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Issue No. 257 01 April 2005  

Icarus Rising
Right now John Howard is flying. Watch him soar in his Vodafone track-suit, further than the Hawke into unchartered skies.


Interview: Australia@Work
Labor's Penny Wong has the job of getting more people into the workplace and keeping companies honest. In her spare time ....

Unions: State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson unveils the annual survey of attitudes of workers to their jobs, thier lives and the union.

Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Jim Marr unpacks the unlikely claim of a suburban house to be considered the New Mecca of the New Right �

Legal: Leg Before Picket
Chris White looks at how the federal industrial changes will impact on the basic right to strike.

Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Neale Towart asks why the only form of legitmate welfare seems to be going to the top end of town.

Health: Cannabis Controversy
Zoe Reynolds looks at how drug and alcohol testing is leading to some addled outcomes.

Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
As the indicators head south, Frank Stilwell wonders whether it is the way we do economics that is to blame.

History: Politics In The Pubs
Phil Doyle reports on the increasingly-popular Struggles, Scabs and Schooners day out.

Review: Three Bob's Worth
Doing their best Margaret and David, Tara de Boehmler and Tim Brunero have different takes on the new Australian flick Three Dollars.

Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
Workers Online bard David Peetz teaches how workers to dance to Howard's industrial laws.


 Health System to Subsidise Shonks

 Who Likes Bing Lee?

 Death Threats Shut Campsie

 Thumbs Down for Union Busters

 Advocate Pours Salt on Wound

 United Front Beats Drug Boss

 Kev Backs Double Standard

 Victorian Morality Shafts Teacher

 Doctors Prescribe More

 Multinational Banks Jobs

 Working Class Idol

 Greens Protect Entitlements

 Activist�s What�s On


The Soapbox
Notes From a Laneway
Mental Health Workers Alliance member Toby Raeburn shares a week on the frontline.

The Locker Room
War, Plus The Shooting
The Socceroos aren�t their own worst enemy after all, or so says Phil Doyle

Life Imitates Art
The jokes have been around for some time about the economic rationalist's approach to the orchestra, writes Evan Jones.

The Westie Wing
Ian West takes the secret passage out of Macquarie Street to deliver his take on NSW Parliamentary Committees and other goings on.

 Students Bear Brunt
 Security Lacking
 Bus Lanes On Vic Rd
 Dirt Cheap Right On Money
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Victorian Morality Shafts Teacher

Victorian school teachers are rallying behind a colleague who fell foul of "shoddy legislation" aimed at sex predators.

The AEU says Andrew Phillips is a victim of retrospective, poorly thought-out law that doesn't take individual circumstances into account.

As a 20-year-old, Phillips pleaded guilty, on his lawyer's advice, to fondling his girlfriend's breasts when she was two months below the legal age of consent.

Now the popular teacher, and father of two, has lost his job at Orbost High School job because of a new state government law designed to keep sexual deviants out of classrooms.

Three months ago, the Education Department asked seven-year teacher to show cause why he shouldn't be punted. When it rejected his explanation, he resigned.

But fellow teachers and parents say the law is an ass and Orbost High cannot afford to lose a professional of Phillips' standing.

Colleagues are prepared to lose pay to attend a meeting with the Education Minister and the school principal, John Brazier, has gone into bat for his former maths master.

"He has overwhelming support not only in this community but throughout

Victoria," said Brazier.

"He's an excellent teacher who is very good with underachievers."

Phillips has the full support of the Australian Education Union. The union has offered to pay for relief teachers if a staff delegation is successful in getting a meeting with the minister.

The Victorian Independent Education Union has also voted unanimous support for Phillips.

When the controversial legislation was originally proposed it contained provisions for ministerial discretion over sackings. However, under sustained attack from the Liberal Party opposition, the government removed that safeguard.

Brazier believes the danger of retrospective legislation is that people can be punished twice,

"I think the minister and premier see it as a sign of weakness to review legislation," he said, "It is a sign of strength to review what you've done, there is no doubt it is wrong, they are just being stubborn.

"This is shoddy legislation. It was poorly thought through and needs to be improved."


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