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Issue No. 235 27 August 2004  

Gold Fever
So this is our most successful Olympics ever. Our athletes will return from Athens with their biggest ever haul of medals, more winners per capita than anywhere on earth. If all this is true, why does it all feel so empty?


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.


 Crane Topples at Death Probe

 Treasury�s "Scary" Power Play

 Aussie Idol on the Farm

 Email Volley Defends Delegate

 Hardie Slow on the Uptake

 Meatworkers Go Full Monty

 Sydney or the Bush

 Delta Blues

 Badge of Honour Signals Row

 Libs to Trump Court

 Project Champions Working Poor

 Jobs Victory on the Border

 Scabs in the Valley

 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.

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Aussie Idol on the Farm

Australian Idol star Shannon Noll is backing a union-initiated $20,000 competition to improve rural safety.

The Australian Workers Union (AWU) and the Australian Hotels Association have joined forces to launch the Neil Noll � Daniel Croker Award calling on people to put forward ideas to improve farm safety.

The award is named in part to honour the memory of Noll's father, who was killed in a farm accident.

It is also a tribute to Daniel Croker, who was19 when he died following a fall from a horse.

The award was instigated by AWU officials Mick Madden and Glenn Seton to deal with the growing problem of farm accidents.

"Five years ago there was a rural fatality every 26 days," says Russ Collison from the AWU. "Since then there's been 40,000 jobs lost in the country and now there's a death every 23 days, so it's obviously going in the wrong direction.

"Over the years rural workers have breasted the bar at the end of the day where a number of good suggestions have been made. The problem was that was where they stayed.

"We're offering a cash prize of $20,000 for the best initiative, invention or suggestion to save lives on NSW farms.

"We believe there's be plenty of interest."

The award has the support of Neil Noll's wife and sons and Daniel Croker's family.

The competition will be promoted on Sky Channel and contestants will be able to enter through local hotels.

Noll, who hails from Condobolin, launched the safety award at Orange last week.

Collison praised the Australian Idol runner-up for backing the award.

"After meeting with Shannon and his family I can say that they are the nicest and most genuine people. At the launch he signed autographs for hours and was never flustered once," Collison said.

"All I can say is the wrong bloke won."

The competition is open until February next year when a committee will pick a winner who will be announced at the 2005 Golden Guitar Weekend in Tamworth.


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