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Issue No. 226 25 June 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

US Forces
The concerted and increasingly personal campaign by the Howard Government to portray Mark Latham as anti-American is built on some dodgy premises.

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

 Hadgkiss Sinks Boot into Safety

 Put a Job in Your Trolley

 Della Puts Cleaners Through Schools

 Freespirit Severs "Slavery" Link

 Luna Fringe Targets Fun

 Labour Warriors Fall

 Canberra Six in Dock

 Lobbyists Look for ALP Spine

 Tree Plan Faces Axe

 Sydney Water to Drip Feed Public

 Safety Nosedives At JetStar

 Irritable Desks on March

 Howard Backs Union Model

 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
 Lest We Forget
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News

Tree Plan Faces Axe


NSW Government plans to sell off the state’s plantation forests have been put on hold after workers in the industry slammed the proposal.

"It was a silly idea to sell off a natural resource," says Craig Smith, NSW secretary of the Forestry division of the CFMEU. "If it ain't broken don't fix it."

Smith blamed the "economic rationalist position of treasury" for the proposal.

"If that's the mentality driving the flogging off of public assets then we've got real problems," says Smith. "There's a long list of concerns over privatising the state's softwood plantations."

Timber workers are concerned that 'value adding' jobs in regional centres could be placed under threat by the privatisation move.

A plan involving the Timberman company to shore up over 200 timber processing jobs in the state's south east would be placed under threat if a competitor gained control of Timberman's log supply, a distinct possibility if forests went under the hammer.

According to the CFMEU this was just one example of the uncertainty the privatisation proposal has created in the industry.

The ability of the private sector to adequately manage the state's 988 000 hectares of softwood plantations has also been called into question.

In Bombala in the state's south two forests planted at the same time, from the same seed stock, using the same methods have seen two very different results.

The state forest managed timber has been dramatically outperforming the private sector timber, a result that forestry workers attribute to "private enterprise cutting corners".

Farm owners have also expressed concern at the private sector's ability to adequately manage fire threats.


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