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Issue No. 248 26 November 2004  

Australian Idols
It was a week for the little people as Casey won Australian Idol and Rebecca beat the railways. In entertainment and politics it was a young woman from the burbs who ran rings around the pros.


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.


 Helicar Fingers Victims ... Again

 Rabbits Sick of Clover

 What a Banker

 Pack Up and Go Home

 Pratt By Name

 Horror at the Hacienda

 Women Wiped for Bush Jobs

 Veteran Fights Bullet

 Tunneler Survives Death Trap

 Bathurst Three Face Court

 Chullora Cuts Struck Out

 Bully Breaks Heart

 Southern Cross Flies High

 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.

 Regarding Pee Poles
 Pee Pole Shame
 Latham Is A Scapegoat
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Pack Up and Go Home

To bring working hours down to the OECD average Aussies would have knocked off for the year on November 20 � and still not touched their annual leave.

Research just published by the Australian Institute shows the average Australian is working longer than counterparts in any other developed country.

"While Australians consider they live in the land of the long weekend, the reality is that they now work the longest hours in the developed world," the Institute says.

The average Australian spends 1855 hours a year on the job - 212 hours more than the figure across all 23 OECD countries.

The research shows that Americans run us second by racking up 1835 working hours a year while Norweigans are at the other end of the scale on just 1376, nearly 10 standard weeks less than Australians.

The paper also highlights an ILO study showing Australia had the fourth highest level of people working more than 50 hours a week.

It acknowledges some people work long hours as a matter of choice, but questions the view that Australians need to work long hours to maintain economic competitiveness.

It says economic growth might be slower if more people chose to spend time with family rather than purchase extra appliances, but "a lower rate of growth shouldn't be confused with a lower standard of living".

The position of many wealthy countries on the working hours table, the institute argues, suggest long hours are an indicator of low labour productivity rather than increased competitiveness.

Following Australia and the US on the workaholic scale are Japan (1821 hours per week), New Zealand (1817) and Canada (1767).

Workers in Norway, the Netherlands and Germany all average less than 1500 hours at work a year.

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