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Issue No. 216 16 April 2004  

Joining the Dots
At first blush there appears little connection between the Howard Government’s handling of the War on the union movement and the War on Iraq – until you realise the key players come from the same team.


Interview: Terror Australis
The Howard Government has just discovered the nation's ports are a terrorist target. The International Transport Federation's Dean Summers has been warning them for years.

Unions: Graeme Beard's Second Dig
Hidden in the Australian Workers Union Sydney office is a mild-mannered industrial officer who once strutted the international cricket stage, writes Jim Marr.

Industrial: The Hell of Troy
On the basis of a couple of hours in the witness box, Building Industry Royal Commissioner Terence Cole described Troy Stratti as "credible". Six men who, together, have known the company director for the best part of 50 years beg to differ.

Organising: Miners Strike Gold
Traditional unions are rediscovering the power of grassroots organising. Paddy Gorman reports from the coal face.

Economics: The Accepted Wisdom
Evan Jones argues that economic policy making has been narrowed and rendered mechanistic and antiseptic.

History: Vicious Old Lady
Despite its Liberal leanings, the Sydney Morning Herald has never been shy of bashing unions, writes Neale Towart.

International: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Thailand must end its crackdown on Burmese fleeing rights abuses in their military-ruled homeland, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

Review: War Unfogged
Want to go to war but not sure where to start? Look no further than Errol Morris' latest doco-drama for the definitive 11-step lesson plan, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: TAFE
A TAFE student struggling under the weight of fees shares his wordly wisdom


 Weekend Warrior Outed

 Dick’s Got Form

 Mum Burned By "Barbecue Stopper"

 RSL Bombs Vets

 Sweetener for Sugar Pills

 Death Highlights Risky Business

 Casual Affair On The Buses

 Athens Update: Dying Games

 Nuns Run Amok in Cessnock

 Roving Commission for Safety Reps

 Workers Order Ziggy on Toast

 Divers Down

 Activists What’s On!


A Voice for Peace
Palestinian trade union leader calls on militants to lay down their arms while the ICFTU protests harassment of Palestinian union leader.

The Soapbox
The Double Standard Bearers
Nicholas Way argues that when it comes to collective action, the Howard Government has different views depending on whether you are a unionist or a small business.

The Locker Room
The Fine Print
While the result mightn’t be everything, it does make the back of the newspaper more interesting, as Phil Doyle reports.

The Westie Wing
Ian West crunches the numbers in Macquarie Street and finds virtue in deficit.

 Sick Pay
 Tom’s A Furphy
 Rolling in Clover
 More War And Peace
 Invisible Workers
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Weekend Warrior Outed

A "rusted on" conservative who took nearly a million dollars to prosecute the CFMEU, wrote the report Federal Government is using to shield itself from deepening spy scandals.

Defence officials this week released an "internal" and previously secret report from Colonel Richard Tracey that purported to shoot down findings of a military inquiry into complaints lodged by intelligence officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Lance Colllins.

The internal inquiry, conducted by Vietnam veteran and long-serving naval officer Captain Martin Toohey, had vindicated Collins and found that key intelligence agencies delivered biased information which the government wanted to hear.

Those findings, against the background of Iraq and Bali, spelled bad news for a Federal Government already under fire for allegedly intimidating key advisers, including AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty.

But Tracey's report, penned in February, said Toohey had "miscarried" on the grounds of "jurisdictional authority" and a "lack of evidence to substantiate the findings".

Colonel Richard Tracey is, in fact, Dick Tracey, QC, the lawyer who pocketed $861,990, before expenses, for leading Melbourne hearings of the Cole Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry.

CFMEU national secretary, John Sutton, said Tracey had been "unimpressive" in that capacity.

"He made his political disposition abundantly clear. He is a rusted on supporter of the Howard Government and its political ideology," Sutton said.

Tracey and Building Industry Royal Commissioner Terence Cole, a navy commodore in his spare time, were key movers in the failed criminal prosecution of Victorian CFMEU secretary, Martin Kingham.

Having recommended charges under the Royal Commissions Act, Tracey then appeared in the Melbourne Magistrate's Court as a prosecution witness against Kingham.

One charge was withdrawn and, after hearing from Tracey, Magistrate John Hardy dismissed the remaining contempt count.

Hardy's finding contained implicit criticisms of both the part-time colonel and occasional commodore.

In pressing the action, the Magistrate said Cole and Tracey had relied on "the tenor of the evidence rather than the actual evidence".

The Defence Department leaked Tracey's critique, this week, after a string of Lieutenant-Colonel Collins' criticisms of intelligence performances were made public.

It did not, however, release another internal review of the Toohey Inquiry, understood to have been conducted by Colonel Roger Brown and, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, "believed to be broadly supportive" of Toohey's findings.

A Defence Department media officer told Workers Online, last Thursday, she was "unaware" of a second review of the Toohey Inquiry.


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