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Issue No. 194 05 September 2003  

Relatively Speaking
At its heart, political debate has always been a struggle between competing views about how a society should organise itself to maximise the benefits for the majority of its citizens.


Interview: Crowded Lives
Labor frontbencher Lindsay Tanner talks us through his new book on the importance of relationships and why politics is letting the people down.

Activists: Life With Brian
Work by men like Brian Fitzpatrick is exposing new Australians to old truths. Jim Marr reports

Industrial: National Focus
A showdown looms in Cancun, Qantas gets bolshie, casual and lazy in its response to aviation challenges, and long festering disputes fester on in Victoria and Tasmania reports Noel Hester in this national wrap.

Unions: If These Walls Could Talk
Trades Hall is preparing for a major facelift but first, Jim Marr reports, it must bid farewell to the colourful bunch who have populated its dusty corridors in recent years.

Economics: Beating the Bastards
Frank Stilwell looks at some of the proposals for building a fairer finance sector.

Media: Three Corners
So its come to this. Four Corners, one of the world's longest running television programs is now under pressure from an ABC Executive that is less cultural visionary than feral abacus.

History: The Brisbane Line
Percy Spender was Menzies' foreign minister, but, Neale Towart asks, was he also prepared to serve as Prime Minister in a Japanese controlled Australia?

Trade: The Dumping Problem
Oxfam-CAA helps set the scene for this month's World Trade Organisation in Cancun.

Review: Frankie's Way
In The Night We Called It A Day Frank Sinatra learns 'sorry' Down Under is a loaded word and refusal to say it when due will lose fans in important places, writes Tara de Boehmler.


 Truckies Tip Safety on AGM Floor

 Geelong Lockout Claims Family Homes

 Aussie Labour Laws Fail US Test

 No Accident � Insurance Dough Rises

 Union Mum Wins

 Rheem Runs Cold On Entitlements

 Unions Take It Up for Footballers

 Drug Boss Fails Workers

 Ministers Urged to Take Responsibility

 Museum Jobs Face Extinction

 Less News And More Of It

 Legal Costs Threaten Access

 Learning for Life

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Staking Our Territory
ACTU secretary Greg Combet argued for a fairer Australia in his keynote address to last month's ACTU Congress.

The Locker Room
Seasonally Agisted
Spring is a season when a person�s thoughts turn to�horse racing. Phil Doyle reports on the fate of nags and folk heroes.

Beyond the Block
We are wild about the people who live in The Block but not too interested in those who are on the streets outside, writes Michael Rafferty.

The Westie Wing
Workers friend Ian West MLC, reports form the Bearpit about a project to raise awareness about trade unionism amongst young people.

The Awkward Squad
Paul Smith meets one of the new generation of British union leaders who is taking the ball up to the Blair spin team.

 Lyon Roars
 Spicey and Tart
 Tony and Pauline
 PNG Bags Plastic
 Fighting Words Craig Emerson
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Activists Notebook

Cancun event

The World Trade Organisation meeting in Cancun, Mexico, is fast approaching and Oxfam Community Aid Abroad is organising a array of ways in which you can take action to MAKE TRADE FAIR. From Wednesday, check our website at to find out how you can get involved in actions.

World trade could be a powerful force in the fight against poverty. But the rules of trade are rigged against the poor. Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign is calling on the WTO, governments and multinational companies to change the rules so that trade can become part of the solution to poverty, not part of the problem.

Cancun is an historic opportunity to Make Trade Fair. Decisive action at Cancun could set globalisation on a different course, reducing the obscene inequalities that divide rich and poor and lifting millions of people out of poverty.

Rich countries are poised to break their promise to make trade fair for the world's poorest countries. Cancun could be the last chance for rich countries to deliver.

Failure in Cancun will be bad news for the whole of the world economy, not just for poor countries. The extremes of prosperity and poverty that are perpetuated by current world trade rules are indefensible and unsustainable.

In NSW we will hold a media event to hightlight the plight of cotton farmers in West Africa who suffer as a direct result of the US administration paying huge sums of money to large cotton companies to grow more cotton than the country needs. The USA pays its 25,000 cotton farmers $4 billion a year in subsidies.

This $4 billion is more then the entire national income of Burkina Faso, a country in which more than 2 million people depend on cotton production and where over half of farmers live below the poverty line. The $4 billion is more than America spends on aid for the whole of Africa.

Stop cotton dumping

You are invited to attend our event.

When: Monday 8th September, 2003

Where: Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park

Time: 10.00am

We will have a pinata in the form of a bale of cotton which, when broken open, will show the "goodies' that poor countries would obtain if they had fair access to rich country markets. Following the media event we will walk to the US consulate in Martin Place to present the consul general with a petition.



Saturday 6th September, 1.00pm. Aidwatch and ATTAC launch Aileen Kwa's book 'Inside the WTO'. Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe. Contact 9557 8944


THE ABC of the WTO -

ATTAC, Aidwatch and Greens Teach-in

6.00-9.00pm Tuesday 9th September. 19 Eve St, Erskineville. Contact Tim on 9557 8944


FAIR TRADE TO A PEACEFUL WORLD - How the WTO undermines peace - A public meeting making the connection between unjust trade and war

Saturday, 13th September, 2003

Pitt St Uniting Church, 264 Pitt St, Sydney

Chaired by Elizabeth Evatt AC

Speakers: Father Brian Gore, Jubilee - Developing country debt and unfair trade: a peace issue

Sally McManus, Australian Services Union - Workers, trade and peace

Rev, Dr Ann Wansbrough, Uniting Care - Trade in services and peace

Cr Gillian Deakin, Medical Association for the Prevention of War - Peace means fair access to medicines

Then 1.00pm assemble on Town Hall steps for a short public statement.

Admission by donation

For more information contact Louise Southalan at AFTINET on (02)9299 7833 or email: [email protected]



Saturday 13th September. Rally at 2.00pm, Town Hall steps, Sydney. Bring pots and pans, puppets, banners and costumes for Mexican "Day of the Dead' inspired march



Home Bar Cockle Bay are holding a fundraising event for Iraq. Money raised will be used for continuing relief operations as well as providing clean water, sanitation and food to Iraqi people in need.,

Where: Home Bar, Cockle Bay (right next to Imax Theatre)

When: Sunday 7th September, 2003

Time: 7.00pm til late

Donation at the dooor.

Make Trade Fair

To make a 'Big Noise' about unfair trade rules


NEW Melbourne On Screen

A celebration of Melbourne writers, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Australian Writers' Guild.

September 15 - 19 Australian Centre for the Moving Image Federation Square

Remember when Grace Sullivan was killed? When Scott and Charlene walked down the aisle? When Mrs H was sacked from Channel 12? When Lizzie died in the Wentworth Detention Centre? When Tommy Carson was shot dead?

Homicide, Stingers, The Games, Fast Forward, The Sullivans, Halifax fp, And The Big Men Fly, Phoenix, The Box, The Secret Life Of Us, Moving Out, Death In Brunswick, Spotswood, Prisoner, Music Jamboree and Kath and Kim.

These are just a few of the productions that were born in Melbourne. It's a retrospective look at the enormous impact Melbourne writers have had on the industry, a trip down memory lane, looking at the productions that were conceived and produced in Melbourne.

The event includes FREE public screenings of classic Melbourne film and television productions in the form of:

Lunchtime Screenings - Daytime TV for Melbourne Workers.

Each session will be feature a discussion with the program's writer.

After Work - Acclaimed Melbourne Writers (Everett de Roche and Jan Sardi) and their work under the spotlight.

September 15 - 19 Australian Centre for the Moving Image Federation Square

Daytime TV 12 - 2pm Monday to Friday

After Work 7 - 10pm Monday and Wednesday

Free admission. Information and session details: 03 8663 2200 www.acmi .

A celebration of Melbourne screenwriting presented by the City of Melbourne, produced by the Australian Writers' Guild and sponsored by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Film Victoria and Screensound Australia.

NEW Melbourne On Screen -- The Essentials of Writing Funny and Sexy Television.

As part a celebration of Melbourne writers, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Australian Writers' Guild, the AWG presents two stimulating seminars on the essentials of writing funny and sexy television.

Join some of Australia's most successful writers as they share the secrets of creating unforgettable TV shows that capture the public's imagination.

1. Sex, Lies, and Television - The Secrets Revealed

The team from The Secret Life Of Us, Amanda Higgs (Producer) and Judi McCrossin (principal writer) present a 3-hour case study on the secrets of creating a successful television drama.

Amanda Higgs is a graduate of the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and has worked predominantly as a script editor. Her television credits include: Police Rescue, Fallen Angels, High Flyers, Wildside, and Water Rats and the Australian feature films Praise, Angst, and Walking On Water. Amanda is the producer of The Secret Life of Us, a project she co-created with John Edwards.

Judi McCrossin has been the principal writer on The Secret Life of Us for the past three years. Her first short film Fetch was in competition in the 1998 Cannes Film Festival and she has written and produced a number of other documentaries and short films. She is currently developing a new six-part series for SBSI.

2. Make 'Em Laugh - Writing Comedy

Two of our best funny men give us three dangerous hours and the secrets of writing comedy. How do you know if your stuff is funny? Can you turn comedy into cash? How do you make sure it's forgettable? Mark O'Toole and Guy Rundle give you the juice about writing comedy for Aussie TV.

Mark O'Toole has been writing comedy for most of his adult life and his first feature film credit for Takeaway follows his vast experience in writing for television on Full Frontal, Totally Full Frontal, Shock Jock, John Safran's Music Jamboree, and Comedy Inc. Mark has written another feature film, You and Your Stupid Mate, scheduled for production in 2004.

Guy Rundle has worked as a writer on Full Frontal, Get a Life, Totally Full Frontal, Backberner, Shock Jock, and worked on Comedy Inc as a writer and producer. Guy has also written for Max Gillies in areas of political satire and social commentary.

Date: Saturday September 20, 2003

Time: Seminar One 9:30 - 12:30;

Seminar Two 1:30pm - 4:30

Where: RMIT School of Creative Media, Large Auditorium Level 1, Building 94 23 - 27 Cardigan Street South Carlton

Cost: One seminar $65 AWG members

$85 Both seminars $115 AWG members/$145

Bookings: The Australian Writers' Guild - Victorian Branch by email to [email protected] or telephone (03) 9328 5671

breakfast briefing

fixed term contracts or ongoing employment?

choices and pitfalls

presented by acirrt, University of Sydney and law firm Cutler Hughes & Harris

These briefings aim to give participants a focussed and detailed analysis of latest trends combined with an assessment of the current legal issues relating to topics.

Date: Thursday 2 October 2003

Time: 8.30 - 11.00am

Venue: Quality Hotel SC Sydney (formerly the Southern Cross Hotel), cnr Castlereagh & Goulburn Streets, Sydney

Cost: $155 inc gst, continental breakfast and notes

Alternatives to the traditional model of the permanent or ongoing employee have become increasingly popular over recent years. Casual employment has been growing, but so has the use of fixed-term contracts. However, the number of fixed-term employees in Australia remains relatively low by some international standards. This situation may change dramatically if proposed limitations on casual employment proceed. This briefing is designed to explore issues including:

What will happen if restrictions on casual employment are introduced?

What are the pros and cons of various forms of employment, permanent, casual and fixed term?

What are the key legal issues with fixed term contracts?

What do workers think?

Why is the fixed term contract model of employment most popular and why?

What are the legal remedies for employees dismissed during the course of a fixed term contract?

full program >>

click here to register >>

more about acirrt >>

South Sydney Speaks

Cross Media Laws is a Free Press under threat? Packer and Murdoch a threat to democracy? Does The ABC have a future?

All these questions will be discussed on Sunday the 21st of September at 2pm at the Tudor Hotel Redfern St. Redfern the panel will be

Margo Kingston Sydney Morning Herald Peter Manning former head of abc news and current affairs and channel 7 witness programme now an adjunct professor of media studies at UTS A spokesperson from friends of the ABC have been approached.

more info Trevor 0416 347 501


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