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Issue No. 208 13 February 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

All The Way With FTA?
Question marks over the bi-lateral Free Trade Agreement with the USA have only begun to scratch the surface.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Trading in Principle
AMWU national secretary, Doug Cameron, a key figure in the Labor movement, discusses the big issues - from Mark Latham to Pavlovís Dogs.

Unions: While We Were Away
While Workers Online was washing sand from between its toes and enjoying an Indian summer at the cricket, there was a reality show chugging relentlessly away in the background, Jim Marr reports.

Politics: Follow the Leader
Workerís Online tool man, Phil Doyle, dives into the ALPís Darling Harbour love-in and nearly drowns in treacle.

Bad Boss: Safety Recidivist Fingered
The CFMEU has come up with a killer nomination to kick off our 2004 hunt for Australiaís worst employer.

Economics: Casualisation Shrouded In Myths
British academic, Kevin Doogan, sets the record straight on casualisation and warns unionists about the dangers of scoring an own goal

History: Worker Control Harco Style
Drew Cottle and Angela Keys ask if it's worth rememberinng the 1971 Harco work-in.

Review: Other Side Of The Harbour
The 1998 maritime dispute threatened to tear many a family apart but Katherine Thomson's Harbour tells the tale of at least one that it brought back together - albeit reluctantly, writes Tara de Boehmler.

N E W S

 Rail Safety Back On Track

 Commuter Headaches Continue

 Ban "Ruthless" Operators - Judge

 Telstra Provokes Jobs Fight

 Taskforce Ignores Million Dollar Rorts

 Musos Tune-Up for Election Rock

 Chubby Fingers in Timorese Pockets

 Postal Workers Wrap Boss

 Aussie Sites Doing the Business

 Feds Abandon Aged

 TAFE Stands Over Poor Students

 Round the World on Aid

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Dog Whistlers, Spin Doctor and Us
John Menadue argues the "better angels" of the Australian character are having their wings ripped off by an ever-expanding group dedicating to keeping the public at arms length from our decision-makers.

Postcard
Something Fishy In Laos
Phillip Hazelton fishes around in Vientiane, Laos, and looks at the impact of Bird Flu on those relying on feathered friends for survival.

Sport
Magic Realism
Phil Doyle discovers that literature and sport may have more in common than you would think

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Trickle, flood or drought? Workers friend Ian West, MLC, is wet, wet, wet on the issue of bilateral Free Trade.

L E T T E R S
 Reality TV
 TAFE Support
 State Of Confusion
 Scambuster
 History Lesson
 Generation Angst
 Give Them A Medal
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

TAFE Stands Over Poor Students


TAFE Student George Samuel was evicted from Ultimo TAFE by a security guard after trying to make an application for an exemption of fees based on hardship.

Mr. Samuel, an electrical engineering student at Sydney Institute of TAFE, is now taking TAFE to the Supreme Court with the full backing of the NSW Teachers federation, who have slammed the actions of the TAFE Commission.

Sydney Institute of TAFE refused to accept or process Mr. Samuel's application for an exemption.

"Such a refusal is an abuse of authority" said NSW Teachers Federation spokesperson Maree O'Halloran. "To add insult to injury Mr. Samuel was escorted from TAFE premises by a security guard. In desperation, Mr. Samuel eventually succeeded in getting the guard to take his application form."

O'Halloran said that even the Minister, Dr. Refshauge, accepts that exemptions should be granted on the grounds of hardship.

In a separate application to the Supreme Court another student who is seeking an exemption on the basis that the 2004 fees are too high.

On 23 January 2004, Mr. Justice Boland directed the Department of Education and Training to "take all practical steps that are available to it in the time available to further advertise the opportunity to gain exemption".

Instead the NSW Teachers Federation alleges that the TAFE Commission has refused to even process many such applications.

The NSW Teachers Federation has called on the State Government to undertake a genuine review of the 2004 fee increases.

It is believed the matters will be heard by the Supreme Court over the next two weeks.


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