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Issue No. 284 07 October 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Under Fire
Michael Crosby outlines his agenda to save the movement Ė 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: Itís 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 ĎDadís Armyí theme song.

N E W S

 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!

C O L U M N S

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

Postcard
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
Disaster
In which Whatsisname slams the recent poor form of Thingummyjig.

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

L E T T E R S
 Ratís Army
 Kev's Confusion
 Make Ads Not Law
 Nice One, Workers!
 Dog Eat Dog
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Centrelink Breaches Cyber Law


A constitutional row is brewing over Centrelink's refusal to recognise new laws that give workers a legal right to access their union's emails and websites from this week.

The NSW Attorney General's Department has entered the debate, saying charges may be laid, against the federal agency, under the Workplace Surveillance Act.

Centrelink blocked thousands of CPSU members from electronic contact with their union after it issued a series of emails encouraging workers to take industrial action over stalled enterprise bargaining negotiations.

From this week, the NSW Surveillance Act specifically outlaws that action, but Centrelink argues that because its workers are Commonwealth employees they are exempted from the state's workplace laws.

A spokesperson from the Attorney General's Department has refuted the claim, saying there is no specific exemption for Commonwealth agencies.

"This kind of activity on the part of employers is clearly in breach of the new laws, which come into force on Friday.

"Should Centrelink continue this approach ... they will be acting unlawfully, and prosecution authorities will be asked to consider the laying of charges under the Workplace Surveillance Act.

"The Act binds the Crown in respect of NSW and 'in so far as the legislative power of the Parliament of NSW permits, the Crown in all its other capacities'."

"When the Government passed this legislation the intent was to protect all workers in NSW."

Workers Online understands that Centrelink has now added the ACTU homepage, containing in-depth information about proposed industrial laws, to its list of banned websites.


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