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Issue No. 252 18 February 2005  

Wood for the Trees
In the book that may never become a film, ‘Eucalyptus’, a father will not give his daughter away unless her suitor can name every tree on the property.


Economics: Super Seduction
Sharks are circling your super. From July 1, banks and financial planners will have access to the nesteggs of an extra four million workers.

Interview: Bono and Me
ACTU Sharan Burrow lifts the lid on the rock star lifestyle of an international union leader.

Unions: The Eight Hour Day and the Holy Spirit
Rowan Cahill bucks conventional wisdom to argue the eight-hour day began in Sydney.

Economics: OEC-Who?
The OECD calls for more reform. But, Asks Neale Towart, who is really doing the calling?

Technology: From Widgets to Digits
How can unions grow and continue to successfully represent workers when their traditional structures are rooted in an industry, craft or fixed location?

Education: Dumb and Dumber
Unions are leading the fight against a political agenda that does away with smart jobs.

Health: No Place for the Young
The support of union members is required to help get young people out of nursing homes, writes Mark Robinson

History: The Work-In That Changed a Nation
February 17 marks 30-years to the day that sacked coal miners at the NSW Northern District Nymboida Colliery began their historic work-in at the mine.

Review: Dare to Win
The history of the militant and often controversial BLF is as surprising as it is fascinating writes Tim Brunero.

Poetry: Labor's Dreaming
With another change at the helm of the Labor Party, our resident bard, David Peetz, can't help but dreamily drawing on some political history.


 Families On the Rack

 Detention Centre for Darling Harbour

 Transit Officers' Close Shave

 Truckies Drive Mac Attack

 We Have Way of Making You Walk

 Howzat – Murali Spun Out

 Show Me The Money

 Walter’s Mates Pay

 Retailer Sells Out Workers

 Financiers Squash Capital Idea

 Taskforce Stands Over Families

 Big Australian Changes the Rules

 Bodyguards Stabbed In Back

 Big Brother Stirs Up Porridge

 Carr Sees Trees for Wood

 Activist’s What’s On


Titanic Forces
There are book reviewers who have not read the book they have just reviewed and there are critics who have criticised films they have not yet seen. I want to review a novel that has not yet been written.

The Soapbox
Labour and Labor
Grant Bellchamber looks at the relationship between both sides organised labour

Aussie Unions Help Tsunami Victims
The union movement’s aid agency reports back on its relief effort in Asia.

The Locker Room
Game, Set and Yawn
Phil Doyle asks if tennis is evil or just boring

The Westie Wing
As a reshuffle of the State Ministry settles in and the Federal Government throws down the gauntlet, 2005 promises to be a new and vital chapter in the struggle for workers and their families, writes Ian West in Macquarie Street.

 Toxic Talk
 Millstone Revealed
 But Then Again
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Carr Sees Trees for Wood

Timber workers who forced the NSW Government to back down from moves to privatise the state’s forests are calling for certainty to be given to the regionally important industry.

Workers and rural communities remain concerned that moves to corporatise State Forests could pose a risk to workers health and safety and create a bushfire hazard.

It had been feared that privatisation would destroy thousands of regional jobs along with whole communities.

While welcoming the Premier ruling out the sale of State Forests, Unions NSW assistant secretary Mark Lennon said concerns remained about any move to corporatise this public asset.

"Our concerns around job losses, the gutting of rural and regional communities, environmental implications and proper fire management of these forests are as relevant for a potential corporatisation as they were for a potential privatisation."

Craig Smith, secretary of the NSW branch of the CFMEU Forestry Division, echoed Lennon's concerns.

"Do you think private operators would give a tinkers cuss the views of local communities," says Smith, who pointed to the large expansion of the Hyne Timber Mill in Tumbarumba being based on the guarantee of access to reliable log supply.

Reliable log supply was not available in Victoria where the Kennett Government had privatised forests, leading to a large volume of timber being exported.

Smith also pointed to more than just timber workers being affected with the impact upon regional infrastructure, including fire-fighting capability, if forests were managed solely on a profit basis.

"It would be a regressive step for the safety of the recreational users of state forests, the general public on forest roads which also include school bus routes," Says Smith. "People have every right to be concerned."

Unions NSW Assistant Secretary Mark Lennon believes rural and regional NSW needs some certainty about exactly what the Governments intentions are.

"We plan to keep faith with our members and the communities they come from by seeking commitments from the Premier that adequately address these concerns," says Lennon.

Representatives of the Australian Workers Union, the Public Service Association, and CFMEU Forestry Division have resolved to seek a meeting with Premier Carr to convey their concerns.


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