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Issue No. 228 09 July 2004  

Thai-ed in Knots
With all the hype, hiccups, fear and loathing around the Australia/US Free Trade agreement, another agreement all but slipped under the radar this week - a preferential trade deal between Australia and Thailand.


Interview: Power and the Passion
ALP's star recruit Peter Garrett shares his views on unions, forests and being the Member for Wedding Cake Island

Unions: Tackling the Heavy Hitters
Tony Butterfield became a State of Origin gladiator at the unlikely age of 33. Even that, Jim Marr reports, couldn’t prepare him for the knock-down, drag-em-out world of modern IR.

Industrial: Seeing the Forest For The Wood
Proposals to flog off NSW’s forests have raised eyebrows and temperatures amongst some of the key players reports Phil Doyle.

Housing: Home Truths
CFMEU national secretary John Sutton argues for a radical solution to the housing affordability crisis.

International: Boycott Busters
International unions have issued a new list of corporations breaching ILO sanctions to do business in Burma.

Economics: Ideology and Free Trade
The absurdities of neoclassical economic assumptions has never stood in the way of their being trotted out to justify profiteering and attacks on the rights of citizens. The AUSFTA is the latest rort we are supposed to swallow, writes Neale Towart.

History: Long Shadow of a Forgotten Man
Interest in JC Watson's short time as Labor's first Prime Minister should not detract from his more substantial role as Party leader, writes Mark Hearn

Review: Chewing the Fat
As debate rages in Australia about Fast Food advertising, Julianne Taverner takes a look at a side of the industry that Ronald McDonald won’t tell you about in Supersize Me.

Poetry: Dear John
Workers Online reader Rob Mullen shares some personal correspondence with our glorious leader.


 Adecco in the Dock

 Chubb Faces Bullying Rap

 Print Company Burns Staff

 Carr "Prefers" Americans

 Drug Cheats’ Eye off Olympics

 Unions Crack Skull

 Howard Backs $7.30 Report

 MCG Vet Kicks Casual Goal

 Parking tickets Gonged

 Safety Meets Low Expectations

 Koori Building for Future

 "Super Sopper" Soaks Up Funds

 Kelly’s Figures go West

 Activists What’s On!


The Westie Wing
As the NSW Labor Government sells its first budget deficit in nine years, the real concern for the union movement is the devil in the detail, especially when it comes to procurement agreements, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Rubber Bullets
Labor's IR spokesman Craig Emerson launches a few characteristic salvos across the Parliamentary chamber

The Locker Room
Tears After Bedtime
Phil Doyle says that it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye

Postcard from Vietnam
APHEDA's Hoang Thi Le Hang reports from the north of Vietnam on a project being fund by Australian unionists.,

 History Left In The Back Of The Cab
 Libs have Got To Go
 A Boring Bastard
 A Home Of Their Own
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Letters to the Editor

A Home Of Their Own

Good to see that the housing issue is on the agenda.

And John Sutton's arguments are good.

I was at the Housing Affordability summit and can recommend you advise people to access the other papers on their web.

Please access the excellent papers on>

The research presented is startling on the need; there is a crisis 1. For the homeless, over 100,000 homeless every night, a national scandal, with 200 children seeking emergency shelter but none available; 2. Over a million of the working poor in housing poverty; in housing stress because as low income earners, they have to pay well over 30% of income on rent in the private rental market and can't get into public housing; 3. low income earners unable to get home ownership.

The Howard government (with no rep attending, no Housing Minister) is walking away from capital funding to build homes through state housing trusts, so Australia urgently requires: a National Affordability Housing Agreement.The supply of affordable housing is critical.

Increased public investment for affordable housing beginning with an extra

$500 million; a Public Sector Housing renewal Fund and an Affordable Housing Innovations Fund; Reform to the tax system to improve equity and efficiency of their impact on housing affordability; it is amazing how there is more assistance to the upper classes!; a national strategy for land and infrastructure planning.; a National Housing Minister and Housing policy; targeted First Home Buyers grant;...and much more.

The Summit was supportive of the Options paper available.

Chair Professor Julian Disney will be preparing a final summary soon.

As this an election year, the issue of housing affordability has to be on the national agenda. The Howard government has again been most mean in a rich society! The PM is a housing subsidised tenant, and lives in Public Housing!

And the poor can't get a decent home!

We await with interest the details of Mark Latham's policy.

See also: the National Shelter Policy Platform; the Australian Federation of Homelessness Organisations; ACOSS and ACTU policies.


Chris White


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