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Issue No. 196 19 September 2003  

A Secret Country
So Tony Abbott has tabled his legislation to crush the CFMEU, while refusing to release the secret volume of the Royal Commission on which the recommendations are based.


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.


 Cole Skeletons Shake Monk

 Abbott Flags Move On Nurses

 Workplace Bullies Leave Three Dead

 People’s Bank Scraps People

 Left-Right Combo Drops Motorway Boss

 Free Wally - Movie Offer

 Detention for Minister Who Praised Scabs

 Cancun Flop Spurs Local Stars

 Public Sector: Cuts and Thrusts

 Medicare Cuts Take Cake

 Beating Around The Bush

 Other Half Lives It Up

 Anderson Ducks Mudgee Bill

 Deaf, Blind and Looking For Friends

 Filipino Vote Call

 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.

 Freedom from Choice
 Free Art
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Activists Notebook

Everybody's getting ready for the Union Aid Abroad

APHEDA Spring Feast

Wednesday October 1

6.30 for 7pm

Marigold Restaurant 5th Floor , 683 George Street Sydney

$50 each or $450 per table of ten

For bookings please contact Sally on 02 9264 9343 [email protected]

Debbie Spillane is MC and there will be live music, raffles with fabulous prizes, a seven-course banquet, an auction, wine, lucky door prizes, games & free parking!

The night will be a testimonial dinner for Tas Bull with proceeds to the Cuban Children's Fund and Union Aid Abroad APHEDA

Fairwear - North Sails Action in on at Manly!

Date: Saturday the 20th September.

Place: Manly Beach - meet at 12 noon on the corso at the beach end at

the tables near royal copenhagen ice cream.


Objective: distribute North Sails leaflets to people on the corso.

Build a sand construction on the beach saying "North Sails Wipes out

Workers Rights!" take photos and have heaps of fun.

Contact: Dez Karlsson at Fair Wear 0403 128 013

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 program now an adjunct professor of media studies at UTS. A spokesperson from friends of the ABC has been approached.

South Sydney speaks - A series of community forum on issues of importance

Sunday the 19th of October

Tudor Hotel Redfern St Redfern at 2pm

Ethics values and integrity and principals 3 areas in public life that some say have very little are Politics, Business community and the Church community

3 guest speakers

Bill Moss - Macquarie Bank

President of the nsw upper house Meridith Burgman

And the Rev Bill Crews Uniting Church

Chair Alex Mitchell Sun Herald Journalist


Join the next stage of the campaign to defeat the Howard Government's proposed changes to higher education.

Week of Action Mon 22nd - Thu 25th September

The proposed changes arising from the Nelson review would attempt to use $468 million in funding to bribe universities to force staff onto AWAs and reduce staff and student representation on University governing bodies, double the number of full fee paying places, introduce VSU, and allow Universities to charge students up to 30% per cent extra in student fees in a manner cynically designed to shift the blame for the increases from the Howard government and onto cash starved universities.

The proposed funding model would adversely affect the University of Western Sydney, with UWS standing to be up to $33 million worse off as a result of the changes.

Next Monday the Senate Inquiry into Higher Education funding is holding a public hearing at the Parramatta Campus of UWS. The NTEU and the Tertiary Education Alliance invite supporters to a rally outside the hearing.

Assemble 12 noon Monday 22nd September near the chimney stack on UWS Parramatta Campus (entry Victoria Road Rydalmere).

Speakers: Carolyn Allport, NTEU National President; Daniel Kyriacou, NUS National President

Further to this, the UWS Branch of the NTEU has voted to stop work for one hour at the different campuses next week and hold demonstrations along with students, other unionists and members of the community outside the offices of the local Liberal MPs to remind them of the effect their Government's higher education package will have on their constituents.

Details of Protest Rallies:

Tuesday 23 September

Ross Cameron MP's office, 110 George Street, Parramatta, starting at 12.30pm

Wednesday 24 September

Pat Farmer MP's office, 300 Queen Street, Campbelltown, starting 12.30pm

Thursday 25 September

Jackie Kelly MP's office, Cnr Woodriff and Tindale Streets, Penrith, starting 12.30pm

Please come along and forward this message to people you know in the area.

Enquiries: Feargus Manning, NTEU, 0411 022 886, [email protected] .

"The Hawke Government: A Critical Retrospective"

Edited by Susan Ryan & Troy Bramston

With Special Guest Speaker:


Former Premier of NSW and ALP National President

To be followed by a panel discussion

"Lessons for a Future Labor Government"


Susan Ryan, AO, former Hawke Government Minister, with

Neal Blewett, AC, former Hawke Government Minister, and

Bob Hogg, AO, former ALP National Secretary and Adviser to Bob Hawke

When: Thursday 25th September, 6:00 for 6:30pm

Where: Gleebooks: 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe 2037

Cost:$8/$5 conc.

To book: ph: 9660 2333 or email: [email protected]

The Hawke Government - A Critical Retrospective is the definitive account of one of Australia's most important reformist governments. For the first time it puts on record the candid views of cabinet ministers, political insiders and commentators to provide a unique insight into the nature of leadership and the struggles of government. The Hawke Government is not only a compelling account of the far-reaching legacy of Labor's longest serving government, it sheds new and important light on the man who led it.


Come to the NSW Teachers Federation and NSW Labor Council's

Community Education Forum

Petersham Town Hall

10am - 12 Tuesday September 23

(light refreshments provided)

TAFE Fees still going ahead: The facts are:

· Not all disadvantaged people receive social security and won't get a fee exemption

· Most Outreach / literacy students are low income earners or in casualised work

· More than half of TAFE access students will still have to pay course fees because they are not on Centrelink payments

· Access courses in TAFE NSW are not about individuals on social security; they are about improving access to education for all disadvantaged people and strengthening communities.

· Low enrolments will mean courses won't run due to low numbers

· Students with disabilities and basic education students will pay for extra support

· Volunteer literacy tutors will have to pay to volunteer

· Some TAFE courses will cost up to 300% more in 2004

For more information go to the website:

Meet the candidates

for ALP National


On Sunday 28 September

4-6pm at GLEBE TOWN HALL 160 St John's Rd, Glebe

All candidates for the ALP National Presidency are invited to speak to the rank and file. Confirmed so far are:

Duncan Kerr

Carmen Lawrence

Michael Samaras

Warren Mundine

The forum will be chaired by

Former Senator Bruce Childs

RSVP to 9357 6366 (Please leave a message AFTER 5PM) or email: [email protected]

Proudly organised by the FECs of Sydney, Grayndler,

Wentworth & Kingsford Smith.


Please note: 470 Lilyfield bus departs Railway Square (George St Stand D) every 20 mins on Sundays & stops outside Glebe Town Hall. Departure Times: 3:13pm, 3:33pm & 3:53pm.

Australia's Pacific Solution

In conjunction with ChilOut, the NSW Nurses' Association is proud to host a free screening of this important documentary.

What drove well-known Melbourne artist, Kate Durham, to Nauru in June 2002 in the company of an English journalist and an illicit video camera? Find out on Wednesday 1st October, when the NSW Nurses' Association hosts a free screening of the end product, the (never screened on Australian TV) BBC documentary, "Australia's Pacific Solution." At 43 Australia Street, Camperdown

Kate, the founder of Spare Rooms for Refugees, will give an address on the conditions in which she found asylum seekers detained on Nauru. 1,228 asylum seekers were originally ensconced there, many transferred after the infamous Tampa episode 2 years ago. Now their numbers are down to 400. They include 5 unaccompanied minors, and 9 women and 14 children whose husbands or fathers are living in Australia on Temporary Protection Visas. These women and children have to prove their own case for asylum. They are not automatically allowed to be reunited with their menfolk. Instead, they are languishing at a cost of millions of our taxpayers dollars in camps on Nauru where conditions are hard and mental health problems rife.

Kate, together with her well-known barrister and human rights advocate, Julian Burnside, will field questions before the 45-minute film is screened.

This event is being hosted in conjunction with ChilOut, Children Out of Detention, a mums and dads and caring citizens' group which has been campaigning for the release of Children -and their families - from immigration detention. ChilOut came into being in August two years ago after the screening of a 4 Corners Program on the psychological breakdown of 6-year-old, Shayan Badrai, then detained in Villawood. They are aghast that two years later children, including ones with mental and physical disabilities, are still treated in this way.

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?

Free to be Australian meeting - 6 October 2003

It is crunchtime for the Free to be Australian campaign. The disturbing word on the street is that the government is going to cave in on previous commitments and consider a proposal on standstill. So we need to make a bit of noise before they do, rumoured to be either 7 or 13 October.

We will be holding a rally at the Studio at Sydney Opera House on Monday 6 October at 11am - make room on your dance cards this one's important! This is the Monday of a long weekend in Sydney. Confirmed speakers so far include Geoff Morell, Simon Burke, Margo Kingston and Quentin Dempster.

Please come along and bring everyone you can think of, it is a serious issue - but we can promise that the rally will be a bit of fun as well.

Workers' Control Conference

University of Technology, Sydney

10th-12th October

Register for the "Workers' Control Conference", which will be held from the 10th to 12th October, 2003.

The conference will be a dynamic weekend of talks, discussion and workshops on past experiences of workers control and the current strategies of militant unionism.


Keynote speakers confirmed to date include:

* Michael Crosby (Co-director, ACTU Organising Centre)

* Joan Doyle (newly elected Secretary, Victorian Postal Union)

* Martin Kingham (Victorian State Secretary, Construction Division of the CFMEU)

Humphrey McQueen (Author, historian)

* Paul True (Special Projects Officer, CFMEU. Speaking on the NSW Builders' Labourers Federation and the Green Bans. Author of "Tales of the BLF - Rolling the Right!")

* Hall Greenland (Author of 'Red Hot: The Life and Times of Nick Origlass').

Topics to be covered by plenaries and workshops include:

* Reforming the Union Movement Today

* The Organising Model: Successes and Limitations

* The NSW Builders Labourers Federation and the Green Bans

* The Ability of Militants within Unions to Achieve Change.

* The Possibilities and Limitations of Direct Action Today

* The Harco Work-in

* The Experience of the Melbourne Tram Workers

* Unorthodox Leninism: Gramsci and Workers' Control

* The Student-Worker Uprising in France in May 1968.

* The Workers' Revolt Against Stalinism in Hungary in 1956

* The Australian Experience of Workers' Self-Management

* The Social Responsibility of Trade Unions: the 1938 Port Kembla Pig-iron dispute and the NSW Builders Labourers Federation Green Bans.

* The Opera House Work-In

* Revolutionary Reforms and Andre Gorz.

* Creating a Workplace Newsletter

* Workers' Self-Management and the Upsurge of the 1960s and 70s

* Workers' Control in Australia in the 1960s and 70s: successes and failures

* The idea of self-management in Marxist revolutionary theory.

* Workers' Self-Management and the Allende Government in Chile 1970-3


To view a complete agenda for the conference visit the conference website:

Education Activism & Organising

Friday 10 October between 9am and 11am in the old Fairfax Building at 235 Jones St Broadway. The meeting will be in Room 5.455 on the 5th floor.

the Centre for Popular Education's proposed 2004 - 2005 program Education, Activism and Organising. We have invited a select number of people from unions and academic centres to participate in the meeting to discuss the project and its strands.

The meeting will be held on Friday 10 October between 9am and 11am in the old Fairfax Building at 235 Jones St Broadway. The meeting will be in Room 5.455 on the 5th floor. If you arrive early there is a good café on the 7th floor.

I hope you will be able to attend, or if not to encourage one of your colleagues to attend in your place. Your input would be an important contribution to shaping the project over the next two years.

It will help with our planning if you could let me know if you will be able to come. My email address is [email protected] and my phone number is 02 9514 3866.

Tony Brown

Research Fellow

Centre for Popular Education, UTS

02 9514 3866

WE'RE BEING BUSHWACKED: Give George the Welcome he Deserves - Sun Oct 19, national day of ridicule.

Muster at Prince Alfred Park (walk south from Central down Chalmers St)

Sunday 19th October, 2-4pm

Comics, music, world's first protest "line dance. Creative Ridicule competition - rewards for best placard and best display. Costume competition, come as the best red-necked Texan!

Organised by the Sydney Peace and Justice Coalition, more info call Hannah 0418 668 098, [email protected]


Pick up leaflets and posters from Labor Council of NSW Offices from next Wednesday 23rd September.


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