||Issue No. 273||22 July 2005|
Interview: Battle Stations
Unions: The Workers, United
Politics: The Lost Weekend
Industrial: Truth or Dare
History: A Class Act
Economics: The Numbers Game
International: Blonde Ambition
Training: The Trade Off
Review: Bore of the Worlds
Poetry: The Beaters Medley
The Locker Room
Keep the Faith
Life on a Low Wage
Seeing the Trees For the Wood
Carnival Comes to Town
Foot Soldiers Get Blisters
As the ACTU and ALP prepare a legal challenge to the government's plans to use $20 million in taxpayers funds to sell the changes, local MPs are attempting to go to ground or back away from them altogether.
Louise Markus, Federal member for Greenway, is just one of a number of Coalition MPs attempting to stave off community concern about workplace law changes.
Markus had been dumbfounded when questioned about the changes by electrician Anthony Hack in June. Hack had popped into Markus' office to find out more about the changes and was told they would benefit him by making things "simpler".
When Hack pointed out that simpler meant having 42 matters in his Award reduced to six Markus changed tack, saying that AWAs were the way to go because her husband had one.
Other Liberals seem more reticent about their position with member for Lindsay, Jackie Kelly, Liberal senator Ms Fervanti-Wells and member for Eden Monaro, Garry Nairne, all refusing invitations to talk to workers face to face about the changes.
But thier National Party colleagues seem even less enthusiastic about the changes with Member for Page, Ian Causley calling for a rethink on the policy after workers rallied outside his Lismore office.
"In the party room this is something we're going to have to have a look at," says Causley, who admitted to media that he believes in unions and would fight any proposals that killed off collective bargaining.
Newly elected Queensland Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce has already ruffled feathers, including those of Treasurer Peter Costello, by expressing his concern about the government's proposals.
And Queensland National Party leader Lawrence Springborg says his party is not alone in rejecting the industrial relations proposals.
"It's not only the Queensland Nats that have this problem, it's the WA Libs, it's the South Australian Libs, it's the WA Nats and it was 60 per cent of the delegates at the Liberal Party federal council meeting last month that had similar concerns," he said.
Meeanwhile, The ALP and ACTU have threatened a High Court challenge to the Federal Government's multi-million dollar IR advertising campaign if the Coalition cannot show the expenditure has been properly authorised.
Shadow Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and the peak union body have engaged Melbourne law firm Maurice Blackburn Cashman to investigate the validity of the campaign's funding.
Roxon says the plans could breach s83 of the Constitution - groyunds for a High Court injunction against further advertisin
The Federal Government has not denied reports that its second wave advertising could cost as much as $20 million, but according to Roxon, there is no obvious line item in the Federal Government's May budget authorising such expenditure.
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