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Issue No. 276 12 August 2005  

The Power of One
The power has now shifted. John Howard has control of the Senate by a solitary vote and no matter where your politics lie, the earth has definitely moved.


Interview: On Holiday
Historian Richard White looks back on the Aussie vacation - and finds a way of life is under threat.,

Unions: One Day Longer
Nathan Brown travels to the Boeing picket line and find a group of workers with a steely determination to stick together.

Industrial: Never Mind the Bollocks
Jim Marr plays the Howard Government's industrial relations spin job on its merits.

Politics: Spun Out
Canberra’s latest campaign underlines the need for controls over government advertising, according to Graeme Orr and Joo-Cheong Tham

Economics: If the Grog Don't Get You ....
Evan Jones explains how the way we purchase alcolohol reflects the type of economy we live in.

History: Taking a Stand
Neale Towart looks at two books that chronicle how to build community support against social injustice.

International: The Split
Amanda Tattersal outsider's account of an insider's shake-out at the AFL-CIO Convention 2005

Legal: Pushing the Friendship
George Williams argues that the federal government’s constitutional powers are not sufficient to enact a comprehensive national industrial relations scheme

Poetry: Simple Subtractions
The latest blitz of taxpayer-funded advertising has revealed a crisis of arithmetic in government ranks has moved resident bard David Peetz to prose.

Review: Sydney Trashed
Sydney band SC Trash are on a mission to give new life to folk and country music – and the politics of common sense. Nathan Brown had a beer with them


 “Disgusting” AWAs Court Out

 Andrews Agenda Rolled in DEWR

 Sick Days Get Hadgkiss Sniffing

 Fun Guy Skips Work, Docks Staff

 Nurse Launches Neighbourhood Alert

 Security Staff Bush Whacked

 Commo Bank Staff Force Smiles

 Cameron Gets ‘Fair Dinkum’

 Feds: Inconsistency “Not Inconsistent”

 Telstra Dials Up Cash Grab

 Howard Votes Family Last

 PacNat Troops Won't Be Railroaded

 All Aboard Vic Safety Train

 Activist's What's On!


The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, goes away for a couple of weeks and look what happens…

The Soapbox
The Last Weekend
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson's speech to the Last Weekend - how the Howard government laws will undermine the Ausrtalian way of life.

The Locker Room
A Concept Is Born
In which Phil Doyle helps the proponents of the vision thing across the road.

Workers Blood For Oil
A new book by Abdullah Muhsin and Alan Johnson lifts the lid on the bloody reality of US backed democracy for Iraq's trade unions

London Post
During his recent stay in London IEU industrial officer John Shapiro was living only a few hundred metres from the site of one of the bomb blasts.

 Farmers’ Best Friend
 Govt Has No Case
 Logon to IR
 Ears and Minds
 Howard on the Couch
 Which Bank?
 Kevin the Tool Man
 Tom On Safety
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Activist's What's On!


As part of the Make Poverty History campaign, award-winning Indian journalist and leading agricultural economist Devinder Sharma will be in Sydney for an Oxfam Australia Campaign Café.

Well known for his views on food and trade policy, Devinder Sharma is at the forefront of the global debates on genetic engineering, globalisation and free trade. He will offer his perspective on global trade issues at our Campaign Café on 22nd August.

When : Monday 22nd August @ 6 for 6.30pm

Where: Australian Council for the Arts, 372 Elizabeth Street (cnr Elizabeth and Cooper Sts)

RSVP: [email protected] / 02 8204 3900


In response to the Howard government's proposed dismantling of the State industrial relations systems, the Business and Labour History Group at the University of Sydney is organizing a one-day symposium on the industrial, social and economic significance of the State systems since their foundation over a century ago. The symposium, entitled The State Systems of Industrial Relations: Past, Present and Future, is to be held on Friday 26 August at the Women's College, University of Sydney. Speakers include Justices Wright and Walton from the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW, as well as a number of academic researchers and labour lawyers. Full program details, as well as an on-line registration facility, are available at

Mountain Talk

A community forum on the Federal Government's proposed changes to industrial relation laws, has been organised for Saturday 27th August between 2pm and 4pm at Springwood Civic Centre.

The forum will hear from church and community representatives. It has been organised by Blue Mountains for a Fairer Australia, a community group concerned that the proposal to reduce the number of award conditions from 16 to just 5 will profoundly affect the way we live and work. Dr Nerida Burton, one of the meeting organisers, said, 'I am very concerned about what is going to happen to families as a result of this legislation'.

The group has invited the Federal member for Macquarie, Kerry Bartlett, to attend the meeting to address his constituents' concerns and explain the implications of the Government's proposals. He has thus far declined the invitation.

Dr Burton says 'This is not a party-political forum, yet we can't get any member of the Government to attend. Mr Bartlett's electoral office is just 20 metres away from the venue, but he prefers to address his constituents via a $20 million taxpayer-funded advertising campaign.'

Addressing the meeting will be Rev Dr. Anne Wansbrough, Social Policy Director at Uniting Care, Dr John Falzon National Researcher/Advocate Saint Vincent de Paul Society , Amber Jacobus President of the UWS Student Union, and John Robertson, the Secretary of Unions NSW. John Robertson said, 'These proposals should be of concern to all workers and their families. They strike at the Australian way of life. Annual leave, penalty rates and control of working hours will all be up for grabs under these changes. It's important people understand what these changes are about and join the campaign against them.'

All are welcome, including children, and afternoon tea will be available. For information contact Kathie Herbert for Blue Mountains For A Fairer Australia on 4782 3384.


It's just under three weeks to go until the fourth Sydney Social Forum.

Unlike any other conference, the Sydney Social Forum is a do-it-yourself event. The SSF is not a series of "workshops" where panels of "experts" lecture to you. The SSF is an open space where maximum participation is encouraged. It's the participants who decide the content of the sessions, how they are run, and the issues that are discussed.

So what do you want to talk about? What are the issues that concern you?

Already, there have been a number of sessions registered covering a variety of topics, but there's still time for you to get involved and have a say.

You can register your session prior to the weekend, but you can also simply turn up on the day and be able to host one.

Below you can find out the hows and whys of getting you or your organization involved and sharing your experiences and ideas in what will be a fantastic weekend for the social movements in our city.


4th Sydney Social Forum

27-29 August 2005

Petersham West TAFE

Petersham Town Hall

The Sydney Mint

The weekend two days of the SSF are to discuss

"where we're at" and "we're we want to be" in terms of community and workplace activism - to educate ourselves, share experiences, and try to arrive as possible outcomes, solutions, and strategies to make it happen.

The SSF organising team is encouraging participants to think about the type of workshop you wish to hold, and how you might maximise the time-slot.

For instance, you are encouraged to work out if you're going to hold an educational style workshop, or an activist style workshop.

An "educational" workshop may be held lecture style, and is designed to allow those who may be new to an issue or new to activism to get a broader understanding.

An "activist" workshop should be more dynamic, aimed at a particular constituency who may be more or less up to date with the area of concern. The aim should be maximum participation from those present. You might consider

having a 5-10 minute intro followed by 20 minutes of discussion, 5 minutes from the front and further discussion etc. Try to think of how you can make the workshop "dynamic" and give yourself and participants the best chance of arriving at "outcomes".

You are also encouraged to think beyond your particular issue or campaign area and consider how you could share the platform with other groups or speakers who may be able to contribute more broadly to a common area of interest.

Remember, the SSF is not simply a "talk-fest", but an opportunity to network and broaden links among our social movements.


You will need to be registered as an individual or an organisation to be able to hold a workshop.


Think about the style of session you might hold in light of the suggestions above.

Get in touch with other groups and maybe arrange a working group to identify the main issues in a particular area.

For example, a number of environmental activists from different areas and organisations have formed a working group to discuss the most important issues regarding the environment and the best way to present and discuss them.


We will take your workshop details and publicise them at the SSF website.

Details required are:

* workshop title

* brief description about the aim of the workshop

* who's speaking

* proposed day/time

* your contact details.

We may also be able to put you in touch with others who may be considering a similar workshop, as well at let you know about any broad issue-based working groups which may be up and running.

If there are particular time constraints (such as speaker availability), please indicate a possible time for your workshop.


The SSF Organising Team does general publicity for the overall forum, but it's up to you to make sure that people know about your session. It's not safe to assume a "readymade audience"

Get your friends and contacts to register for the weekend.

Call and email all your contacts and anyone else who you want to attend your workshop and the SSF in general. Give them a leaflet or direct them to check out this website.

Following the final workshop deadline, a full publicity kit with PDF leaflets, posters, and rego forms will be available from the website. Just download, photocopy and start dishing them out!

If you have any questions or if you want to get hold of leaflets and posters etc, please contact the organising team.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: Melanie 0403 051 606 or Vince 0438 800 244


a new black comedy about politicians, sex, murder, sex, big business, the media... and sex. It opens August 8 at the Newtown Theatre and is a witty, cynical look at modern political life, written and directed by (Dr) Patricia Petersen - who is probably the most photogenic 'human headline' writing for the stage in Australia


* ran against Tony Abbott in the last federal election;

* has taught politics and political philosophy in various Australian universities;

* has written a number of plays, produced and directed several others and acted in many more;

* recently starred in and directed The Vagina Monologues at the Seymour Centre and NIDA;

She lives and writes in Sydney.

Doin' it for the Kids

Young people and politics: Engagement and participation

Tuesday September 6

5.30 for 6pm

Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

Cost $25, (Evatt members and concession card $15)

Entry cost includes wine and cheese refreshments

RSVP is essential:

Evatt Foundation

Phone: 9385 7137

Email: [email protected]


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