||Issue No. 274||29 July 2005|
The Heart of the Matter
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
Poetry in motion
Losing the faith
Carr Fingers Feds
Bob Carr told Workers Online, Canberra's power grab had whittled away the ability of state governments to deliver services.
Canberra has moved aggressively to impose its ideology on health, education, transport and industrial relations - going as far as withholding funds from states who won't toe its line.
After 10 years in power, Carr admitted, it had weighed on considerations of his future.
"It is a pronounced pattern," he said. "They are reducing the power of state governments.
"Industrial relations is only the most obvious example, and I have got to say, it was a factor, yes."
Carr told Unions NSW the federal government's funding model was short-changing the people he had been elected to represent.
He said NSW was being deliberately cheated of $1.9 billion under five-year Commonwealth funding arrangements.
Carr predicted Howard would find he had gone a step too far with his radical plan to strip entitlements from Australian workers.
He described that agenda as "absolutely" a weakness and said it had welded state, federal and industrial Labor together in an alliance capable of winning the next federal election.
"Australia does not need this. Howard is completing an ideological and it is absolutely unnecessary," he said.
"The ironic thing is that we are rediscovering the nature of a Labor Party out of this. The state and federal parties are united and we are with you all the way."
He congratulated unions on taking the battle up to Howard, saying their community campaign was "thrashing" federal government's taxpayer-funded campaign.
Carr said politics had always been about competing interests.
"We governed for all the people in NSW but with special attention to the needs of working people. It was their interests I was elected to represent," he said.
Reviewing his years in office, he said, he had been especially proud of successes won in partnership with the trade union movement.
He highlighted the Sydney Olympics - delivered in co-operation with a strong, unionised workforce - and last year's campaign that forced James Hardie to compensate asbestos disease sufferers.
Working with nurses, teachers, transport workers and "our wonderful fireys" to improve the services they delivered, he said, had been an "honour".
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