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Issue No. 279 02 September 2005  

Middle Australia
The Prime Minister rarely responds directly to criticism, so when he rushed out a media release rebutting an ACIRRT analysis of wages data this week, it was clear that they had a hit a raw nerve.


Interview: Polar Eclipse
Academic David McKnight challenges some sacred cows in his new book "Beyond Left and Right".

Industrial: Wrong Turn
Radical labour reform is on the horizon but some workers, like Sydney bus driver Yvonne Carson, have seen it all before, writes Jim Marr.

Unions: Star Support
It wasn't just families who backed workers' rights at The Last Weekend, but a bunch of musicians who set the tone, writes Chrissy Layton.

Workplace: Checked Out
Glenda Kwek asks you to consider the plight of the retail worker, and shares some of her experiences

Economics: Sold Out
The Future Fund and industrial relations reform are favourite projects of the PM and the Treasurer. Both are speculations on the future and the only guarantee with them is that you will be worse off, writes Neale Towart.

Politics: Green Banned
The impact of new building industry laws won’t be confined to one industry, writes CFMEU national secretary John Sutton.

History: Potted History
Lithgow is a place with a proud history as a union town. The origins of broader community solidarity lie in the early industrial development of the town and the development of unions. The Lithgow Pottery dispute of 1890 was a key event.

International: Curtain Call
The curtains have opened for East Timor’s young theatre performers, thanks to a Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA project.

Review: Little Fish
At last! An Aussie film with substance, suspense and a serious dose of reality, writes Lucy Muirhead

Poetry: Slug A Worker
In a shock development, the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, gave a ringing endorsement to the poetry pages of Workers Online, writes resident bard David Peetz.


 Trucks Run Down Mums

 Boom! Biff! It’s Howard Unplugged

 Fun Guy Spreads Fertiliser

 Doors Close on Battered Mums

 Bing Lee Peddles Rubbish

 Bless This Bus

 High Court: Ads Do Kremlin Proud

 Families Water Win

 Tesltra Cuts Get Poor Reception

 Vegetable Campaign Sprouts

 Check Work/Family Balance Here

 Tim Wins For Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA

 Activists What’s On!


The Soapbox
Families First
New Senator Stephen Fielding turned a few heads with his Maiden Speech to Parliament.

The Locker Room
The New World Order
Phil Doyle declares himself unavailable for the fifth and deciding test.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, reports from the NSW Government's Safety Summit

On The Bus
A bright orange bus travelling the state has become the focus of the campaign against federal IR changes. Nathan Brown was on board.

 Care Confusion
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Activists What’s On!

Work Rights Tour Heads West

The bright orange Unions NSW Your Rights At Work tour bus visits communities in western and southern NSW from September 5.

The tour will be explaining the impact of proposed changes to workplace laws, which are set to radically affect working conditions across the country.

With visits to cities, towns and workplaces scheduled across the weeklong tour, Unions NSW will also be listening to the concerns of community members and answering their questions about the changes.

The tour will be visiting the following centres:

Wagga Wagga - Public Meeting - Wagga Commercial Club, Monday September 5 at 12.30pm

Albury - Public Meeting - Albury Sailors, Soldiers and Airmens Club, Monday September 5 at 7.00pm

Leeton - Visiting Sunrise Rice Mill workers at Leeton, Tuesday September 6 at 12.30pm

Griffith - Public Meeting - Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club Tuesday September 6 at 7.00pm

West Wyalong - Workplace Visit - Wednesday September 7, Time and location to be advised

Parkes - Public Meeting - Parkes Leagues Club Wednesday September 7 at 7.00pm

Dubbo - Workplace Visit - Western Plains Zoo, Thursday September 8 at 12.30pm

Orange - Public Meeting - Kenna Hall, Hill Street Orange Thursday September 8 at 6.30pm

Bathurst - Public Meeting - Charles Sturt University Friday September 9 at 12.30pm

Neilson comes to Sydney

An exhibition of new paintings by Peter Neilson will be held at Australian Galleries in Sydney from September 6 to October 1, 2005

Drifting South, Always South

Australian Galleries

15 Roylston Street


NSW 2021

02 9360 5177

[email protected]

"The art of Peter Neilson is very much a product of urban Melbourne radicalism. He was born in East Melbourne in 1944 and grew up in the inner - Melbourne suburb of Essendon where he formed a life long affiliation with the local football club." (Dr Sasha Grishin 2002)

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]

Join the Sydney Protest 12pm Friday 9th September Canadian Consulate General 111 Harrington Street, Sydney asbestos campaigns: ABREA:Brazilian Association of the Exposed to Asbestos Ban Asbestos Network of India: contact Toxics Link

A More Diverse Media - Can the Club be Busted?

As the Howard Government prepares to overhaul Labor's cross media laws we ask what needs to be done to open up Australia's small media club to more players and a greater diversity of voices and points of view? Our speakers will consider what the new reforms may mean, and how to genuinely invigorate an homogenised and concentrated media.


Mark Scott - Editor, Sydney Morning Herald

Julianne Schultz - Editor Griffith Review and ex-ABC digital strategy

Andy Nehl - TV Producer (Chaser Decides & CNNNN) and Head of TV, AFTRS

When: Wednesday 21 September from 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Where: Theatrette NSW Parliament House

Cost: Free

Chair: Tony Moore, Member of the NSW Fabian Society, Pluto Press

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA Dinner

Join us for our Annual Dinner and celebrate 21 years of global solidarity on Wednesday 21 September, 2005

Hosted by members of The Chaser/CNNN team. The dinner will feature live music, fabulous prizes, great food and free parking.

Date: Wednesday 21 September, 2005

Time: 6:30pm for 7:00pm

Place: Petersham RSL Auditorium (7 Regent St, Petersham-Close to Petersham train station and 412 bus stop)

Cost: $50 per person, $450 for a table of 10

To secure your tickets please phone Candice at APHEDA on (02) 9264 9343 or email [email protected]

Tribute to HT Lee

Photojournalist - Independent film maker

Trade unionist

Activist for East Timor

07.08.1946 - 27.07.2005

Saturday 8th October


Gaelic Club

64 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills (upstairs)

Speakers include;

• Andrew Refshauge (former Deputy Premier)

• Andrew Ferguson, State Secretary, CFMEU

• Katherine Thomson (Playwright)

• Kim Gago (East Timor Community)

• Neil McLean

• Peter Chandran

• Carmela Baranowski

Other speakers to be confirmed

Performances by Enda Kenny and a choir

Entry by donation

Money raised will go to the HT Lee Memorial Political Film-makers Fund to assist people going to East Timor to work on film documentaries

Jointly organised by Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (Construction & General Division) and

the Australia-East Timor Association (NSW)

AUSIRAQ union solidarity Jazz night.

Money raised to go through Union Aid Abroad (APHEDA) to unions in Iraq.

Entry donation: $39 dinner & live jazz. $19 jazz only

CFMEU auditorium, 12 Railway St, Lidcombe

Tuesday 18 October

From 6:30pm to 10pm.

Children & unwaged 1/2 price. Drinks available

AUSIRAQ union solidarity Jazz night fundraiser

Money raised to go through the ACTU's Union Aid Abroad (APHEDA) to unions in Iraq. Best to book ahead for the meal so AUSIRAQ knows how many to cater for.

Contact Lynn Smith: 0439640118

One Year Down & Two to Go - Can Labor Win in 2007?

Fabian Society meeting with John Singleton (Advertising Executive), Geoff Walsh (former ALP National Secretary) & Julie Owens MP (Member for Parramatta)

When: Wednesday 26 October from 6.00pm to 7.30pm

Where: LHMU Auditorium, 187 Thomas Street Haymarket

Cost: Free

Chair: Michael Samaras, Secretary NSW Fabian Society


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