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Issue No. 247 19 November 2004  
E D I T O R I A L

In Defence of Jeff
Those of us who know and have worked with Jeff Shaw over the years have found the unfolding spectacle of his very public fall from grace profoundly distressing. Surely they have the wrong guy.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 Activists What's On!

 Union Baiter on Charges

 Commuter Champ Backs Workers

 Late Night Threats in Perth

 Corporates Gobble Apprentices

 Fleas Get Thumbs-Up

 Packer Perishes in Blue

 $5000 Bill for Teen

 Miners Plunge Before The Beak

 Cops Raid Press

 Christmas Sack at Broken Hill

 Admin Staff Exposed

 Teachers Swallow Lolly

C O L U M N S

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.

Parliament
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.

L E T T E R S
 Backbone Derail Causes Paralysis
 Shawly we’ve heard enough
 Decline of The American Empire
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Cops Raid Press


International press freedom group Reporters Without Borders has joined the journalists union in condemning a police raid on the offices of the National Indigenous Times.

Australian Federal Police agents executed a search warrant on National Indigenous Times' offices in Canberra in search of two cabinet-in-confidence documents, the details of which had already been reported by the Financial Review and The Australian newspapers.

The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) condemned the police raid.

"Authorities cannot use criminal procedure to attain the identities of journalists' sources - which is clearly what they attempted to do," says MEAA federal secretary Christopher Warren. "The foundation of our democracy relies on journalists' ability to report matters of public interest. To do this they rely on the good faith of their sources."

Police carried a warrant to seize two documents but left with six.

The documents reveal a number of tougher government initiatives to promote 'good behaviour' in indigenous communities. The Australian Financial Review picked up the story yesterday and attributed NIT with possession of the leaked documents.

"The Government's attempt to intimidate this small publication is an absolute disgrace," says Warren. "In matters of social responsibility and welfare those in authority need to be held accountable. This can't happen if media outlets, big and small, continue to be suffocated."

Reporters Without Borders said in a letter to John Howard that the police had "violated the principle of the protection of sources, which is fundamental to guaranteeing independent investigative journalism."

"If those responsible for this police raid on a editorial office are not sanctioned, it will be the protection of sources, the cornerstone of press freedom, that is under threat in Australia," said Robert Ménard, Reporters Without Borders secretary general.

The National Indigenous Times has received confirmation from other media outlets that the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet ordered the search warrant.

Cabinet Secretary Peter Shergold warned that police raids on newspapers that publish leaked cabinet documents would become routine.

Dr Shergold was the federal official who reported the matter to police.

"Labor will watch with interest to see if Andrew Bolt is raided over leaked national security documents, or indeed if those that provided the leaked documents are charged with breaches of the Crimes Act," said ALP Indigenous affairs spokesperson Kim Carr. "Why is the Howard Government so concerned about the Indigenous Times documents, when so many other leaks have not been referred to police?"

The National Indigenous Times had more embarrassing papers ready to publish, editor Chris Graham said.

Graham said the Prime Minister's Department ordered the raid because the documents, which the newspaper published, were embarrassing to the government.

"This government has been dishonest in the way it's dealt with Aboriginal people and Aboriginal affairs generally and I can understand them not wanting it to get out, but I can't for the life of me understand how they thought raiding our offices would have assisted their cause."

Among the documents was a letter from former Indigenous affairs minister Philip Ruddock to Prime Minister John Howard in April 2003, saying that nearly all government ministers had failed to undertake a major review of how their departments could better serve the aboriginal community.

Federal Police investigations are continuing.


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