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Issue No. 233 13 August 2004  

Australian Pastoral
Now the US Australia Free Trade Agreement is signed, sealed and rubberstamped, we will see for ourselves who was right – those who argued Nirvana or those who warned of economic Armageddon.


Interview: Trading Places
New ACTU International Officer Alison Tate cut her teeth delivering aid to developing nations through APHEDA. Now she is helping chart the global union agenda.

Safety: Snow Job
James Hardie has been drilled into our collective consciousness as a story of power, greed and immorality. It is also, as Jim Marr reports, a tale of human tragedy.

Politics: In the Vanguard
Damien Cahill reveals how neo-liberal think tanks have been at the forefront of the corporate assault upon trade unions and social movements in Australia.

Unions: Gentle Giant Goes For Gold
Don’t get between Sydney sparkie Semir Pepic and a gold medal in a dimly lit alley, writes Tim Brunero.

Bad Boss: 'Porker' Chases Blue Ribbon
Perfect Porker, Darren Vincent, brings a history of meat worker shafting to this month’s Bad Boss nomination.

International: Cruising For A Bruising
Europe’s big unions are bruised as they watch companies roll over some of their best-organised unionised workplaces demanding longer work hours – without any recompense, reports Andrew Casey.

History: Under the Influence
Was John Kerr drunk when he wrote and signed the letter dismissing Edward Gough Whitlam from the Prime Ministership in 1975? Geraldine Willissee investigates.

Economics: Working Capital
Where superannuation fits, where it fails and what we should we do about it. Neale Towart gives the tough answers.

Review: Fahrenheit 9/11
There's many a must see moment in Mike Moore's new flick but beating the propaganda machine at its own game wreaks havoc with wearied bullshit detectors, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Bad Intelligence Rap
When Flood washed away the PM's sins, the truth was once again left high and dry.

Satire: Osama Bin Manchu
During a recent visit to an elderly relative in a nursing home, I was waylaid by an ancient gentleman who insisted I listen to what he had to say, writes Rowan Cahill.


 Hardie Boycott Sweeps State

 Vic Bosses Spit Dummy

 Revenge of the Bank Staff

 Young Workers Grounded

 Stab Proof Undies Arresting

 Carr in Cleaners Dust-Up

 Conflict Threatens Rail Safety

 Stats Lead Race to Bottom

 Spotlight on Olympic Stitch-Up

 Bomber Targets Canberra

 Casino's Gamble Backfires

 Choice in Truth Mix

 Activists What’s On!


The Westie Wing
The Labor Governments in each State must take the lead to stop the abuse of corporate law in Australia in the absence of action from the Federal Government, as the Inquiry into James Hardie’s has highlighted, writes Ian West.

The Soapbox
Cleaners Deserve Our Support
It's time the state's cleaners were given some support, loyalty and long service leave, writes Chris Christodoulou.

The Locker Room
Half Time At The Football
Phil Doyle wants to have his pie and eat it too.

Faithful Servant
Frank Mossfield was one of the labour movement’s quiet achievers. Former Labor Council secretary Michael Easson pays tribute.

Lessons From East Timor
Just back from a study tour to East Timor, National Reserach Officer with the Construction division of the CFMEU, Ben Stirling, writes about the experience for Workers Online.

 Tom’s Legal Advice
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Activists What’s On!

Boycott and Picket the Safari Restaurant


How can you help?

Boycott the Safari Restaurant

Sign our Supporters Petition

Make a donation to the campaign

Picket nightly from 6.15pm - 28 King Street, Newtown.

Dream on!

National competition for students - term 3

The Australian Council of Trade Unions' Worksite for Schools website ( is currently running a national competition for school, TAFE and RTO students - Your Dream Job.

To enter, students must write about the job of their dreams. There is $100 for the student winner, $50 for 2 runners-up, and $25 for the winner of the special effort category.

The competition will not only give students a chance to win, it's a great way for them to learn about the workforce and get them excited about their working future.

Worksite is a terrific source of information about the workforce, providing statistics, encouraging debate, creativity and analysis.

The competition closes Friday 22nd October 2004. More information and an entry form can be obtained from the Worksite website -

Please call 1800 659 511 (toll free) or email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Korean anti-war protest, Martin Place, Aug 14, 2pm

Rally Against Korean Troop Deployment to Iraq

2PM -14 August 2004 (Sat)

32-36 Martin Place, Sydney (at Korean Consulate)

Contact Person : Joon Shik Shin (0409-887-388), [email protected]

The Korean government is torn, with significant parliamentary opposition, from both government and opposition parties, to the deployment of 3,000 troops to Kurdish areas in Northern Iraq. This opposition was boosted when the US report on the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks stated that there was no connection between the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq and the Al Qaeda attack on the USA.

The President vs David Hicks, from Aug 12

Award winning filmmakers Curtis Levy and Bentley Dean's inspired, controversial documentary

The President Vs David Hicks

Season commences in Sydney: This Thursday, 12th of August 2004, at the Valhalla Cinema, 166 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe Ph 9660 8050. One of the directors, Curtis Levy or Bentley Dean will be present at every Sydney screening for a discussion after the film.

Melbourne: The Lumiere, 108 Lonsdale St, Melbourne. Ph 03 9639 1055

Brisbane: The Schonel Twin, Union Building, Queensland University. Ph 07 3377 2200

Special Sydney Amnesty International Fundraiser

with Terry Hicks and filmmaker Curtis Levy in person.

Date: Thursday 12 August 2004

Time: 8pm

Place: Valhalla Cinemas, 166 Glebe Point Road, Glebe

Cost: $15

RSVP: Valhalla Cinemas Ph 9660 8050

The film follows the journey of Terry Hicks, father of 28-year old Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks, as he traces his son‚s footsteps in an attempt to understand what happened to him.

Having never before left Australia, Terry travels to Pakistan, then deep into Taliban country in Afghanistan to meet a former detainee who was in a cell next to David at Guantanamo Bay. Later he comes face to face with the man who captured his son.

"I found it very moving... Dad, it was amazing to see you travelling through those regions. I've been thinking about the film for days. I don't think I will forget about it in a hurry. I'd like to explain more about how it makes me feel, but I'm just lost for words....I can't wait to be home with you and the rest of the family" David Hicks - Guantanamo Bay

"This is a documentary which every concerned Australian should see." David Stratton - At The Movies

David: **** Margaret: ****

Sydney Season: Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8pm, from the 12th of August to the 5th of September. One of the directors, Curtis Levy or Bentley Dean will be present at every Sydney screening for a discussion after the film.

For any inquiries about the film please contact Teri Calder: [email protected] or 0425 230 679.

For more information on the campaigns to support David Hicks, Mamdouh Habib and other political prisoners please visit: and


Joe Higgins TD (Socialist Party, Dublin West) is to tour Australia in August 2004. Jailed last year for a month for his involvement in the Bin Tax dispute, Higgins - who worked as a construction worker in Sydney in the 1970s - will be speaking at meetings of the Irish Community, workplace meetings, at a National Union of Workers delegates‚ meeting and at public meetings in Newcastle, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne about recent workers‚ and community struggles in Ireland and Europe.

Against an international backdrop of understandable cynicism and distrust of politicians of all political persuasions, Joe Higgins stands out as one politician prepared to back his words with action. Joe is nationally known as a fighter for working class people and for standing for working class unity and socialism, in the South and North of Ireland. Working class people in Ireland know of Joe‚s reputation as a class fighter ˆ they have witnessed him fighting for their communities for years, including being sent to prison, along with Socialist Party Councillor Clare Daly, and other activists, during mass anti-bin charges protests, last year.


NEWCASTLE: 6.30pm on Friday August 13th at the Commonwealth Hotel, 35 Union St, Cooks Hill, Newcastle.

SYDNEY: 3pm on Saturday 14th August at the Gaelic Club, 64 Devonshire St, Sydney (near Central station).

The Occupation Of Cockatoo Island 1989

Militant union film showing

A film by Frances Kelly and John Tognolini

In 1989 dockyard workers staged a 93-day long strike and occupation to defend Australia's oldest workplace, Cockatoo island dockyard. Then Prime Minister Bob Hawke and then Defence Minister Kim Beazley shut the yard down, leaving 1600 workers jobless.

Speaker: John Tognolini, former Cockatoo island painter & Docker, now High School teacher and NSW Teachers Federation State Councillor. Plus help launch the new Socialist Alliance Workers Charter

6,30pm, Tuesday 17th of August

Resistance Centre, 23 Abercrombie Street Chippendale

Hosted by Socialist Alliance

Ph: 9690 1977 - 0428 826 347

Gough Whitlam's speechwriter-masterclass

17 August

Please find below an event happening next Tuesday at UWS that might be of

interest. Any mention you could possibly give would be much

appreciated. Please contact me on 0418 438 399 if you require more details.

Kind regards,

Amanda Whibley

Freudenberg asks: do political speeches still win hearts and minds?

As Howard and Latham jostle for poll-position, it is worth recalling the tone of election campaigns past when Graham Freudenberg, Gough Whitlam‚s

speechwriter, helped shape Australia‚s political agenda.

Arguably the greatest speechwriter in Australian history, who has moulded

and articulated political thought for generations, Mr Freudenberg will share

the passion behind political prose when he presents the Whitlam Institute‚s

masterclass on ŒWriting and Society‚ at the University of Western Sydney‚s

Parramatta Campus on August 17.

Mr Freudenberg will lead the class with Rhodes scholar and former Keating

adviser, Michael Fullilove, now program director for global issues at the

Lowy Institute for International policy in Sydney. Together, they will ask:

Is the art of great political oration dead?

Executive Director of the Whitlam Institute, Jacqueline Woodman, describes

the masterclass as a rare opportunity to hear Graham Freudenberg‚s views on

how ideas and language can inspire social change.

„Graham‚s participation reflects the maturing of the Whitlam Institute as a

platform for inquiry into those matters important for contemporary

Australian society ˆ those same issues that inspired Graham Freudenberg when

forging national policy over generations,‰ Ms Woodman says.

In June 1961, at the age of 27, Mr Freudenberg was appointed press secretary

to then Federal Opposition leader Arthur Calwell. Since then he has crafted

over 22 state and federal campaign policy speeches for a string of Labor

luminaries, including Mr Whitlam, Neville Wran, Bob Hawke, Barry Unsworth

and Bob Carr.

He has also authored two books celebrating the Labor tradition, A Certain

Grandeur ˆ Gough Whitlam in Politics (1977) and Cause for Power ˆ The

Centenary History of the NSW Labor Party (1991).

Mr Fullilove, like Freudenberg, is a firm believer in the power of great

political oratory. He is preparing a collection of landmark Australian

speeches to be published in 2005 by Random House.

The masterclass will be attended by the Hon Gough Whitlam AC QC.

The Whitlam Institute, established in 2000 within the University of Western

Sydney, fosters scholarship, public education and inquiry about the policies

and priorities that shape Australian society.

For information about the masterclass or to register, contact the Whitlam

Institute on (02) 9685 9187.

Qld Consevation Council state conference: August

20, 21 AND 22 AUGUST - Mercure Hotel, Brisbane


Different Voices: Common Cause?

Different Voices: Common Cause promises to deliver an environmental conference with a twist. The theme reflects an attempt to find common cause between differing perspectives on environmental issues. Can developers and environmentalists agree on anything? Is there room for the union movement to work with conservation groups to achieve better environmental and employment outcomes?


Friday Night: Dinner/Forum - The Environment and the Election.

Speakers include: Senator Kerry Nettle (Greens); Mr Kelvin Thomson MP (ALP); and Senator Lyn Allison (Democrats).

Places going quickly, so book now to hear what politicians have to say about the importance of the environment at election times. Includes dinner and drinks.

Saturday and Sunday - Two Streams

Environment Stream: Climate Perspectives; Urban Perspectives; Employment Perspectives; Water Perspectives; Northern Perspectives; Wildlife Perspectives.

Training and Development Stream: Managing Sponsorship; Managing Organisations; Managing Volunteers; Managing People; Managing Fundraising; Managing Media.

PRICING - includes GST

Dinner/Forum Only $70 (no concession available)

Full Conference Sat & Sun $120 ($100) + dinner $180 ($160)

Full Day - includes buffet lunch $70 ($60)

Half Day - includes tea & coffee $40 ($30)

Single Session - includes tea & coffee $ 20 ($15)

(Concessions available for current Full-Time Students and Health Care Card holders only).

Places are limited. Contact Michael at

[email protected] for booking details or call

07 3221 0188.

Qld Conservation Council

166 Ann Street,


Qld 4000

Ph: 07 3221 0188

Fax: 07 3229 7992

Rock Against the Free Trade Agreement

Wednesday August 25th. Annandale Hotel

A night of excellent, up-and-coming artists showing the talent and promise of the local music industry, threatened by a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. Come and enjoy a mixture of sublime acoustic and pop music, punk, electronic wizardy, hard-rock and funk.

Celebrate it and save it!



Mezzinine stage



Band Stage


Urban Guerillas

Mezzinine stage



Band Stage


Talk about FTA

Mezzinine stage



Band Stage

Wednesday August 25th. Annandale Hotel

Parramatta Rd (Crn Nelson St), Annandale

$8 at the door


Now in its fifth year running, New Directions continues to bring new works and new directors to New Theatre. This year's selection includes the Australian premiere of a new play, and two contemporary Australian dramas.

New Directions welcomes back New Theatre's previous artistic director, Alice Livingstone, who will be directing the Australian Premiere of GAGARIN WAY by Gregory Burke. Our next two plays welcome two new directors to New Theatre, who are both directing contemporary Australian works. Juliette Ferrier is directing NAVIGATING by Katherine Thomson and Fiona Hallenan is directing FEATURES OF BLOWN YOUTH by Raimondo Cortese. Joshua Mason (OUR TOWN) is the season designer with Spiros Hristias as lighting designer.



The New Directions 2004 Season will be officially launched on SATURDAY 14 AUGUST @ 5PM at New Theatre, 542 King St, Newtown.

You are invited to join us and meet the directors, designers, casts and crews who will be bringing you this eclectic mix of thought-provoking and outright challenging theatre.


INVITATION to the NEW DIRECTIONS 2004 Productions

You and your guest are invited to attend one performance of each play on the night of your choice:


GAGARIN WAY by Gregory Burke - Australian Premiere!

directed by Alice Livingstone

27 August - 11 September

In the storeroom of a Scottish factory, Gary and Eddie, two accidental anarchists, are making the ultimate political statement. Frank is the nearest target. And Tom? Tom just came back for his hat!

Tarantino meets Beckett in this blisteringly funny, edgy black comedy about a human heist gone horribly wrong.

A smash hit at the Edinburgh Festival and the National Theatre in London, GAGARIN WAY is the debut play from a hugely talented and tough young writer.

Cast: Rob Flanagan, Jason Langley, Andy Leonard & Phil Scott


NAVIGATING by Katherine Thomson

directed by Juliette Ferrier

16 September - 2 October

What would you do if you discovered proof of corruption among people you thought you knew? Would you tell? And if you did, could you survive your friends and neighbours abandoning you one by one?

Against a backdrop of small town politics within a rural community, NAVIGATING tracks one woman's journey from naive bystander to courageous whistleblower. A compelling story from one of Australia's finest contemporary playwrights.

Cast: Christine Greenough, John Keightley, Greg Kennedy, Peter McAllum, Jill McKay, Alison Peters & Meredith Porteous



directed by Fiona Hallenan

16 September - 2 October

As gritty as Trainspotting, this exciting new version of FEATURES OF BLOWN YOUTH explores the frustrations and futility facing young people in their daily existence.

It's the inner city; a student, a stripper, a struggling writer, a cynical idealist and a wannabe tough guy are living in a shared house. Enter a naive skinhead, an ambitious prostitute and their very dangerous landlord and everyone's world implodes. A raw, violent and ultimately provocative Australian drama.

Cast: Les Chantery, Kimberley Hews, Lori Killesteyn, Francesca Savige, Patrick Spicer, Lucy Taylor, Johann Walraven & Gerard Williams


Performance Times for all productions: Thursday, Friday, Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 5:30pm

RSVP: email: newth[email protected] , or phone: 02 9519 8958

Please ring to confirm you seats and remember to bring this invitation to collect your tickets.


New Theatre

542 King Street NEWTOWN NSW 2042

bookings: 02 9519 8958

administration: 02 9519 3403

fax: 02 9519 8960

email: [email protected]

Republican Film Night - Tuesday 31 August 2004

Further details at

Popular Education Activism and Organising Forum - UTS

What is behind the interest in building alliances between unions and community groups? What differences and similarities are there in organising in the labour movement and organising in the community or social movements? Are the values that shape these different areas of social activism clear and articulated? What is needed to build and sustain effective alliances? What needs to be learned from existing campaigns and alliances? This is the third of a three forum series looking at different education, organising and activist strategies being used by movements and organizations pursuing social justice and change agendas. Union activists, environmental campaigners, community advocates, educators and grassroots campaigners are participating in the forums.

Case Studies

Debbie Carstens

Fair Wear - outworkers, unions, churches and community organisations in coalition organising for change

Fair Wear, which aims to eliminate the exploitation of home-based outworkers, is nearly 10 years old. Its strategies include organising outworkers, education and leadership campaigns aimed at young people, winning support of Parent & Citizen associations, the use of street theatre and protests, lobbying retailers and government, letter writing and building broader coalitions. Debbie Carstens, the Coordinator of Asian Women at Work and Chair of NSW Fair Wear, will review this campaign.

Michelle Hogan The South Australian Summer School experience

Between 1998 and 2002 union, environmental and women's activists came together for a residential school. Why did it come about? How did it work? Why did it stop? Michelle Hogan, who coordinated the program for five years, will explain. Before being elected Assistant Secretary of the SA United Trades and Labor Council Michelle worked in a range of community development/advocacy positions (CYSS, Community Arts, Working Women's Centre). She is currently , Director of the Dale St Womens Health Centre.

Amanda Tattersall Community Unionism in practice in NSW

In recent years there have been a number of attempts at community union alliances and coalitions - against TAFE fee rises, Labor4refugees, for public transport, and against the war. How effective is the model that has developed? Amanda is a Special Projects Officer at the NSW Labor Council and a doctoral student researching community unionism.


Kate Lee

Are community-union alliances important? Can they work? Why aren't there more

Kate will discuss some of the barriers that can prevent or limit community-union alliances, and the importance of organising strategies for the community sector. Kate has been researching several examples of community-union alliances in the US and UK. She is currently an organiser with the Australian Services Union and before that worked in the community sector.

Carla Lipsig-Mumme Community Unionism and Community Organising

Community unionism is both an old and new idea: it speaks to identifying unions with the community, to strategic defence, and to organisational compromise. Trade unions, in particular, both love and fear community alliances. Carla's presentation is on some Canadian and American experiences with community-union alliances, and the spectrum of union-community relationships that have developed. Carla is currently Research Professor, Political and Social Inquiry, and Director of WAGE, Research Centre on Work and society in the Global Era, at Monash University. Prior to coming to Australia, Carla was a union organiser for clothing workers, migrant farmworkers, and education workers in Canada and the US. She also directed the Centre for Research on Work and Society, and held a Chair at York University in Canada until 2001.

The forum will actively engage participants in discussing and analysing different experiences.

Date: Friday, 10 September, 2004

Time: 9am - 2pm

Location: Centre for Popular Education

University of Technology, Sydney

235 Jones St, Broadway

If you haven't already registered the forum fee is $30.

To register and for further details contact Steven Yates (02) 9514 3700,

or Tony Brown (02) 9514 3866

email: [email protected]

Films, politics and learning conference

Organization: OVAL Research, Faculty of Education, University of Technology

Dec 6 & 7

These nights aim:

- To bring together radical film-makers, radical film buffs, and radical educators.

- To inspire educators about ways they can use film in their work.

- To inspire film-makers about ways they might facilitate learning about politics.

- To foster discussion and advocacy about this field of practice.

We are seeking videos and films under 2 categories:

1. Agitprop: protest, guerrilla, activist, political, subversive short films /videos.

2. Participatory film-making: community films/videos as social intervention.

The nights will focus on short films and video from artists, activists and educators from the international scene. Your work will be presented to an audience of educators, activists and artists delegates from of the "Education and Social Action" international conference and the general film buffs interested in activism.

The nights are a non-profit event without competition. There are therefore no prizes and no pay involved, but of course you keep the rights.

There is no limitation of geographic origin but speaking Films/Videos must be in English, or subtitled in English. Fiction, documentary, animation or experimental are accepted. Videos must be no more than 10 minutes.

The only format accepted is DVD.

Send copies with entry form to Celina McEwen, The Centre for Popular Education, UTS, PO Box 123, BROADWAY NSW 2007 AUSTRALIA. Entry copies will not be returned, so don't send originals. To confirm receipt your video/film, send a self-addressed stamped postcard.

Deadline for entries is September 30, 2004. Individuals and organisations can submit unlimited number of films, but should complete a separate entry form for each film. All the films may be put on the same tape.

Entry forms can be downloaded from

For further information email Celina on (02) 9514 3847 or [email protected]


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