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Issue No. 245 05 November 2004  

What�s In a Name?
McDonalds is doing it, IAG has done it, James Hardie desperately needs to do it � and now the Labor Council of NSW is doing it, re-working its brand to meet the changing demands of their markets.


Interview: The Reich Stuff
Robert Reich has led the debate on the future of work � both as an academic and politician. Now he�s on his way to Australia to help NSW unions push the envelope.

Economics: Crime and Punishment
Mark Findlay argues that the present psychological approach to prison programs is increasing the likelihood of re-offending and the threat to community safety.

Environment: Beyond The Wedge
Whether the great forestry divide can ever be overcome or whether it is best sidestepped for the sake of unity and sustainability in other areas is up for debate, writes Tara de Boehmler.

International: The End Of The Lucky Country
Linda Weiss, Elizabeth Thurbon and John Mathews show us How To Kill A Country

Safety: Tests Fail Tests
Nick Lewocki from the RTBU lifts the lid on the shonky science behind RailCorp testing

Politics: Labo(u)r Day
John Robertson lets fly at this years Labor Day dinner

Human Rights: Arabian Lights
Tim Brunero reports on how a Sydney sparky took on the Taliban and lived to tell the tale.

History: Labour's Titan
Percy Brookfield was a big man who was at the heart of the trade union struggles that made Broken Hill a quintessential union town writes Neale Towart.

Review: Foxy Fiasco
To find out who is outfoxing who, read Tara de Boehmler's biased review of a subjective documentary about corrupt journalism.

Poetry: Then I Saw The Light
Brothers and sisters! Praise the Lord! Brother George has saved the White House from an invasion by infidels, writes resident bard David Peetz.


 Unions Dump Labor

 Shearers Brush Woolly Mammoths

 Girls Should Be Short Changed

 Sydney Turns Down Volume

 Minister Rides Collie

 Staff, Trees Weather the Blame

 Offshore Embassy for Families

 Visy Paper Folds

 Workers Unplug Power Cuts

 Silverwater Offers Porridge

 Environment Wiped Out In Dubbo

 Justice Eludes Kariong Staff

 Nelson Flags Another Raid

 Five Steps to Sanity

 Activists What's On!


The Locker Room
In Naming Rights Only
Phil Doyle has Gone to Gowings

The Soapbox
Homeland Insecurity
Rowan Cahill tells us how the Howard Government�s appointment of Major-General Duncan Lewis to head up the national security division of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has received little critical comment, until now.

The Westie Wing
New proposed legislation in NSW provides a vital window of opportunity for unions to ensure they achieve convictions for workplace deaths, writes Ian West.

 Too Young
 Let's Start A New Party
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Shearers Brush Woolly Mammoths

Shearers are being advised to give big, dangerous rams a miss while farmers refuse to have the beasts sedated.

AWU state president and long-time shearer, Mick Madden, issued the advice as the National Farmers Federation dug in its heels against calls to have rams, as big as 170kg, sedated for shearing.

"This is an OHS issue and a serious one," Madden said. "Shearers should assess the rams they are confronted with and where they are big and dangerous, insist on sedation, or refuse to shear them on health and safety grounds.

"Selective breeding means some of these animals are 50 percent bigger than they were 20 years ago but shearers haven't been put through the same program.

"All this is compounded by the ageing of the shearing population. Farmers will pay for fitter, healthier animals but they won't pay the wages needed to attract younger people into the industry.

"Shearing is a dangerous industry, by its nature, and some of these rams multiply that problem."

The AWU says specifically-bred super rams are now twice as heavy as many shearers. On the basis that the average sheep run carries 20 - 50 rams, the union estimates farmers could sedate for a top figure of $25 a session.

Sedation, prior to shearing, has been carried out safely on sheep properties in WA and New Zealand. The AWU says reports from those users suggest injections affect animals for about an hour and have no side effects.

Last week, however, National Farmers Federation officials were doing the rounds of bush media outlets, railing against the prospect of sedation.

Madden, who was once knocked out by a ram in a NSW holding pen, says that response highlights the need for shearers to protect their own health and livelihoods.

"The Farmers Federation are whingers, it's what they do best," Madden says.

"Every time there is a move to attract younger people to the industry, they argue incapacity to pay, then spend the rest of their time complaining that youngsters don't want to shear their sheep.

"Now we have the NSW Farmers Federation arguing that shearers should live in tents.

"Shearers should take this matter into their own hands. They can't afford to be injured, their families can't afford it and, despite what the Farmers Federation might think, wool growers can't afford to lose them either."


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