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Issue No. 205 28 November 2003  

Australia Deserves Better
You only have to scan through recent issues of Workers Online to see why the leadership of the ALP is so important – not to the political insiders who judge the beauty contest that is federal politics, but to the millions of workers who are affected by its output.


Interview: Union for the Dispossessed
The Welfare Rights Centre's Michael Raper on 20 years of activism, the politics of punishment and how to make Australia egalitarian again.

Unions: Joel's Law
Building Workers have overcome powerful forces to push workplace safety back up the national agenda. But, Jim Marr writes, their "success" has come at an unacceptable cost.

National Focus: Spring Carnival
It must be spring: punting in Victoria, singing in South Australia, fighting in America. It’s all there in the national wrap from Noel Hester plus an Australian union movement rugby world cup class consciousness poll.

Bad Boss: Fina and Fiends
They sacked the job delegate, reinstated him after an IRC hearing, and sacked him again two weeks later. But that was just the beginning.

Industrial: The Price of War
Mass industrial action is brewing in Israel as the policies of the right-wing Sharon Government come home to roost, writes Andrew Casey.

Economics: Who's Got What
Frank Stilwell pours over the latest BRW Rich List to build a picture of the increasing gap between the haves and have-nots.

History: Containing Discontent
Racism against minorities has always been a stock in trade of politicans, writes Phil Griffiths

Review: An Honourable Wally
Most Australians probably look at our politicians and feel they could do a better job but when redundant meatworker Wally Norman gets the chance to find out he realises getting elected is a major hurdle, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: The Colours of Discontent
A thousand blossoms bloomed during the US President's spring-time colonial visit last month.


 Labour Hire Boosts Tech Wreck

 Call Centre Throws Safety Out the Door

 Miners Tackle Million Dollar Sidestep

 Bouquets for Bosses

 Mandarins Nail Carpenters

 BHP Burrow-ed By UN

 ACT Rejects Manslaughter Bullying

 No Joy for Fat Exec Packages

 WorkCover Walks Away From Racetrack

 Contractors Scramble Foxtel Signal

 Safety Derails Train Talks

 Sydney Uni Strikes At Feds

 Workers Up For Safety Awards

 Activists Notebook


The Soapbox
Bush's Faith-Filled Life
The President's conversion, 'sense of divine calling' and struggle with sobriety are subjects of a forthcoming book, writes Bill Berkowitz

The Not So Smart Money
Phil Doyle is sick of big money ruining grass roots sport, and he’s taking his bat and going home.

The Westie Wing
The ongoing challenge for Labor members of parliament is to make what the Premier calls the ‘creative partnership’ between the Government and the union movement a reality, writes our favourite MP Ian West.

Behind the Junta
Saw Min Lwin, Secretary for Trade Union Rights/ Human Rights for the Federation of Trade Unions Burma (FTUB), outlines the struggle for workers in his country.

 Mad Monk’s Medicare Minus
 A Tale Of Three Cities
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Letters to the Editor

A Tale Of Three Cities

I would like to respond to Public Transport a bit Rich by Jason D in this edition.

Yes Jason, Public Transport is a bit rich, particularly in Sydney , where a day ticket costs around $20 compared to Victoria where a day ticket (Zone 1) is just over $5.

I was recently in Sydney for a conference and was appalled at not only the high cost of public transport, $1.80 from central station to circular quay, and the fact that I could only use the ticket once for that trip. It took my ticket at the end of the 3 station ride.

In Melbourne around $2.30 will buy me a 2 hour ticket for zone 1 ( a large area) to use on trams, buses and trains. If you validate it after the hour, say 3:05 pm you will get 3 hours use and after 6 pm, you get travel until 2 am. Melbourne also has a free tram that travels around the City.

The best transport system, I have seen in terms of cost is Perth and Fremantle. There is a FREE BUS that travels around Perth and one around Fremantle. The Perth City Council contributes part of its parking fines

towards the free bus service, that is provided by the state government. The best news is - for $1.70 bus ride, you can travel from the Perth Airport into down town Perth.

Get with - it NSW and give the public transport travellers a break from exorbitant travel costs.

While I am on about Sydney , Museum and St James stations are creepy and scary - all of those stairs and dark corners - how on earth do disabled people get up to street level????

I was carrying suitcase recently up all the stairs at St JAMES station (I was attending a conference) and trying to climb all of those stairs, while looking behind me to check I was not getting mugged, was a real nightmare. Come on Mr Carr, clean up the stations!!!!

Carole Goldsmith

Victorian, who used to live in Sydney and was working in Perth for a while.


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