or even a little ill from something they may have eaten or drank the previous day..
But after the lunch break in the Light Brigade in Oxford Street , usually about 11.30am - 1.00pm , not only were they all talkative , but speaking in tongues as if they had been blessed by the spirit? The ganger (long dead, God bless his soul) usually returned at 2.00pm, not only speaking in tongues but wearing the wobbly boot and speaking in Morse code.
While I am not sure of all languages which were actually spoken after lunch, I am just curious would it be possible to claim this allowance retrospectively?
Sadly this colourful era, was brought to a slow death with the election of Il Duce , the untimely departure of Leo the Lion and the appearance Eh! By gum lad our Kaa Kaaa Katie, who wove her spells of industrial entrapment on the POWER BROKERS.
K. Lucas' letter is just one more example of the strong push towards casualisation in this country for the sake of the almighty dollar.
It is reprehensible that Australian governments, in particular the NSW Labor government, whilst paying lip service to EEO and Anti-discrimination, are setting the benchmark for discrimination, exploitation and intimidation. A prime example is the huge increase in the number of TAFE Part Time Casual teachers, primarily women, who are paid $20,000pa less than their Full Time colleagues and are thrown into unemployment for 3 months of each year, with no benefits such as holiday pay etc.
With the state election due in March, these 14,000 Part Time Casual TAFE teachers may well demonstrate their anger by their vote.
Listen to the Conference rhetoric and you'd think that by cutting the formal union influence in the Party, Labor will somehow become a champion of the people. Talk to the workers of Australia and you get a very different story.
The Transport Workers Union has just completed focus groups - members of the contracting Labor heartland - asking them about their attitude to the ALP.
The findings reflect similar surveys for the ACTU and other unions: working people have lost faith with both sides of politics and are crying out for a champion.
Here's what the TWU members had to say:
- "Personally, I think Labor and Liberal are so close now it's not going to make any difference"
- on Labor politicians: "they've got a good looking CV, they've got a university education and they just want to get elected to that cushy job in Parliament. They don't care too much about the worker."
- and "I reckon there's a lot of union members who say you're not doing anything for me, I'm giving my vote to an independent.
In this context the challenge for Labor is not to water down its commitment to core values, but strengthen them.
With corporate excesses reaching breaking point, a war for Oil in the Middle East and increased pressure in the workplace Labor should be killing it.
That it's struggling, is directly linked to the reluctance of the parliamentary wing to move from safety first, white-bread, middle of the road, me-too policies.
That is why the formulation of refugee policy is such a fundamental issue. It is about the way Labor does politics.
Last election, Labor played its biggest card - cashing in its moral soul - in a desperate effort to win an election. It was a turning point for a party of principle; a statement that winning was everything.
This is the end-point of a slippery slope that frames every policy debate as a political opportunity and casts all principles as expendable.
Unionists and rank and filers have a similar agenda: they want a successful party, but they want a leader who is prepared to take a few hits, even a few falls, to ensure that when they attain power they have an agenda consistent with Labor values.
They don't want a political fix dumped on them and into a Parliament that is devoid of principle, compassion and integrity. In short, they want a genuine say in the Party's direction.
The real test for Simon Crean is his ability to create a political platform for Labor voters. There is a heartland out there wanting to vote Labor; they just need a reason.