Gary Humphries first rose to mediocrity in the regime of ACT Chief Minister Kate Carnell, back in the days when blowing up hospitals was considered good public policy.
His claim to fame after that was losing the ACT for the Liberal Party after a backlash over his rather unorthodox approach to competence.
The man with all the charisma of a fence post, but none of the charm, has since gone on to replace that bumbling bundle of self importance Margaret Reid as the Liberals sole senator for the ACT.
As Chief Minister our Tool Of The Week oversaw the organised ripping off of ACT public servants who, when they weren't being sacked, saw their wages and conditions lag 10-15% behind their commonwealth counterparts.
On top of this Canberrans also enjoyed watching cutbacks to everything except cutbacks. Buses libraries, health, housing; all suffered from the fiscal zealotry of the one time failed student politician.
The excitement machine raised eyebrows in the nation's capital when he threw his insubstantial weight behind Peter Costello's claim that the best thing that ever happened to Canberra was the Liberal Government sacking 17,000 of its citizens.
No doubt they are far better off now that they no longer have to bother about paying a mortgage, collecting a pay packet or contributing to their country.
Our Tool Of the week's tortuous squirmings over the issue of him acting as cheerleader as his neighbours getting kicked in the guts by his mate with the smirk took a turn towards the pungently hypocritical this week when he tried to position himself as the Public Servant's friend.
This, of course, was his swipe at the Mouth from Mandurah, Kim Beazley, and his well thought through suggestion that the best way to win people's hearts and minds is by sacking them.
This week Humphries also tried to flex his muscle by dragging out the hoary chestnut of cracking down on the poor bastards stuck on the dole.
No doubt with so many of his erstwhile fellow Canberrans enjoying the Liberal Party's 21st century equivalent of bear baiting, from the position of the bear, this sort of tripe will go down a treat.
Someone needs to remind the Humph that Public Service means a bit more than former Communication Ministers getting a job with Austero.
His venality in this area appeared somewhat misplaced when his concern over 200 jobs at the Department of Defence is stacked up against the 17,000 jobs his Liberal Party colleagues wiped out of existence in the greatest contribution to civic building since Attilla sacked Rome.
Humphries is one of those Liberals whose frustration at their inability to run themselves into the ground in the private sector is manifest in their desire to run the public sector into the ground instead.
Humphries gold medal for hypocrisy this week will no doubt hasten the end for the unelected senator for the ACT.
With the Greens Kerry Tucker running a good chance of slotting the second place I the ACT Senate campaign our Tool Of the Week faces the ignominy of being the First Liberal Senator from the ACT to fail at his first electoral test.
The best thing our Tool Of the Week could do between now and then is to keep his mouth shut, as opening it seems to only allow him the opportunity of inserting his foot in there.
Unions, asbestos disease sufferers and MRCF, the fund established by James Hardie Industries, this week joined forces to urge the NSW Government to reject the company’s bid for a statutory compensation scheme.
Community support flooded in with seven councils voting to boycott James Hardie products and the mayors of six others confirming resolutions would go before their next meetings.
Sydney City, Leichhardt, Parramatta, Canada Bay, Newcastle, Ashfield and Ryde have all instructed staff to seek building materials from other sources.
Bankstown, Waverley, Randwick, Wollongong Penrith and Canterbury have flagged likely support.
The CFMEU this week urged individual handy persons and renovators to join the campaign.
It urged consumers to brush the following products until James Hardie agrees to fully compensate Australians dying from contact with its products - Exo Tec façade panel; HardiColour washroom partitions; HardiePanel compressed sheets; Vitropanel; Artists Columns and Sunscreens; Ezi-Grid tilebacker; CMX System; HardieScreen lattice; the D3-100 Fixing System; Villaboard Lining; Versilux wall and ceiling linings; Soffit and Soffit Linings; Sanishute waste disposal systems; James Hardie fencing products.
"Unfortunately, the bottom line appears to be the only thing Hardie directors understand," CFMEU state secretary, Andrew Ferguson, said.
James Hardie was Australia's largest producer of asbestos-related in products.
In 2001, it moved its corporate home to Holland to become known as James Hardie NV, leaving behind a trust fund to meet compensation claims from tens of thousands of Australians expected to die from exposure to its products.
Hardie assured the NSW Supreme Court its trust fund, MRCF, would have access to $1.9 billion in assets, primarily quarantined partly-paid shares.
However, at a secret meeting barely 12 months after getting the green light to relocate, directors secretely rescinded that arrangement.
The Commission of Inquiry has heard its rapidly expiring trust is likely to fall more than $2 billion short of being able to compensate asbestos Australian asbestos victims.
Now, based in the Netherlands and the US, the company says it has "no legal or moral obligation" to Australian sufferers.
The whole corporate restructure has been resolutely opposed by the AMWU from the time it was floated.
State secretary, Paul Bastian, warned politicians of the likely ramifications, from the off, calling the restructure an "act or corporate bastardry".
The CFMEU, MUA and NSW Labor Council have joined the AMWU in campaigning against James Hardie's bid to cut and run.
Last week, counsel assisting the special inquiry established by Premier Bob Carr, recommended that California-based James Hardie CEO, Macdonald, face fraud charges for his part in the restructure.
Howard Ducks Asbestos Challenge
Meanwhile, John Howard has refused to commit the Liberal Party to returning donations made by James Hardie since it hatched its corporate restructure.
Howard refused to make any commitment until see the final outcome of the commission of inquiry, expected to report around election time.
He was put under pressure when Opposition Leader, Mark Latham, turned over $77,500 to asbestos sufferers campaigning against the former stockmarket darling.
In handing the cheque to Asbestos Dieseas Foundation of Australia vice president, Bernie Banton, Latham said it represented all the money donated to federal and NSW Labor since 2001.
Workers Online understands Coalition parties have pocketed more than $100,000 in the same period.
Bastian publicly challenged Latham to hand back the money when the ALP leader addressed the recent AMWU national conference.
As the claim for a better pay deal for childcare workers reaches its endgame, the Child Care Association of Victoria is actively pushing AWAs as a way of dodging the decision.
CCAV's newsletter urges its member to switch to AWAs "in order to minimise the impact of an imminent, substantial and unjustified wage claim by the union".
The LHMU Child Care Union sees the pitch as an attempt to undermine the work value test case, due for decision in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission soon.
In a decision that will affect 16,000 childcare workers in Victoria and the ACT, the LHMU is arguing for rises of between seven and 25 per cent to reflect the value these workers deliver.
They've won the backing of Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations, Dr Craig Emerson who raised he issue in Federal Parliament this week..
The Labor MP accused the Howard Government of approving the use of AWAs as a way to deliberately undermine the wages of child care workers.
" The child care employers proposed AWAs offer a pay rise of only 2.5 per cent over three years, compared with the union's claim for pay increases of more than seven per cent," Emerson told Parliament.
" This shows yet again that AWAs are being used to undermine the wages and conditions of vulnerable working Australians. A Latham Labor Government will abolish AWAs."
The move to silence staff followed revelations senior management had categorised staff as "nerds" or "turds".
The references appeared in an internal e-mail circulated to branch managers, which said the nerds "have no life" while turds were good for nothing but "flushing".
According to staff, morale is being torpedoed by management's refusal to listen to proposals for improved workplaces and better service.
"People are feeling insecure about their jobs [and] can't access resources to improve customer service," says Sharron Caddie, from the Finance Sector Union (FSU). "CBA says one thing and does the opposite. David Murray said he wanted people to have 'a reat day at work', that he would support them and listen to their suggestions."
"People are now very disillusioned with this organisation and the way it has flatly ignored their efforts. They are going public and asking customers to support their ideas for a better bank."
Staff planning to take protected action against the bank received a letter from David Marshall, an executive general manager.
The letter reminded staff of the "good faith owed to the bank in your capacity as an employee" and told them that they were not allowed to speak to the media or even identify themselves as Commonwealth bank employees.
Despite the letter staff rallied in Martin Place to oppose moves to slash over 4000 jobs and services to the public.
The bank is planning cuts to 3,700 support staff and 600 positions in lending. These cuts are expected to impact heavily on rural and regional customers as the bank moves to "rationalise" its business lending services.
The FSU (Commonwealth Bank Officers Section) has begun a public campaign to improve service at the bank, launching a petition calling on the bank to lift its game.
"The CBA was indeed once the People's Bank," says Peter Presdee, secretary of the FSU Commonwealth Bank Officers Section. "We will not rest until staff and customers are once again treated in a manner that was essential to the culture of the People's Bank."
In the first day of its operation, the Labor Council hotline received 35 calls from angry youngsters who said the laws were unworkable and would jeopardise their employment and studies.
Labor Council spokesman Matt Thistlethwaite said many students were worried the proposed law change would effect their ability to fund tertiary studies through barwork and nightfill jobs.
"They thought the government's proposal to grant exemptions for workers and students would mean so many people got them the whole system would be useless," he says.
"Young people who do volunteer work for community organisations were also worried. One guy who does tutoring for Air Force cadets was worried because he only finished at 9.30pm and he has to drive an hour home," says Thistlethwaite.
Labor Council secretary John Robertson said the curfew would have a devastating impact on young workers, particularly apprentices attending night courses and students working casually, in the hospitality industry.
"Young workers who are taking the initiative to get ahead are being hit two ways, first by ongoing cuts to public transport and now by this proposal to limit the time they can drive on the roads," Robertson said.
The NSW Roads Minister, Carl Scully, wants to force young drivers off the road between 10pn and 6am, stop them driving powerful cars and restrict teenage passengers to one.
Scully, who aims to have the measures in place by year's end,
has said young drivers who had to use their cars for night jobs could be granted restricted licenses allowing them to drive to and from work.
The Unions NSW Hotline number is: 1800 688 919
Niall Irvine came up with his idea after he realised that that although many police forces used stab-proof vests there was still a chink in their armour.
According to Scottish media the young designer will now be able to develop a prototype of his protective underwear for marketing
The news comes as the NSW Police Association (NSWPA) reveals changes to uniforms as part of a concerted push to improve safety for by making uniforms reflect the realities of operational policing.
Changes to footwear, belts, pants and jackets are features of the new uniforms.
A study is currently being conducted into a new Shape Shifter Gel Belt that moulds to individual officer's hips.
The move to a new belt came after a NSWPA survey revealed that over 1000 officers had experienced problems with the existing belt.
"General comments have largely been positive,' says Scott Webber, vice president of the NSW Police association of the new belt.
Operational police have welcomed new cargo pants that distribute weight more evenly and allow officers to carry more items.
"They don't split when you're jumping a fence," says Webber of the more practical cargo pants.
They feature alongside wind-resistant jackets, baseball style caps, the new GP boots and kevlar pants for motorcycle police that are a part of the new "safe and practical uniform" for operational police.
"The Police Association is taking a large and active role in the Police Service's Uniform Standards Committee,' says Webber.
The rollout of the new uniform, currently running ahead of schedule, is expected to be complete by mid-2005.
In an opinion poll just completed 88 percent of parents said it was unreasonable to ask parents to help clean their children's schools.
The State Government is promoting a plan to allow school principals to choose from two levels of cleaning standards - a basic standard would involve parents chipping in to clean windows, classrooms and playgrounds.
"While the Minister and his bureaucrats think this is a good idea the poll of 400 parents across the state shows that only three per cent of parents would definitely volunteer and 77 per cent would definitely not or probably not volunteer.
"Fathers - and parents who live in rural and regional NSW - are particularly hostile to this idea.
" Imagine it. A parent rushes home from work, has dinner, drops the kids off at footy training and then goes in to wash the windows in the kid's classroom," LHMU Cleaners Union Annie Owens says.
" No wonder people think it is unreasonable, the community is already complaining about the unfair work-life balance they are trying to maintain - now Bob Carr's Government wants to pile on more demands."
The poll completed for the LHMU Cleaners Union across NSW and involving parents in both primary and secondary schools, shows most parents are quite happy with the current standard of school cleaning.
The NSW LHMU Cleaners Union has launched a protest e-mail campaign to give the community an opportunity to voice their discontent about these cleaning contract proposals directly to the Premier, the responsible Minister, John Della Bosca and the Education Minister and Deputy Premier, Dr Refshauge.
Click here to send an email protest:
Transport Services Minister, Michael Costa, is being urged to ensure the fatigue management program is independently tested in the interests of public safety.
Unions have expressed concern at attempts by businesses to sell safety systems that actually fail to address real safety problems, such as fatigue.
"We shouldn't be under any illusion, this is just a marketing exercise," says NSW Labor Council secretary John Robertson. "We've seen where companies conduct so-called research and then go on to market it as a product"
In late 2003 experts debunked psychometric testing provided to RailCorp that was supposed to measure driver's ability to work safely.
One RailCorp train driver was forced to work as a housekeeper after being found 'unfit' to drive by psychometric tests arranged by RailCorp.
Railcorp re-instated the driver after he shelled out $550 from his own pocket to get an independent assessment.
The Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator (ITSRR) has commissioned the Centre For Sleep Research (CSR) to identify acceptable fatigue limits for train crews and other rail safety workers using its FAID system.
CSR's FAID uses a system that, according to rail workers, does not take account of environmental factors that impact on drivers' abilities to operate safely.
"RailCorp is using this tool to override all other factors," says Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) official Allan Barden. "They are expecting drivers to work and sleep and have no life."
"The concern we raise is what the regulator has commissioned [CSR] to do."
Rail workers claim the FAID model relies on an individual to reduce fatigue debt by sleep, not taking into account that workers have a life and commitments away from work
Because it is the architect of the model behind the FAID system rail workers say CSR will be paid to research their own program.
The RTBU has been campaigning for 30 years for an effective fatigue management system for train drivers.
It says fatigued drivers' response times are similar to those of someone with a blood alcohol reading of 0.05. They believe the FAID system should complement, rather than override, other management systems.
The ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) jobs data, released this week, confirmed ACTU research showing a trend to low paid work.
The data revealed that another 21,600 part time jobs came into the economy while no extra fulltime positions were created.
Twenty eight percent of the workforce is officially part time or casual at a time when ACTU figures say more than 600,000 part timers are looking for longer hours.
"Low-pay less secure jobs and 'work till you drop' are the major trends in the Australian job market," ACTU President, Sharan Burrow, said.
"These figures confirm the need for a change in direction from the Federal Government."
The official figures tally with the ACTU's analysis of a surge in low paid work. It's figures show that two out of every three jobs created since the last election carry gross wages of less than $600 a week.
The ACTU says that while hundreds of thousands are clamouring for increased hours, at the other end of the scale more than one million Australians are doing upaid overtime - up nearly 25 percent on the 1996 figure.
Economic analysts suggest a number of factors, including a sustained attack on the trade union movement since 1996, have helped depress Australian wages.
Against a backdrop of the Acropolis, they operated sewing machines in a silent protest against the continuing refusal of sportswear manufacturers to sign off on basic labour codes.
Play Fair at the Olympics spokespersons conceded some improvements had been made in the sector but urged Olympic bosses to use their influence to end the appalling working conditions faced by hundreds of thousands of women, worldwide.
The action was sparked by the refusal of the IOC to accept a petition on labour standards signed by over half a million people.
Play Fair said that punishing work schedules, poverty wages, harassment and discrimination were still facts of life in an industry enriching western manufacturers.
Launched this year by Oxfam, the Clean Clothes Campaign and global unions, Play Fair at the Olympics has focused world attention on sweat shops.
Other actions have included a regional workers' Olympics in Thailand and a ride, from Belgium to Greece, by 27 cyclists supporting the campaign.
Meanwhile, in the final week before the 2004 Games, paramedics, ambulance drivers and thousands of hotel workers took direct action in a bid to share in the Olympic bonanza.
One Greek union spokesperson summed up the wave of strikes like this: "As we say in Greece - we will smack the pig until it squeals".
The CPSU and the Howard Government have accused Beazley of undermining both the public sector and the military.
In his first policy announcement since being promoted from the back bench, the former Labour leader promised to trade thousands of civilian jobs for accelerated weapons projects and beefed-up armed forces.
Beazley described Defence's civilian workforce as "bloated". He suggested, under Labor, as many as 3000 positions would be cut.
Beazley made his pronouncement in the same week as Labor unveiled a policy to rebuild the federal public service.
CPSU assistant national secretary, Margaret Gillespie, said it appeared Beazley was at odds with his own party.
"Mr Beazley's comments about a bloated civilian workforce are misguided and appear at odds with the general thurst of the ALP's public service policy," she said.
"We are talking about real people here, with families and mortgages to sustain.
"We are sending a wake-up call to both sides of politics. Public servants will only believe you respect them when you show it in both your words and your actions."
During the long-running campaign more than 250 people at the Launceston and Hobart casinos joined colleagues in the LHMU.
State secretary, David O'Byrne, called the result a "huge victory" that would strengthen the state's labour movement.
"These people took a historic step when they went on strike, for the first time, and showed the employer they were committed to a big pay victory," O'Byrne said.
"In the weeks before the campaign kicked off we recruited 250 new members. The boss knew we were strong when we got to the bargaining table."
Highlights of the casinos' offer included a nine percent wage rise over 16 months, one-off cash payments, increased allowances and better super scheme arrangements.
Sydney Still Simmering
Meanwhile, Sydney casino workers are considering an offer after showing they meant business earlier this month by striking on a Saturday - the casino's busiest day.
Management came to workers last Friday morning with a fresh offer.
The 1500 staff at Star City are fighting for a 5 percent wage increase and a two year agreement.
Choice in Truth Mix
The clause, which would levy a fee against non-members who benefit from union-negotiated pay rises, is the type that new legislation in the Senate would outlaw.
More than 90 per cent of workers endorsed the bargaining fees clause in their latest award. They will now ask the NSW Industrial Relations Commission to respect their choice and approve the clause.
Electrical Trades Union state secretary Bernie Riordan says the clause is a simple case of users pays.
"Country Energy workers have voted through a democratic process to ensure that all who benefit from pay rises contribute to the substantial costs of negotiations," Riordan says.
"The Country Energy workers are not insisting on everyone joining the union; they just want those who benefits from the union's work to contribute their fair share."
The NSW Labor Council says the federal government legislation attempting to outlaw bargaining fees in state awards is an attack workers' freedom of choice.
Labor Council secretary John Robertson says that, if passed, the bill would take away the right of workers to choose to levy service fees on non-members who benefit from union negotiated pay rises.
"It seems to me this bill takes the idea of 'freedom of choice' to absurd levels," Robertson says.
"In a bid to protect a person's freedom to benefit from a service they don't pay for, the Minister wants to take away the right for workers to choose to make non-members pay a small contribution towards the costs of negotiating a pay rise.
"For the Howard Government, it seems 'choice' only exists where it suits their ideological agenda,"
Boycott and Picket the Safari Restaurant
SUPPORT UNPAID SUBCONTRACT BUILDING COMPANIES IN THEIR CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE
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.
National competition for students - term 3
The Australian Council of Trade Unions' Worksite for Schools website (www.worksite.actu.asn.au) 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 - www.worksite.actu.asn.au.
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
Place: Valhalla Cinemas, 166 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
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:
www.fairgofordavid.org and www.amnesty.org.au
IRISH WORKERS TD (MP)TO SPEAK IN NSW
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.
WHEN AND WHERE:
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
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.
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
QCC STATE CONFERENCE 2004 BOOK NOW!!
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,
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!
Talk about FTA
Wednesday August 25th. Annandale Hotel
Parramatta Rd (Crn Nelson St), Annandale
$8 at the door
NEW DIRECTIONS SEASON 2004
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.
INVITATION to NEW DIRECTIONS 2004 Season Launch.
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
FEATURES OF BLOWN YOUTH by Raimondo Cortese
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: [email protected]
Please ring to confirm you seats and remember to bring this invitation to collect your tickets.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT 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.
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.
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 www.cpe.uts.edu.au/pdfs/FPLentry.pdf
For further information email Celina on (02) 9514 3847 or [email protected]
The article "Councils Wedge James Hardie", in issue 232 of Workers Online attracted my attention, not through the pseudo altruistic actions of the local government bodies involved. But in what could be construed in industrial terms, as a secondary boycott, and this hypocrisy exacerbated by the fact that several of these councils are renowned for their anti-worker attitudes particularly Sydney City.
So while I in no way support the actions of James Hardie Industries in any attempt at avoiding their responsibilities, I would suggest that this behaviour by these councils may give rise to a possible legal action by James Hardie possibly citing an offence of Economic Tort, namely conspiracy.
Basically this is constructed through an agreement between two or more persons to commit a lawful or unlawful act with the intention to injure.
Where lawful means are used intention to injure the plaintiff must be predominant, and in the case of unlawful means, mere intention is sufficient.
If my reading of this article is correct, then the intention of these councils is unambiguous.
While the advocates, particularly the agriculture sector may be waiting for the rivers of gold, the main challenge for those concerned about the impact of the deal on the broader economy is to minimise the damage.
As a report prepared by Peter Brain the National Institute of Economic Research and Nixon Apple from the AMWU argues the Australian economy is not ''free trade ready' - and this, more than any line item in the FTA, will damage our national interest.
What do they mean by this? In short they argue, that the Australian economy is not at a stage of development that will allow it to thrive where government has placed itself in a public policy straight jacket.
While we like to see ourselves as an economic miracle that has withstood the pressures of the Asian meltdown and the global war on terror with low inflation and low unemployment, they warn our economic foundations are on shaky ground.
They point to an economy based on household debt, inflated property prices pushing further borrowing, an army of hidden unemployed and a nation where poverty is concentrated in areas traditionally sustained by the manufacturing sector.
In short, the Australian economy may look good on the surface, but it needs constant care and attention from the government to stay in shape - the very support that the FTA aims to outlaw.
For example, the FTA will limit governments' rights to implement 'Australian made' procurement policies as a way of fostering local industry.
Yes, the agreement allows Australian firms to compete for US government contracts. But, the author's question, how many firms are really at a size and influence that they will be able to knock off American counterparts.
Those industries that could develop into global, will have to do so in a climate of chronic under-investment in local research and development,
And with Australia submitting itself to the US's intellectual property regime, our ability to develop new technologies will be subject to the courts of another nation.
While the 'Knowledge Economy' has not been on the political landscape since it got swamped by Barry Jones spaghetti and meatballs recipe before the last federal election, it is this idea - of high-skilled, high-income industries that will be the real casualty of the FTA.
The risk for Australia is that we become squeezed between the high-tech superpowers and the growing low-wage Asian economies; leaving us nothing but raw materials and tourism to trade in the global economy.
This 'pastoralisation' of the economy is the real threat of the FTA, an economy that locks itself out of wealth, growth and opportunity by letting other nations do the t5ough work of developing new technologies,
If this isn't to happen our leaders will need to work within the new FTA to chart a course that provides hope for manufacturing and the 40,000 manufacturing workers ho stand to lose their jobs under this agreement.
At its heart its about governments doing what we pay them for, showing leadership and vision and maximising the chances for this and future generations.
Mark Latham undoubtedly won the politics on the FTA with his classic triangulation ploy of shifting the debate to cheap medicine and thus robbing the PM of his long-awaited US Alliance wedge issue.
But now there is the much harder policy work to get right if this deal does not end up strapping us back to the sheep's back.
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