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Issue No. 225 18 June 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

No Place Like Home
Little by little, the truth is seeping out; a judicial inquiry into James Hardies Industries corporate restructure is exposing a scandal of dramatic proportions.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: The New Democrat
Canadian activist Judy Rebick explains how she's using lessons from Brazil to rebuild the labour movement.

Bad Boss: The Ugly Australian
Prime Minister John Howard is in California spruiking the "merits" of this month’s Bad Boss nomination …

Unions: Free Spirits and Slaves
International capital demands guest labour – legal or illegal – as a way of beating down wages and conditions and, as Jim Marr discovers, the Australian Government seems happy to oblige.

Industrial: National Focus
Noel Hester reports on another workplace death (we-will-not-RIP NOHSC), heartburn for the Canberra consensus and all the action from around the states in our national wrap.

History: A Class Act
The problem of forgetting the primacy of class in favour of other ideas of community is highlighted in a new book, writes Neale Towart

International: Across the Ditch
NZ Nurses Union leader, Laila Harré, is in Sydney this week, comparing notes with the Australian Nurses Federation and seeking transTasman support for New Zealand’s highest profile industrial campaign.

Economics: Home Truths
Sydney University's Frank Stilwell argues that tax policy is driving the housing boom.

Review: No Time Like Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow is one part Grim Reaper of the environmental movement and two parts fictitious fable dramatically window dressed with extreme special effects, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Silent Note
Resident Bard David Peetz uncovers the current public service motto – "Don't tell the Minister!".

N E W S

 Multi Bets on China Card

 Community Flags Reconciliation Push

 Nigel’s Ad Values Questioned

 Medal for "Jobs Vandal"

 Schoolies Earn Thousands

 Westbus Drives Over Entitlements

 Circus Owners Cut Up Rough

 Fireys Slam Adelaide "Death Traps"

 Job Slasher Faces Spam

 Sixty Stations Face Axe

 "Sickies" to Join Dinosaurs

 Mr One Percent on Notice

 Stink Over DJ’s Bogs

 Aussie Kids Die on the Job

 Activists What’s On!

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
The Pursuit of Happiness Part I
The Australia Institute's Clive Hamilton questions the assumptions underlying a society that defines happiness in dollar terms.

The Soapbox
The Pursuit of Happiness Part II
Clive Hamilton concludes his analysis, looking at how more and more Australians are pulling back from a marketplace that is no longer providing the goods.

The Locker Room
Sack ‘Em All!
Phil Doyle puts his job on the line, but doesn’t everyone these days?

Politics
The Westie Wing
The NSW Government has an agenda on the table but the test is finding innovative ways to finance it, writes Ian West

L E T T E R S
 Flexed To Death
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News

Mr One Percent on Notice


State government is carving thousands of jobs out of the NSW public sector so it can retire debt carrying interest rates as low as one percent.

NSW PSA assistant secretary, Steve Turner, calls Michael Egan's debt reduction campaign "loony economics" and warns workers will react if another round of jobs cuts is triggered by this week's budget.

"We know for a fact that some of the debt this government is paying off carries interest rates as low as one percent," Turner said. "To make a priority of retiring that sort of debt is loony economics.

"Why would anyone want to pay off debt they are only being charged one percent for? It is not an economic argument, it is a political one about this government's priorities.

"Debt is not bad as long as it is raised for productive purposes. Ask just about any family in NSW."

Turner said workers and their unions had to persuade Labor that public services - power, water, buses, trains, hospitals etc - were "essential" and that employees were more than just another cost to be factored into budget arithmetic.

Labor Council affiliates will gather in Sydney two days after the budget to plan a campaign against cuts to public sector services and jobs.

Treasurer Egan marked around 3000 jobs for the knife in a mini budget delivered earlier this year. His fiscal statements are framed by a timetable contained in his Debt Elimination Act.


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