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Issue No. 274 29 July 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

The Heart of the Matter
Senators Steve Fielding and Barnaby Joyce are right to quibble over the futures of Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Battle Stations
Opposition leader Kim Beazley says he's ready to fight for workers right. But come July 1, he'll have to be fighting by different rules.

Unions: The Workers, United
It was a group of rank and filers who took centre stage when workers rallied in Sydney's Town Hall, writes Jim Marr.

Politics: The Lost Weekend
The ALP had a hot date, they had arranged to meet on the Town Hall steps, and Phil Doyle was there.

Industrial: Truth or Dare
Seventeen ivory towered academics upset those who know what is best for us last week.

History: A Class Act
After reading a new book on class in Australia, Neale Towart is left wondering if it is possible to tie the term down.

Economics: The Numbers Game
Political economist Frank Stilwell offers a beginners guide to understanding budgets

International: Blonde Ambition
Sweden can be an inspiration to labour movements the world over, as it has had community unionism for over 100 years, creating a vibrant caring society, rather than a "productive" lean economy.

Training: The Trade Off
Next time you go looking for a skilled tradesman and can’t find one, blame an economist, writes John Sutton.

Review: Bore of the Worlds
An invincible enemy has people turning against one another as they fight for survival – its not just an eerie view of John Howard’s ideal workplace, writes Nathan Brown.

Poetry: The Beaters Medley
In solidarity with the workers of Australia, Sir Paul McCartney (with inspiration from his old friend John Lennon) has joined the Workers Online resident bard David Peetz to pen some hits about the government's proposed industrial relations revolution.

N E W S

 Carr Fingers Feds

 Boeing Scabs Take Flight

 Billion Dollar Blow Hards

 Door Closes on Foot Soldier

 Andrews Ropes In Footy

 Gooooood Morning Sydney!

 Posties Bite Back

 Choice Myth Busted Again

 Vale HT

 Dumb and DEWR

 Combet: Business Can't Be Trusted

 Telstra Burns Bush

 Detective on Death Site

 States of Disunity

 A Turbulent Decade

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
State of the Union
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson lifts the lid on ‘The Nine Myths of Modern Unionism’

The Locker Room
Wrist Action
Phil Doyle trawls the murky depths of tawdry sleaze, and discovers Rugby is behind it all.

Culture
To Hew The Coal That Lies Below
Phil Doyle reviews Australia's first coal mining novel, Black Diamonds and Dust.

Parliament
The Westie Wing
Our favourite State MP, Ian West, reports from Macquarie Street that the Premier is all the way with a State Commission.

L E T T E R S
 Don’t take your Gunns to town
 Yankee Panky
 Poetry in motion
 Losing the faith
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Detective on Death Site


A NSW Detective told a coronial inquiry last week that the contractor on a site where a 16 year old died was considered to be someone who did the job quickly with minimum costs.

Three days after starting work as an apprentice roof plumber with Gary Denson Roofing, Joel Exner, 16, died from internal injuries sustained when he fell from the roof of a construction site at Eastern Creek on October 15, 2003.

Detective Senior Constable Ronald Tarlington said the national occupational health and safety manager for the Australand site, Charles Harper, said he had found Garry Denson to be someone did the job quickly with minimum costs.

Tarlington also gave evidence of how Joel's shoes - a pair of sneakers - were found near his body. The soles were worn and his laces were not tied.

"We raised the issue of workplace safety at the Cole Royal Commission into the building industry," says NSW construction union secretary Andrew Ferguson. "We were afraid there would be a copycat death after seventeen year old Dean McGoldrick was killed,"

"His mother pleaded with the commission to investigate what had happened to her son. Cole gave a commitment to visit a building site, but because the developer on the chosen site didn't want to be scrutinized, he didn't go."

"This two faced approach to safety reveals the double standards of the Howard government."

An arrest warrant has been issued for Exner's supervisor on the day he died, Andrew Jones, who has not been able to be subpoenaed to give evidence at the Coronial inquiry.

Detective Tarlington told Westmead Coroners' Court that he had considered laying charges of involuntary manslaughter but thought a coronial inquest was the best way to proceed.

Last week NSW Deputy State Coroner carl Milovanovich made a number of recommendations coming out of the inquiry, including preferring the NSW Code of Practice for safe Work on Roofs part 1 be a minimum standard.

The Deputy state Coroner did not find sufficient evidence for a charge of manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter to be laid.


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