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Issue No. 264 20 May 2005  

Conviction Politics
In modern politics even ideology has become a matter of convenience; look no further than the principle that Ďthird partiesí need to be removed from the workplace.


Interview: Fortress NSW
NSW IR Minister John Della Bosca on how to win the battle for workers rights - and save the state system.

Unions: Fashions Afield
With new anti-sweatshop creations being paraded at this year's Australian Fashion Week, is equity the new black and are sweatshops the new fur? asks Tara de Boehmler.

Industrial: Pay Dirt
John Burgess argues that the flow-on effect from changing the minimum wage could be more than we bargained for.

Politics: Infrastructure Blues
With much attention given belatedly to the shortage of infrastructure, little attention has been given to the structure of infrastructure, writes Evan Jones

History: Big Day Out
Neale Towart looks back on the events that created the May Day heritage.

International: Making History
Hundreds of aid organisations, charities, trade unions and religious groups have formed a global alliance called ď Make Poverty HistoryĒ.

Economics: The Fear Factor
The solution to skill shortages is intelligent planning, argues John Spoehr

Review: The Robots Revolt
New kids flick Robot uses our electronic friends to teach audiences that inbuilt obsolescence is just a state of mind, writes Tara de Boehmler

Poetry: The Corporation's Power
The idea of a corporations power that could cure any ill has inspired our resident bard, David Peetz, to verse.


 BHP Gets Decision to Die For

 Howard Turns to Water

 PM Noses into Pinocchio Territory

 Protest is Childís Play

 A Baloney Deal Under Fire

 Decapitation Witness Dudded

 Newsroom Bullies Make Headlines

 Nelson Takes Axe To Brains

 Council Unhealthy for Families

 Top End Leader Backs Unions

 A Storm In Every Port

 Greens Go Rights

 Activistís Whatís On!


The Soapbox
May Spray
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson delivered the annual May Day Toast - and warned it is no time to be comfortable and relaxed.

The Locker Room
A Rucking Good Time
Phil Doyle reveals many things, some of them useful

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, is back to regale us with inside goss and intrigue from the Bearpit.

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Howard Turns to Water

The federal government is prepared to squeeze states and individual farmers dry to sign them up for its bash a building worker campaign.

In a shock announcement, this week, the Commonwealth announced states that havenít signed off on its construction industry code would be denied their shares of the national $2 billion water fund.

The water contract, drawn up by National Water Commission chief executive Ken Matthews, requires states to agree to a union-busting construction industry agenda that will ...

- promote non-union AWAs (Australian Workplace Agreements)

- make it illegal for building workers to participate in industrial or political action

- severely restrict union access to building sites

CFMEU national secretary, John Sutton, said the Howard Government was prepared to see farmers become "collateral damage" in its war against building workers and their familes.

"Anyone who has spent any time on the land knows that water is too precious a commodity to play politics with," Sutton said.

"At a time when government's budget coffers are full, it has made a woefully inadequate commitment to our national water crisis. Now they are load infrastructure commitments they have made with irrelevant industrial relations baggage.

"What the government is saying is, if you do not attack the rights of workers, you will not get any water."

Queensland Natural Resources Minister, Stephen Robertson, said his government had been misled.

"We signed up to the national water initiative thinking it was a true partnership," Robertson said this week. "There was no mention of conditions at the time, but now the Commonwealth is imposing draconian conditions."


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