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Issue No. 175 24 April 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

Domestic Relations
As the fog of war lifts and attention returns to the domestic phase we find a Federal Opposition imploding as the Prime Minister prepares for the final putsch toward what he sees as his historical mission.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Picking Up The Peaces
Walk Against the War Coalition convenor Bruce Childs outlines the challenge for the peace movement in the lead up to Palm Sunday.

Unions: The Royal Con
Jim Marr argues the Cole Commission can only be taken seriously by people kept ignorant of the way it actually operated.

National Focus: Around the Grounds
Unions maintain the pressure for peace as the upcoming organising conference takes on added significance, reports Noel Hester.

Economics: The Secret War on Trade
Overseas-based multi-nationals are coming after our film industry, electricity, water, pharmaceutical benefits and even childcare. Or are they? Nobody knows, as Jim Marr reports.

International: United Front
Workers and their unions around the world have possibly never been as united in their commitment to campaign together against the War in Iraq, writes Andrew Casey

History: Confessions of a Badge Collector
Bill Pirie has one of the largest collections of trade union badges in the world. After 20 years the collection now numbers some 6,000 badges.

Politics: Stalin’s Legacy
Fifty years ago last month Josef Stalin died. How could it be that a democratic and socialist revolution produced one of the monsters of the twentieth century, asks Leonie Bronstein.

Review: Such Was Not Ned’s Life
The life of Ned Kelly is what we in the world of journalism term a “ball tearing yarn” so why have writers of the movie adaptation felt so impelled to dress it up with fiction, asks Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Osama's Top Recruiter
Through our extensive intelligence networks, we have managed to track down the top recruiter for the global terror network of Osama bin Laden.

Satire: Woolworths CEO Denied Bonus After Company Posts Profit
Woolworths chief executive Roger Corbett was devastated today to report an 18.3% rise in profit under his management over the last year.

N E W S

 Medicare Bombshell – Bosses To Pay

 Another Cole Man Bites The Dust

 Cheap Indian on Telstra Menu

 Legal Tussle Looms Over Email Laws

 Recycled Training Stitch-Up Exposed

 Contractors Code Fires a Blank

 Sweet Talk – Big Business Style

 Bosses, Workers Unite on Grey Threat

 ANZ Workers Want Cut of Billion Dollar Profit

 Time for Death Penalties

 Union Exhibition for Wollongong

 Nurses in Staffing Stand-off

 North Coast Jobs Saved

 Super Success in Pilbara

 Howard Attacks Education - Again

 May Day Festivities

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Factional Free-For-All
Chris Christodoulou looks at the fallout from the selection of the new Carr Ministry and what it means to the factional warlords.

The Locker Room
The Best Season Since Last Year
Phil Doyle goes trudging through the mud in search of the heart of the matter beneath the corporate biffo

Culture
Books on Bombs
In times like these, reading inevitably turns to America and war. Chris White wades through Pilger, Chomsky, Eco, Moore and Vidal.

Postcard
Postcard from Harvard
Labor Council's Michael Gadiel was elected to give the valedictory speech to this year's Harvard Trade Union Program.

L E T T E R S
 Tom's Cunning Plan
 Robert's Conquest?
 Success Breeds Contempt
 Join the Dots
 Still Walking
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Howard Attacks Education - Again


Studnets are warning the May Budget may contain some time-bombs for the higher education sector.

In 2002 the Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson began yet another review of tertiary education.

The results of this review will form the central domestic platform for the coalition in this years May budget.

The planned attacks on universities and TAFE are an attack on the rights of workers and their families to access the education system paid for by our taxes.

Since the election of the Howard government in 1996 the participation rates of working class students in universities have dramatically fallen. This is likely a direct result of tuition fee increases introduced by Howard since 1996. Australia now has some of the highest university fees in the world for students. A likely part of the government's agenda is deregulating university fees, allowing for further fee increases.

Evidence is already appearing that the massive study debt for students is affecting young workers life choices. Graduates are starting families and buying homes much later in life as they repay their debt to the government.

It now appears the government considering introducing university style fees and loans for TAFE students.

In 1997 the Liberals introduced a scheme to universities where students willing to pay fees of up to $150 000 up front were given access to university with a much lower mark. This scheme has functioned as a back door entry scheme for the wealthy and elite to access universities.

The government now plans to introduce a new loan scheme for these full fee paying students. The introduction of a full fee loan scheme will change this system from being a mechanism for the wealthy to jump the entrance queue to a mechanism where aspiring battlers gain access to higher education by incurring full fee costs. It is likely to create a system where will we end up with a student contribution system that in practice acts to make the poor and disadvantaged pay more than the wealthy.

The government also intends to attack the right of university staff and students to be unionised. The government's policy is likely to include an end to universal student unionism and legislation preventing university staff having the right to strike. The government is likely to also attempt to force academics on government research grants to be on AWA's. The government has a clear agenda of destroying students and staff unions so that they can continue their agenda of privatising public education.

Defending public education is about defending the rights of workers and their children. The government's reform agenda is aimed at locking average Australians out of tertiary education. Workers have a key role to play if we are going to protect young Australian who aspires to TAFE or university from what will be a lifetime of debt repayments.

The National Union of Students and the Tertiary Education Alliance are organising a public forum in Sydney City Town Hall on Thursday the eighth of May. The forum starts at 5:30pm and will include speakers from the community, unions, Greens, Democrats and ALP. This is an opportunity for workers to voice our support for public education.

Contact

Anna York NUS NSW Branch President for more information on -

Ph: 0402 025 703

Email: [email protected]


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