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Issue No. 284 07 October 2005  

Age of Consent
After more than five years of debating, cajoling and at times pleading, NSW workers have secured a set of cyber work rights worth celebrating.


Interview: Under Fire
Michael Crosby outlines his agenda to save the movement � and explains why Australians have nothing to fear from the SEIU.

Politics: And the Winners Are ...
Wal King, Allan Moss, Roger Corbett, Chip Goodyear, Michael Chaney and David Murray have lots in common, writes Jim Marr.

Industrial: Un-Australian
Labour lawyer Clive Thompson argues the changes to IR are fundamentally at odds with the national tradition of consesensus.

Economics: The Common Wealth
As the policy wonks debate the future of our cities, Neale Towart mounts a simple argument: It�s the real people in a society, stupid

History: Walking for Justice
The Eight Hour Day, a very Australian celebration, had its origins in New Zealand it seems, writes Neale Towart.

International: Deja Vu
A group of trade unions have walked away from America's peak council, again. Labourstart's Eric Lee was there.

Legal: The Rights Stuff
Terror laws have sparked a fresh debate on a Bill of Rights - and workers have a bigger stake than ever before, writes Rachael Osman-Chin.

Review: That Cinderella Fella
Russell trades the phone for mitts in an inspiring cinematic slug-fest. Nathan Brown is ringside

Poetry: Is Howard Kidding?
Mel Cheal asks who Howard thinks he is kidding to the tune of the �Dad�s Army� theme song.


 Secret Policemen's Balls-Up

 Centrelink Breaches Cyber Law

 Examiner Pulps Cadet

 Food Truck Flattens Woman

 Will They Know It's Christmas?

 Death By Nestle

 Taskforce On Safety Charges

 Archbishop Preaches End Of Civilisation

 Union Drives Tassie Train

 PM Cold on Lunch Date

 Seafarers Scupper Sell Off

 Fraser Terror-fied

 Tribute to HT Lee

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
No Place For A Woman!
Doreen Borrow spoke to the Public Service Association�s women�s conference in September about her experiences of working life that span seven decades.

North By Northwest
Phil Doyle returns from up north, where he survived on nothing but goodwill, good people and a great big orange bus.

The Locker Room
In which Whatsisname slams the recent poor form of Thingummyjig.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West MLC, gets all casual in his latest missive from the Bear Pit.

 Rat�s Army
 Kev's Confusion
 Make Ads Not Law
 Nice One, Workers!
 Dog Eat Dog
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Letters to the Editor

Make Ads Not Law

A "government" has the responsibility to inform the people of changes to important legislature, it is a part of good accountability.

The trouble is that the "government" has not made changes, or even considered making changes, to industrial relations and therefore cannot make informed decisions about responsible publication on the matter.

To do so would be akin to advertising changes to road rules before the involved parties had reached a decision on how the road laws would be changed. It would only cause confusion as to when and how the laws would change. It would cause anger, frustration and danger to those road users who would otherwise confidently and lawfully use the roads for the purposes they were designed for.

Although the Liberal party does have a monopoly of power in the senate, the success in total of a bid to pass legislature in favour of reforms (that the Liberals admit are not fully conceived) is not guaranteed. The recent changes to the proposals of the full Telstra sale are indicative of this.

The spending of 20 million dollars of government funds is a gamble of public funds that legislature based on a proposal, not yet fully conceived (we are told), will match the information contained in the 20 or so million spent!

Allowing the Liberal party to conserve it's party funds by dipping into Government money to gain support for proposals of ideology (that might not survive the senate intact), while not allowing the opposition to do the same, is wrong and probably unlawful (Supreme court judges recently condemned the Liberal party's spending of Government money on such advertising as a Stalinist style of propaganda but found that the court was not lawfully empowered to make a ruling on the matter). To use the metaphor of road rules again, it would be like allowing luxury cars free fuel and to drive as their owners may wish while strictly enforcing the direction of other vehicles to the letter of the law!

The Liberal party should be allowed to advertise their policies in much the same way that unions, the ACTU and opposition parties are allowed to. The Liberal party should not, however, be allowed to conspire to use public money for their own benefit as a fraudulent result of the authority to manage public spending!

Lawrence McClure, Qld


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